Dertien and Yama 1 year celebration, Rotterdam


When I heard that two of my favorite places in town were getting together to organize a birthday party, I made sure to keep an eye out for reservations to become available, and when they did, I hesitated not.
So this all played out about a month ago when Dertien and the eponymous Japanese cuisine Yama organized their first birthday party. As I’ve written before, Dertien and Japanese cuisine Yama have a history together, since Dertien’s chef/owner Pepijn Schmijnk used to own Eendracht, which closed in 2013. Pepijn’s friend Yama subsequently took over that space about a year ago to open his own place, and Pepijn and his team opened Dertien around the same time, further down the road.
Dertien and Yama have joined forces for one-off events before. Most recently ‘Ramen night’, during the international film festival with their showing of the Japanese culinary classic ‘Tampopo’. And even earlier, they organised ‘Eendracht goes Japan’, where they did a kaiseki style dinner. This time around, it was going to be izakaya style, of course heavily influenced by local ingredients.


Sugo, Rotterdam


You may be thinking, what? More pizza? Well yes… more pizza. What can I say, we like pizza. Last summer we were in Naples, the birthplace of pizza, and went on a two day pizza binge. Anyway, we walked past Sugo when we were on our way to Grand Garden for dim sum. We weren’t looking for pizza, but pizza found us. The Roman pizza al taglio style square cut pieces of pizza lured us away from the dim sum and into Sugo. (more…)

Rocco’s Pizza, Scheveningen

Rocco's Pizza - Interior

We were looking for a pizza place in the Hague or Scheveningen when Google suggested Rocco’s Pizza. Their website is seemingly permanently under construction, so no info there, but the reviews on Iens and TripAdvisor were so positive we had to give it a try. Rocco’s Pizza is a low-profile, casual, and unpretentious Italian restaurant. It seems the place was first an Italian wine dealer that transformed itself into a restaurant with a small menu. Pizzas, pastas, a small selection of antipasti, some meat and fish dishes, desserts, and a huge selection of wine is what you can get. The best kept secret of Scheveningen? Perhaps. And we’re outing it… (more…)

Ontbijtbar, Rotterdam


Last Sunday we finally got around to trying Ontbijtbar, which translates to Breakfast bar. This hipster joint near central station opened up a year or so ago and serves breakfast 7 days a week, open from early in the morning till late afternoon. We had walked by several times before but it was usually coming from, on our way to, a restaurant. Last time one of the chefs was standing outside having a smoke as we perused the menu in the window, and he proudly told us we should come in and try it, “it’s really good!” We had just had burgers and fries so we promised next time, next time… (more…)

In De Wulf, Dranouter – Belgium

In De Wulf

I feel a bit nervous writing this post. Can I capture in words how amazing this dinner was? Will I do it justice? Words will never compare to actually experiencing it, smelling the wood fire which permeates your clothing, breaking the freshly baked bread and inhaling the beautiful sourdough scent before lathering it with homemade butter and a tiny pinch of salt. When bread and butter are perfection, you know the rest of dinner will be too, or at the very least close to it. So if you ever need a weekend getaway, I strongly suggest going to In De Wulf. You may have to plan ahead though, we made our reservations 6 months in advance…  (more…)

Drovers dog, Amsterdam

kangaroo sign

I was visiting a friend in Amsterdam and we decided to go out for lunch. We needed a child-friendly place nearby (south side of Amsterdam) as my friend has a 17 month old toddler. He suggested Drovers dog, an Australian restaurant that does lunch and dinner. Shamefully uninspired jokes ensued and I was secretly disappointed when the menu didn’t have ‘shrimp on the barbie’ on it. Now I do have to say, there wasn’t much Australian about this place. The menu features items like cajun chicken wraps – sounds American, and breakfast cassoulet – sounds French. But then, what is Australian cuisine? Kangaroo meat, pavlova, and vegemite?  (more…)

Restaurant De Jong, Rotterdam

De Jong - sign

Restaurant De Jong, where the chef works exclusively with seasonal vegetables and even picks the ingredients by hand from nature. We had heard very positive things about this place before, and were even encouraged by a complete stranger to try it out. When we had dinner at Kuiter, we stood outside ready to leave and started chatting with one of the other guests who had come out for a smoke. We were all raving about the dinner we just had and he told us that he had a similarly great evening at De Jong a few weeks earlier. It took a while, but we finally got around to trying it out a few weeks ago on a Friday night. Would our high expectations be met?  (more…)

Grand Garden, Rotterdam

Grand Garden

I started a new job three weeks ago. After a 10 week sabbatical, yes let’s call it that, working full time and having to commute for an hour each morning and again in the afternoon/evening has been quite the adjustment. The result has been not writing blog posts, passing out from exhaustion in the evenings, and going full-blown couch potato in the weekends. Cooking meals seems like a thing of the past. When you both get home at 7pm you want food instantly, so you either make something really simple or you get take out. So much take out… But we did manage to go out for lunch and dinner, I just hadn’t found the time to write about it. The lunch we had that was worth a blogpost was at Grand Garden, a dim sum restaurant in the center of Rotterdam, in the NH hotel. It has gotten rave reviews and is always filled with Chinese people, so on a lazy Sunday afternoon, we peeled ourselves off the couch, and headed over there. (more…)

Truki Pan, Curaçao

Truki pan - BBQ Express

Back in the day when we went out on Curaçao, one of the things I always looked forward to most was after the party, after the drinks… that hot fried, crunchy, chewy, spicy, saucy mess in a Styrofoam box. See, on Curaçao, as with any food loving culture, they know that what one needs, really needs, after a night of alcoholic debauchery, is something to eat. Something good. The late-night dining and street food scene on the island is dominated by food trucks called truki pan, short for trùk di pan, which translates to sandwich truck. In the past, these trucks used to only sell sandwiches, hence the name, but pretty soon fries were added with a variety of grilled meats or seafood. When night time hits, the neon lights on the truki pans shine bright as a beacon for the hungry… calling.


The Butcherclub, Rotterdam

The Butcherclub

The Butcherclub, with a name like this it was only a matter of time before we tried it out. This restaurant is basically a steakhouse that opens only for lunch, what a wonderful idea! So we went early on a Friday afternoon, arriving at about noon. And thank goodness we did because 30 minutes later the place was packed and there were even people having lunch standing. You can make reservations, so I would suggest doing that, especially if you come with more than two people. It’s a very small restaurant, quite cozy, and all the tables are high bar-like tables with barstools. But we’re not there to look at the interior, we came for steak! (more…)