Vegan Surinamese restaurant located between De Pijp and Amsterdam Oud-Zuid. Focuses on classic dishes from the Afro-Surinamese cuisine like pom, moksi alesi etc. Offers also high-tea.
“Nothing comes ahead of its time,” her mother used to say. Cooking has always been Diana Gambier’s passion and already twelve years ago she was making plans to start a food business herself. But after she left her office job the moment was there. She opened The Old Soul March 2022.
Diana moved from Surinam to the Netherlands 35 years ago. Cooking means for her togetherness, enjoyment and community. “I want to tell the story of the Afro-Surinamese cuisine. Dishes like Moksi Alesi or Her Heri, how did they originate? To me this is important, because it is part of my culture and my background. Not everyone knows what happened in those times and I want to tell that story.”
In the 17th century the Netherlands colonized Surinam and brought enslaved persons from West Africa, to work at the plantations. So certain dishes and ingredients from West Africa became a part of the Surinamese cuisine, which is a melting pot of cuisines due to all the different people and cultures coexisting in Surinam nowadays.
Anything can be veganised
Diana found out a while ago she is lactose intolerant, so she got used to eating vegan. Also what is known as soulfood is not always good for the soul, as it includes many unhealthy animal ingredients. This shaped her determination to focus on the many colourful plant-based options which already exist in the Afro-Surinamese cuisine. “Anything can be veganised”, Diana emphasizes.
Surinamese high tea
On the menu are dishes like Caribbean dumplings, podosiri (açai) bowl and various pita sandwiches: with pom, tempeh, rendang, jackfruit ‘codfish’ and more. Other dishes are available on specific days of the week: her heri, moksi alesi, pepre watra, pom etc. So just have a look on the menu to see what’s available on which day. Also to read the stories of the various dishes!
For sweets they offer Bojo (cassava cake), raw advocado cake and vegan pastry from Majesteit Taart, (Javastraat) which is run by Diana’s daughter.
They also offer a special high tea called Sranan Sweet Tea! Which included vegan scones, pastries and various snacks and drinks. Make sure to reserve two days in advance.
The restaurant attracts people from all different backgrounds. Within the Surinamese community many young people are already interested in a responsible lifestyle. Older Surinamese people who are used to cook with meat are initially hesitant, but when they try the food they often get convinced.
There is plenty of seating inside, and a few tables outside as well. The food is also available for delivery.
The Old Soul is located at Hobbemakade, Oud-Zuid. Just next to neighbourhood De Pijp, tram- and metrostops are nearby.