amsterdam: yokiyo restaurant opening

© yokiyo - upstairs dining area with a view of amsterdam's oldest structure

the intoxicated stag party males who wander around amsterdam's red light district are more and more becoming an anomaly. attracted by It's seedy reputation, they've clearly missed out on the neighbourhood's gradual transformation towards an image that's a tad more dignified. the sex trade is still there but a redevelopment project launched by the city council has seen new businesses pop up that decidedly appeal to a different demographic. a recent arrival is yokiyo, a korean restaurant that has quickly gained a following among gourmets. the place is owned by new zealand transplant jaymz poolz and domingo atsma and tim doornewaard, two ethnic koreans who were adopted as infants by dutch families.

no stranger to asian flavours, poolz heads yokiyo's kitchen whereas the latter two - equally food-focused and driven - manage the place and see the venture as a proud tribute to their ethnic background. located in a historic canalside mansion across from and with a clear view of oude kerk, amsterdam's oldest building, the restaurant interior is a subtle blend of old and new. specific original elements have been retained but yokiyo's aesthetic framework is modern and is notably accentuated by the differently shaped steel light fixtures. guests enter the premises by a staircase that leads them to the basement where an elongated bar awaits them. in the back section a comunal dining section is situated from where all the action in the open kitchen can be watched.

one floor up the décor couldn't be more different. the voluminous space is occupied by round wooden tables with a built-in barbecue system and air extraction pipes ingeniously hovering over them. near the window secluded booths and smaller tables are available for a more private dining experience. yokiyo isn't just about korean food but also about sharing what's on the plate. the basement section features à la carte and set chef's menu options with a wide variety of authentic dishes and side dishes, while upstairs guests can choose from a varied barbecue menu. obviously, the range of drinks is extensive and includes korean liquids such as soju. amsterdam-based creative agency cloudfactory signed for the cool branding that ties everything in. yokiyo also serves lunch [noon-3pm] and also hosts a monthly late night event at the downstairs bar. location: oudezijds voorburgwal 67 [centrum].

© yokiyo - second floor and basement bar [top and bottom].