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…)

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…)

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.


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…)

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…)

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…)

Tai Wu, Rotterdam

tai wu

My friend and I were looking for a quick dinner on a Monday night, and decided on Tai Wu – a Cantonese dim sum restaurant in downtown Rotterdam. M had lived in Rotterdam for many years and to my surprise, had never been to Tai Wu. It’s a shame we weren’t with more people as there are many dishes here that I enjoy, and the more people you eat with, the more you can order. I managed to restrain myself, settling on a few favorites, and our doggy bag after dinner was of very modest size.


Umami by Han, Rotterdam


Umami by Han is a chain of restaurants in several cities in the Netherlands, and is part of the Han Group which has a Michelin star restaurant, HanTing, in the Hague. It is a trendy social dining restaurant that does Asian-French fusion. The concept works this way: everyone gets to order about 6 dishes on the menu (2 per course), and the dishes are then shared with everyone at the table. To be honest, just sounds like tapas to me, but I guess if we call it ‘social dining’ it’s fancier. Also, isn’t dining usually social? Anyway, for the relatively low price of €21.95, you can have a three course meal. The place had been getting good reviews, and their restaurant in Eindhoven even made the Bib Gourmand list, so we were eager to try it.