In Den Rustwat, Rotterdam

In Den Rustwat - entrance

April 8, 2015, dinner at In Den Rustwat in Rotterdam. Do I even remember much about this dinner? Of course not, it was ages ago. But I have badly lit pictures and I even took notes, so let’s give it a shot. Subscribed readers may have noticed that the inebriated pig became the silent pig for a few months. But the pig is back. And the pig has a lot to share about restaurants in New York, Nashville, the Dordogne area of France (this will feature a lot of foie gras), and of course lots of things in Rotterdam. So let’s start with an oldie… In Den Rustwat.  (more…)

Lof der Zoetheid, Rotterdam

Lof der Zoetheid

Lof der Zoetheid is a well-known lunch spot in the North of Rotterdam. We had passed it several times on our way to markets or the giant kitchenware shop, Kookpunt, next door. We finally got around to trying it after being seated with the owners during Yama and Dertien’s Bday celebration. They insisted we stop by soon, and promised they would make room for us even if it was full. So we cashed in on that promise and headed over there on a Sunday. We called ahead to see if there were tables free as they don’t take reservations unless it’s for high tea or large groups. The lady on the phone paused, I’m assuming she did a quick scan of the shop, and told us there were still a few tables available, so we made our way over. (more…)

Lebanese Flower, Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi Lewa desert

We spent Easter break with friends in Abu Dhabi, and our first night was spent in a tent in the Lewa desert. The desert itself was a surreal experience, beautiful endless sand dunes, and no one around for miles. All we saw were camels, their dung, and of course dung beetles. We left the peace and quiet of the desert behind, washed the sand off of our bodies, and spent some time exploring both Abu Dhabi and Dubai, which could not be more different from the serenity of the desert. All that was left to remind us of that magical place was sand (which was everywhere!) and camel’s milk ice cream. Spoiler alert, it tastes like really sweet vanilla. But the city has a silver lining, and that is food options. So for one of our lunches, my friend brought us to Lebanese Flower, a restaurant chain that serves great Lebanese food. (more…)

New Orleans

New Orleans

Two and a half days is all I had in New Orleans, filled with meetings but with gaps in the schedule here and there so I could explore the city and try the food. I managed to fit four spots in, Johnny’s Po-Boys, Mr. B’s Bistro, Cochon Butcher, and Coop’s Place – covering an interesting spectrum of New Orleans fare. We stayed at the Intercontinental, right on the edge of the French Quarter, so everything was within walking distance. Arriving well past midnight, but with a free morning until after lunch, I had already planned where I would have my brunch that morning – Johnny’s Po-Boys. (more…)

Mogg and Melzer, Berlin

Mogg and Melzer - interior

We had read about a pastrami sandwich at a Jewish deli called Mogg and Melzer in Berlin that was, apparently, the bomb. We made our way over there and when our trusty phones told us we had arrived at the location we looked in confusion at the huge, uninviting brick building, where was this restaurant? A small, unassuming sign to the right of the door told us we had come to the right place. We opened the door and entered into the foyer of what was once the first Jewish girls’ school in Berlin, built in 1835. The building has since been renovated to become a Jewish cultural heritage site combining both art and gastronomy. And it is here that Mogg and Melzer is hidden away. (more…)

The Bird, Berlin

The Bird - menu

Berlin offers so many different food options you almost don’t know where to start. But one thing that would not be excluded from our list is burgers, proper good burgers. We’d been to Burgermeister several times but our friend promised us something even better this time, The Bird Berlin: “All burgers are made from 250+ grams of premium German beef. The quality is high enough that other places would serve it as steak, but here it goes through our grinder every day to become the best burger this side of the Atlantic. Grilled to order and served with our freshly hand-cut fries, lettuce, tomato, red onion and a homemade pickle.” We couldn’t wait!


Seinpost, Scheveningen

seinpost view

A business lunch in Scheveningen? I needed a view of the beach and boulevard, but most of the restaurants there are not really known for their culinary prowess. They’re places with loud music, half-naked people, deep fried finger foods, and cocktails. Not really what I was looking for, at least not for this occasion.  But then I stumbled upon Seinpost, a restaurant above the boulevard, with a beautiful view of the beach, and most importantly, a Michelin star. Yes, this will do nicely, table for four please! (more…)

Pho Hanoi, Rotterdam

Pho Hanoi - logo

There’s a Vietnamese sandwich place in Rotterdam called Boguette, which makes pretty good sandwiches. It wasn’t until we went to Vietnam that we fully realized that the sandwiches there aren’t very authentic at all, though still flavorful in their own way. A few months ago, some entrepreneurial Vietnamese made a very Asian move by opening up a new place right next to it. Competition! While ordering my inauthentic sandwich one day I asked one of the guys at Boguette if he knew his new neighbors, slightly disgruntled he replied, “No, we don’t know them at all. But I guess there’s nothing we can do about them opening next to us, that’s just market economics.” I asked if he would try the food and he replied that he didn’t want to out of principle. I then suggested it could be good for business to find out what the direct competition is doing. I don’t know if he ever did try it, but I sure did, on two different occasions in fact. And guess what, it’s pretty good and definitely more authentic. (more…)

Ishii and Tanuki, Amstelveen

Ishii chef

My friend works in Amstelveen and when we met up for lunch he surprised me by taking me to a Japanese restaurant. In fact there were several to choose from, right next to each other, specializing in different things. I said, “Well which one is good?” And he said, “They all are.” Huh? Why so many Japanese in Amstelveen? The answer is of course business. Apparently there are a couple of thousand Japanese people living in Amstelveen, which is basically a rich suburb of Amsterdam. This influx of Japanese business people and their families means that, fortunately for us, Japanese food was brought over as well. We had lunch twice in the past month and visited Ishii the first time, and Tanuki the second time. (more…)