Asia in Amsterdam

by MSX Resource Center on 23-12-2003, 23:00

With all those MSX users flying off to Japan lately, I thought it would be nice to find some nice Japanese / MSX related places in my own town to spend some time at and share the good places with you. Because most places that contain some Japanese culture also contain stuff from other Asian countries (China, Korea and Thailand to name a few) "Asia in Amsterdam" seemed more appropriate title than "Japan in Amsterdam". Still, my focus lies on Japanese culture, and each location must have at least some Japanese / MSX culture to be added to this report.

I called Robert Kersbergen (old MSX user, colleague and a good photographer) and asked him to help me make the photo shoots. Luckily he liked the idea and found some time to help me out. Because of the current weather situation in Holland, and the amount of locations we wanted to visit, this report will be continued later on. We will add more locations and photo’s when we find the time for it. If you live in the Netherlands and know some good places in the Randstad too, don´t hesitate to drop me a mail! We might visit them next time.

The Asian food store called "Oriental" was the first Asian super mart we went to (Oriental Enterprise Tong Fong Amsterdam B.V., De Flinesstraat 10, 1099CB Amsterdam). This store, from which you can see the main entrance on our first photo, is really huge. All kinds of Japanese products can be found here like Japanese Noodles (box with 30 packets for 11 euro), different Sake brands and of course lots of soy sauces. You need a "Makro" (whole sale mart) card or an "Oriental" card to get in. Luckily I had a Makro card with me. Inside Robert grabbed his camera out of his pocket. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take pictures by company rule.

Next stop was a kind of Asian mini Ikea, two shops further down the same road (Trading Company Holwha, De Flinesstraat 12 - 14, 1099CB Amsterdam). This store sells real Japanese and Chinese lampoons (prices starting at 14 euro), furniture, beds, rice cookers, professional Asian kitchen equipment, good fortune statues, toys, vases etc. Friendly people, we could take all the pictures we wanted.

There is another Asian food store three shops on the left called "Wah Nam Hong Superstore" (De Flinesstraat 18 1099 CC Amsterdam, Tel:020-4638833), officially you also need an access card to get in there, but this super mart doesn’t check this at all. Here we could also take all the pictures we wanted, and these pictures are the inside Asian super mart pictures you’ll find in the photo shoot. There were lots of Asian and Japanese products here as well, and for small prices compared to your local Asian food store.

Next stop was the shopping gallery "Gelderlandplein" near the Rai in Amsterdam. Here is the one and only Japanese and Korean food store called Shilla (Gelderlandplein 32-34, Amsterdam, 020-6428423). This shop sells instant/dried/frozen products, snacks, oils, tastemakers, chips, noodles, take away meals, marinated beef and salads to name a few. All Japanese or Korean. Very impressive. Not very cheap either. But fun and tasty! They also have a lot of Japanese cooking materials in their basement. After taking some photo’s of the store and the lovely ladies behind the counter we bought our dinner ingredients here and moved on to our next location.

The Japanese Okura Hotel (Ferdinand Bolstraat 333, 1072 LH Amsterdam, Tel. +31 (0)20-6787111) was our next location to visit. This high society hotel (double room prices starting at about 275 euro/night) features 4 restaurants (of which 3 are Japanese orientated) , a small underground shopping centre, including a Japanese bookshop (you could buy the Japanese MSX-FAN and MSX-Magazine’s here in the past), and a small Japanese super mart. We parked our car in the underground garage of the hotel and went in. Taking pictures here wasn’t a problem, probably because the shop owners where used to it. After reading some manga magazines we went to floor number 23, to visit the bar on top of the hotel. Unfortunately this bar was closed, so we took a Kirin beer in the lobby before we went off to cook our dinner. All in all it was a very nice day with lots of fun.

Next time we will try to visit some Japanese restaurants, a Japanese character store and some retro shops. Stay tuned!

You can have a look at the Asia in Amsterdam photo shoot here