03 September, 2015

POP-UP: Bulelani Smoked BBQ RIBS Restaurant

Last Saturday night I was invited to taste "long & low" smoked ribs by South African Chef Ossie Mashiyi-Veikkola.  Naturally, I could not resist.  It had been a particularly harrowing week and I was really looking forward to one of my favorite pastimes, which as you know is, tasting fine food and drinking wine with friends. 

We arrived at The Thinking Hut where the dinner was being hosted.  First of all, allow me to comment on this super cool locale.  Formerly a horse stable and now a "creative co-working space", I think they have one of the most beautiful gardens in Amsterdam, wild, dreamy, large, nostalgic . . . I wish there were a swing.

After a very warm welcome by Timo, Ossie's partner who handles the front of the house, we were lead to the garden with our lovely chilled white wine to view the final moments of our ribs in the smoker (above right).  Chef Ossie had been preparing the ribs for over six hours!  From that moment on I knew it was going to be delicious.  I could tell by the loving attention to detail and quality.  Finally, the ribs were ready and we looked on as steaming silver foil packages were gently removed and allowed to open and breathe.  They smelled amazing! We traipsed back inside in anticipation. 

What followed was a pile of ribs on a plate with a piece of bread, served with two of three choices of sides (I had coleslaw and potato salad, but beans were also on offer) AND the never-before-heard-of shot of Bourbon with "pickle juice back" which are meant to be downed one after the other followed immediately by chomping on a rib.  The combination apparently creates a smokey caramel sauce in your mouth.  I did it!  It was oddly reminiscent of Jack Daniels.  However, I preferred my ribs with the South African Shiraz that had been served, which was perfect.

The food was fabulous.  We ate every morsel and drank all the wine and ate all the cheesecake.  We went home full, happy and intoxicated by the whole experience.  The only thing I wanted more of was ribs!  We hope Bulelani will one day offer bigger portions.  Perhaps a choice of regular or LARGE plates?  Double orders?  Basically, we want more ribs!

Plating the ribs while Timo explains the whole bourbon pickle juice sequence.

Chef Ossie and his beautiful smile


If you have a hankering to gnaw on some ribs, you should definitely follow Bulelani Smoked BBQ Restaurant to keep track of their next pop-op place.  They also offer a specialty salmon and dishes for vegetarians and vegans.  Great people, Great food.  Thank you Timo & Ossie for an amazing meal!  **** Recommended

The Thinking Hut

24 August, 2015


Yesterday I went to SAIL Amsterdam 2015 on my new wooden boat.  It was a fantastic weekend with full sun and everyone was enjoying the last of the dog days.  I woke up with that delicious summer feeling, packed a small bag and jumped on the bike.  The whole world was cycling to the waterfront.  We started by diving off the dock and taking a refreshing dip before sailing up and down the Amstel River, lunching at Plek and running around the docks there.  This is summer in Amsterdam!

The whole city seemed to be celebrating SAIL.  They were either lined up along the banks of the river or were on every conceivable type of vehicle that could float.  This event takes place every five years since its conception in 1975 and is attended by 120 tall ships from around the world, plus hundreds of others.  This year's attendance of 2,3 million people was the most ever and 450,000 were estimated to be on the water yesterday!

The Netherlands wants to promote the Port of Amsterdam, encourage future sailors and to celebrate and honor their wayfaring heritage by organizing the largest event of it's type. I have been enjoying the livestream from my desk all week.

If you have never sailed around Amsterdam, I highly recommend it.  This city was built for boats.  Here are some of my impressions.  Next SAIL?  2020!!  Enjoy!

Replica of the first boat that went around The Horn!
The Russian Boat, do you see the men up on the right mast?

Sailing by the former Shell Tower, "Tower Overhoeks" soon to become the "Twenty4 Tower," which has amazing plans for creatives, sustainability, music, dance, clubs, hotel, sky deck and much, much more.  Impressive.

NDSM Island
Believe it or not, those are three stacked suites at the Faralda Crane Hotel with jacuzzis on the deck!  Seriously.  The views appear to be phenomenal from up there, but I have my trepidations.
PLEK!  Always a great vibe, good music and friendly people.  Love it.  Beach!


A great day out and super fun on my little boat.  Like it?

16 June, 2015

GUERRILLA GAMES: Horizon Zero Dawn

Meet Aloy . . . 

Very early this morning I had the great pleasure to watch the reveal of Guerrilla Games' new franchise: Horizon Zero Dawn.  It was absolutely thrilling to be able to watch Sony Live at E3 from California along with all of the Guerrillas!  The game is stunning with a rich palette. 

Have a look and go full screen!

Horizon is described by Hermen Hulst, Managing Director of Guerrilla Games, as a "post-post apocalyptic open world action RPG where humans are no longer the dominant species and the machines now run the land."  

Watch this interview with Hermen to learn more about the game which is expected for release in 2016:

Congratulations Guerrilla Games!  

Horizon looks amazing and we cannot wait to play it!

*Image above courtesy Guerrilla Games.

23 April, 2015

NEW! The Harbour Club Kitchen

It's hard to believe it, but life just keeps getting better and better.  My husband always says, "You gotta get used to winning."  Well, today I was invited to the official opening of the Moet & Chandon Ice Imperial launch hosted by The Harbour Club Kitchen and I certainly felt like a winner.

This is basically a giant raised sandbox.

It was so nice outside that I couldn't resist a quick cycle ride in the sunshine for a sip of champagne and a sneak peak at this new establishment right on the water.  I wasn't sure what to expect when I got there as the invitation had read, "Casual Chique with a touch of white."  Right.  So, I wore white skinny jeans and a pale pink cotton sweater with my Pedro Garcia mesh sandals, of course. (Please don't tell my doc that I wore stilettos today.  See previous post.)

Well, Amsterdam has arrived Ladies & Gentlemen because everyone was totally decked out (not casual at all by the way, felt like I was back in L.A.!) and I started to suspect some stand-ins.  Well, I don't care because everyone looked fabulous and the D.J.'s made sure we all had a good vibe going, not to mention the pretty wait staff and trickster bartenders.

There was tons of champagne everywhere, even a giant bottle made of ice, with trays of salmon sushi and other delights floating around.  Great atmosphere and I particularly enjoyed tossing off my shoes, walking barefoot in the sand and hopping on the boat.  Yes, now we're living.  Met some fellow bloggers and the crew of the W.  Great fun! Thanks Cristina for joining me and taking my pic!

I will come back by boat when they officially open and check out the full menu and completed deck.  Thank you Moet & Chandon and The Harbour Club Kitchen for a great preview.

Harbour Club Kitchen  
Apollolaan 2
1077 BA Amsterdam

+31 20 570 57 31
Opening in three weeks!

Best Dressed


Cristina and I


Moet & Chandon, best served chilled.