Looking for a quick lunch in downtown Rotterdam? We chose De Falafel, which is situated right outside the metro station Beurs. It’s a tiny place with only 5 seats as most people get their falafel to go. The falafel here is freshly made – there is a bowl of batter and the lady behind the counter uses an ice cream scoop to portion and place the falafels in the hot oil. The result is crispy falafels with great flavor. (more…)
Little over a year ago I attended the umami event at the Rotterdam World food festival, where professor Ole G. Mouritsen gave a presentation about umami, complemented with food prepared by chef Pepijn Schmeink (at the time chef/owner at Eendracht, now at Dertien) and chef Yamamoto or Yama for short. We had some interesting dishes at the hands of the chefs, but one dish in particular really blew my mind: chef Yama’s sushi. Perfectly balanced flavours and textures. Hands down the best I’d ever had.
So, when I heard that chef Yama was opening his own place I knew we had to go. In fact, we actually went the very first day the restaurant was opened in February, and have returned many times since. (more…)
Last night I had dinner with my two favorite buddies, Boaz and Dion, at Gauchos Grill. The boys wanted steak, so steak was to be had! As expected, the conversation was ridiculous and I wondered how long it would take for the restaurant to kick us out. Fortunately, the loud chatter from other tables and the constant sssstttt of meat being grilled over an open flame meant no one could really hear us. (more…)
Looking for dinner on a Friday night without having made reservations is always tricky. Do you wait in line for at least an hour at the popular spots or try something new? My friend A and I were standing out in the cold and rain and across the road was Chili Time, a Thai restaurant we had seen before but never tried. A quick check online gave mixed reviews, but mostly positive, so we went ahead and gave it a try. With a name like Chili Time, and a bunch of chilis depicted on the menu (the usual 1 to 3 chilis for spiciness level), we were expecting some serious heat. Well… not so much.
We were looking for a simple yet good dinner for this Wednesday night and came across L’Entrecote Museumpark. A place that does one thing, and one thing only, the iconic French steak frites. They write in their menu that they have taken the concept from the Parisian Le Relais de Venise – L’Entrecote and brought it to Rotterdam. Another comparison could be made with Le Relais de L’Entrecote, which we have been to, and has three restaurants in Paris. The reviews online were very positive so we had high hopes and, thankfully, weren’t disappointed. (more…)
We spent our second night in Frýdek-Místek at Staročeská bašta, a Czech cuisine restaurant. It also had pizza, burgers and buffalo wings, but for the most part, authentic Czech food. Czech cuisine is very meat-based, and in particular pork is abundant. Do not order fish in this country! The meals are the kind that will sustain you through a long winter, so heavy and with lots of carbs. A staple is the dumpling (knedlíky), which is wheat or potato based. The wheat ones are steamed and then sliced like bread, and have a strong resemblance to the Chinese mantau (steamed bun). So perusing the menu I was looking for something with pork and dumplings… (more…)
This is my fourth and final work visit to Frýdek-Místek in the past six months. Wondering where that is? It is a tiny town in the Czech Republic, population 60,000, and perhaps 30 minutes from Ostrava. It used to be two independent towns, Frýdek and Místek, divided by the Ostravice River. But then the prince of Frýdek fell in love with the princess of Místek and they united the two towns. That is obviously a blatant lie, but it makes for a better story than the truth, which is that the Nazis forced the towns to merge during the occupation in WWII. Enough of the history lesson, because this is where it gets weird. There are a lot of Koreans in this town. In a big city this would, of course, not be weird. But this is Frýdek-Místek! The very first time I travelled here I immediately noticed the large amount of Korean men on the flight. What are they doing here, I wondered. Turns out the answer was simple, there’s a Hyundai factory nearby. And then came the gem: where there are Koreans, there are Korean restaurants. So I go to Restaurant Benu every time I’m here. Last night my predictability in food choice was proven when a colleague that lives here decided to try to find us without calling and here was his reasoning process: they’re out for dinner. There’s two likely places, the Irish pub or the Korean. Selma is with them. They are at the Korean. (more…)
Where do 7 people go out to dinner on a Monday night? You may have noticed that a lot of restaurants are closed on Mondays, making it difficult to find a place to go. We went to Red Pepper: a Szechuan (or Sichuan) and hotpot restaurant. We’ve been to the hotpot part once, and it’s pretty good but we prefer the restaurant section. This was our third visit to the restaurant and when we’re feeling too lazy to leave the house we get delivery from here. They’ve recently expanded their delivery menu to include their more special dishes, and if you call and ask, they’ll usually let you take away (or deliver to your doorstep) most anything from their regular menu.
It was unseasonably warm last week, so on a whim, my friend D and I decided to enjoy the last summer rays by having lunch on the terrace of Brasserie Stadhuis. Three courses and two and a half hours later we stumbled home for a nap before continuing the evening at cocktail bar Level.
There are several places where you can have a good brunch in Rotterdam. We frequently visit Picknick. This place, with its distinct hipster yet unpretentious vibe, is always busy, especially in the weekends, so get there early. During peak lunch hours you’ll probably have to wait for a table or get squished between several people at their long picnic tables. There’s more room in the summer because they open up the terrace in the back, but that just means more people will come. (more…)