Edition 18 May 2017, by Cathy Leung (tweets @cathycentral)
For a while, I had seen various good reports about Dignita in Oud Zuid, Amsterdam, but I had resisted checking it out for myself for the silly reason that the name reminded me of the euthanasia organisation in Switzerland. Well, it jolly well serves me right that I have been missing out all this time; Dignita is a very fine brunch spot and I cannot wait to return.
I have Amsterdam Foodie (@amsterdamfoodie) to thank for persuading me to try Dignita. She has a blogpost on top child-friendly restaurants and we were looking for just that one Sunday not so long ago. My husband, my 1½-year-old and I arrived just before noon, thinking that would be early enough but it was so popular there was already 20-minute wait for a table. No worries, we got ourselves a pre-brunch coffee from a neighbouring cafe in the meantime. Once back at Dignita we shared a big table with another young family and let our kids run havoc in the bijou kids’ play area.
I tucked into my my Salmon Royale with relish (not literally, it was served with apple cider hollandaise) and enjoyed plenty of hot smoked salmon and two poached eggs, though the potato rosti, was a little too crunchy for my tastes. The kids’ option, ‘Eggy’ boasted homemade bread, but sadly it was fried and our usually bread-loving son left it untouched. But the big story of our brunch was that our toddler’s scrambled eggs were so tasty that he was completely oblivious to his dad’s American Pancakes Stack which really had the wow-factor. Fluffy, not shy of maple-syrup and decorated with fruit and toasted almonds, the pancakes were a good example of Dignita’s special flair. The added poppy seeds and lavender crème are a great touch. The family next to us both had the Zucchini and Chickpea Fritters which looked like a pretty nutritious option. With the added avocado and minted yoghurt: I was green with envy. “Next time!” I told myself (but then again the homemade crumpets also sound awesome.)
What I also liked about Dignita is that the staff were genuinely friendly and interested in being helpful. The service was fast and efficient even when there were local obstacles like wandering toddlers to negotiate. They also had (all-too-rare for Amsterdam) nappy changing facilities, albeit down some stairs. I didn’t mind, it was my husband’s turn. If you aren’t sold on the child-friendly aspect, there’s an imaginative cocktail menu if you prefer your brunches boozy. Dignita also opens at 08:30am which is good to know – there aren’t that many decent coffee places open that early. They have a new branch on the other side of town if that’s more convenient. All their profits go to Not For Sale (a social initiative) hence their mote: Eat Well Do Good.