Julius Jaspers is one of the Netherlands’ most famous food personalities, having presented TV shows, and written numerous cookbooks. Together with one of Amsterdam’s most successful restaurateurs, Bert van der Leeden, he created Julius Bar & Grill, located in the vibrant Pijp area.
The idea of opening a grill restaurant came after years of travelling around the world. Jaspers had realised that there was nothing like it in the Netherlands, and set out to create this restaurant focusing entirely on cooking over fire. The slick design has the grill station as the centrepiece of the dining room, with the chefs cooking on “green eggs” and conventional barbeques. The smoky smell in the air wets your appetite, and gives you an idea of the food about to come: gutsy, unapologetic comfort food.
Whilst it would be easy to think of the Southern USA, when it comes to grilled cuisine, the cooking here draws inspiration from Jaspers’ travels around the world. Pork belly is served with nuoc mam sauce and pickled cucumber, giving you the feeling of being in Vietnam. An American inspired-dish is the pulled pork served with croutons. The meat is succulent and perfectly seasoned, far from the dry, salty renditions one often sees.
Our favourite dish at Julius Bar & Grill, however, are the spareribs. Cooked to perfection, the smoky, meaty, sweet/savoury glaze makes these downright addictive. With food as tasty and well prepared as this, the restaurant lives up to the billing and serves something no one else is doing in Amsterdam thus far.
The one issue we have is the service, which can at times be overwhelmed. At capacity, it feels like the team is unable to cope with the large number of guests, making the dining experience a little less slick than it could be. That being said, given the fair prices, and good food, we can easily live with such minor issues.