Get Together at SAAM

SAAM (SA and AMsterdam) means “together” in Afrikaans, making it the perfect name for Margot Janse’s South Africa-inspired culinary collaboration in the Netherlands.

Great taste knows no borders. So, when renowned South African executive chef Margot Janse, top Dutch sommelier Koen van der Plas, Henk Jan Beltman and Jasper Hermans combined their impressive experience (including several Michelin stars) to create SAAM restaurant in the Netherlands, it was bound to be a gastronomical success.

Informal luxury

This exciting new culinary concept brings people together to enjoy the finest South African and Dutch cuisine in an intimate, relaxed setting. And what’s wonderful about this spot, is that while the cuisine and wine is top-class, the atmosphere is decidedly down to earth.

“Everyone should feel at ease from the first moment they step into SAAM restaurant,” Margot Janse told Eat Out. “We leave out the formal atmosphere without making concessions to the experience.

SAAM’s glass entrance resembles a conservatory, welcoming the visitor inside with views of the beautiful interior furnished with art, fabrics and furniture from various South African artists and designers. The colours are rich, with touches of African fabric creating gem-like accents that will have every South African feeling quite at home.

“All the materials used, from glassware to furniture, are of the highest quality and are presented in a modest way so that guests can enjoy themselves in an unforced manner,” said Janse. Attention has been paid to every detail and while the space is classy, it’s entirely unpretentious. “We wanted to create a restaurant without too much fuss, where people feel at home,” she adds.  

The space includes a lounge terrace with a seated area and berth. It offers seating to 46 guests on the ground floor, including a Chef’s Table for eight guests. The upstairs bar can seat another 18 guests for those who enjoy all-day wining and dining.

"Everyone should feel at ease from the first moment they step into SAAM restaurant."

Margot Janse

An Mzansi-inspired menu

Although born and educated in the Netherlands, Janse has called South Africa home since the late eighties and her award-winning talent has seen her head up kitchens at the likes of the famous Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français in Franschhoek, where she was executive chef for 21 years. Her love of travel and global cuisine has encouraged her to push boundaries in the kitchen, and so SAAM seems like a natural next step. Janse will remain in South Africa, bringing inspiration to her menu, and work virtually with the Netherlands’ team, while also flying over several times a year.

Janses's love of travel and global cuisine has encouraged her to push boundaries in the kitchen at SAAM Restaurant Netherlands

And speaking of the menu, it’s enough to inspire you to book a ticket to Amsterdam pronto. Janse’s creations include delights such as Roebuck Paté en Croute, and Roast Lamb, finished off with Magnolia with Lemon and Blood Orange. To create this magnificent dessert, magnolias (a flower popular in South Africa) are steeped in milk to create a delicious ice-cream before being paired with the tangy citrus combo. Goat, granadilla and suurvygie (sour figs) are among the typically South African ingredients. The entire menu is served “SAAM sharing style”, adding to the relaxed vibe.

The SAAM ethos

The SAAM team is constantly looking for authenticity in ingredients, people, and suppliers. They source traceable and honest ingredients which, combined with its sustainable way of working, contribute to a responsible and relaxed restaurant experience.

Giving back SAAM-style

SAAM also restaurant improves lives in South Africa by supporting the charity, Isabelo ‘Feeding Hungry Minds’, which was founded by Margot Janse herself and provides daily nutritious meals for under-privileged school children. The restaurant will also support the HomePlan Foundation through the wine label, NoHouseWine, that builds houses in South Africa.

The seating at SAAM restaurant Netherlands is relaxed and welcoming

A winning recipe

Janse and her team has ensured that South African flavour is strong in everything from the food to the décor, and the restaurant is already winning fans. SAAM was named Highest Newcomer of the Year in the Gault & Millau 2023 guide with 14.5|20 points and two chef’s hats.

“I feel very privileged to be able to share my love for the country of my choice with the country of my birth,” Janse told Eat Out. “SAAM restaurant consists of a fantastic team of professionals. We are all equally excited and inspired for this next journey!”

Find out more at and follow SAAM restaurant on Instagram via @saamrestaurantFacebook and LinkedIn.

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