In a relaxed, friendly and social atmosphere where casual dining with tasty comfort food to share, you are likely swing yourself into the dining mood at Café Cha Cha in no time, with a few pleasant surprises. mylifestylenews writes.
Amsterdam can seem like a very touristy city to some and if you are familiar with this city, you tend to avoid the high traffic tourist areas with touristy eat outs, but there are still quite a few hidden gems that are favorably hidden along those extremely main tourist precincts if you know where to find some great eateries or being well informed by the local experts for the missing bits, you will then leave the good hand to them for what’s next to come.
So we threw caution to the wind and headed to the Rokin, off the Damrak in Amsterdam Centraal to try out Café Cha Cha. Just when you thought you were about to step into a tourist trap, Café Cha Cha will give you pause for thought and is the perfect place for a light lunch or dinner, even more happening for late night supper as we were told by the owner, Mr. Sun, who has a very engaging personality and is passionate about running his own establishment in such a competitive area.
The name may sounds like a café cum dance place, yet according to the humble, soft spoken and polite Mr. Sun, it was named Café Cha Cha without any specific reasons but a fun, friendly and easy name for everyone to remember. Despite this, Café Cha Cha will turn into a proper evening bar with funky music playing for patrons to get into the groove with their house signature cocktails and crafted breweries from around the region.
Residing in a traditional old Dutch building that is over 500 years old, Café Cha Cha interior can be described as shabby chic, with treated concrete walls that have a rough paint finish that is very appealing. Walls are decorated with a lot of old vintage artwork, framed photos and posters that on closer inspection are very attractive with eye-catching images and a great deal of humour.
The ceiling is pressed tin and the long mirror bar and countertop runs the full length of the café with a wide selection of beers on tap and liquors well organized on display. A good mix of high tables with stools and traditional tables overall, it has a very friendly unpretentious cozy cool vibe. Parquet flooring adds some warmth along with throw cushions on the window seats and alfresco seating is the most popular by demand during summer.
Arty whimsical interior settings may easily move and shift your mood as the day progresses, as it stay open until the wee small hour on the weekend and they up the amp factor for music later in the day, but kick off at 11am with soft, easy listening music. Café Cha Cha focuses on simple yet well cooked elevated café slash bar snack food and platters as well as quick bites where Mr. Sun manages the kitchen by himself to ensure his food is delivered with that umami flavour.
<Chicken Wings with House Marinade>
Whole fat chicken wings marinade in house secret sauce that are lightly deep fired, resulting in a very crispy skin that is not oily. These wings are so meaty and with a lightly burnt finish which is to be savoured. This is perfect café food that goes well with a beer. A warm and great start over our lunch!
The perfectly judged hearty soup that is redolent of ripe, fresh tomatoes and a thick consistency…..the perfect tonic for a wintry day!
A generous portion of meat and combination of mixed lettuce, tomato, arugula, red onions, sesame and tossed with the tender grilled beef in teppanyaki sauce which is another wholesome dish to order. A simple salad that punches well above its weight with beautifully tender cubes of meat that are so tasty. Simplicity at it best and utterly delicious!
<Spareribs with House Marinade>
Absolutely delicious flavor and cooked to perfection, with the meat falling apart (no knife needed). The house marinade is spot on and this is no question being their house special and highly recommended by Mr. Sun.
Indian Pale Ale and Affligem
This is also known as “the fill your stomach dish” but is a classic Dutch dish that is executed brilliantly with fries, sweet potato fries, pulled chicken, sambal, cheddar, cucumber, tomato lettuce, pickled onions and mayonnaise. A truly Dutch experience with a guilty pleasure!
<Red Velvet Cake>
Who can go past this classic dessert and this rendition is worth tasting. Not as light as some, but very satisfying even for a post dinner snack over another beer or a glass of wine to complete the night out.
The food falls into that category of bar “categorized” food in a roundabout way, but the flavours and quality of ingredients are very elevated, so must be enjoyed. As previously mentioned, the perfect accompaniment is beer and they have a few good ones to consider, which we could not help but enjoy the India Pale Ale and Affligem. While tourists discover Café Cha Cha by chance, the locals should reacquaint themselves with this hangout, as the quality of Café Cha Cha’s cooking is certainly more than just regular bar snacks, as well as with a great price that will surprise you!
Tried & Tested:
Design & Decor: 4.5/5
Food & Beverage: 4.5/5
Value For Money: 5/5
1012 KM Amsterdam
1012 KM Amsterdam
Tel: +31 62 663 2534
Reviews are based on actual day of visit and experience. mylifestylenews reserves the right of final decision in case of any disputes. All images are photographed by mylifestylenews team without any photoshop enhancement and are the property owned by mylifestylenews unless otherwise stated.