Famous Chinese family business
TEXT: JULIËN L’ORTYE | PHOTOS © EAT MODE
You would expect that taking over a company like the well-known Amsterdam-based Nam Kee restaurants would be more than enough to start with, right? Well, for brothers Cliff and Polo Chan, the opposite appeared to be the case as they decided to open Eat Mode in the same year. “Of course we didn’t just take over the restaurants at once. It went quite gradually,” Cliff explains. “And our father is still giving us very useful advice.” The reason they started with EatMode is quite simple: while NamKee is focused solely on the Cantonese cuisine, Cliff and Polo strongly felt the desire to create a place where different influences could meet. That is exactly what Eat Mode is, a restaurant where Thai, Chinese, Japanese and even the relatively unknown Macanese cuisine come together.
Not only does the menu vary a great deal from the one at Nam Kee, the audience is quite different too. Cliff tells us: “Our guests are younger and more international. A bit more open minded actually.” Being open minded is something that can come in handy, with a ramen burger on the menu for example. Although ramen is something that is typically Japanese, the burger moved over from the United States and was noticed by Cliff while surfing the web.
According to him, Eat Mode is the only place in the Dutch capital that serves this burger. Apparently, it was quite a struggle to figure out how to make it work. “Ramen is not something that can be easily kept together. It is like string, you know,” he laughs. With such an interesting dish on the menu and being located within a 15-minute walk from the central station, there are no excuses to avoid this interesting little place in the Dutch capital.