I was still coming down from my ramen-high in Amstelveen when we noticed a new restaurant on the West-Kruiskade in Rotterdam, SET Noodle & Hotpot it is called. A ramen shop! Could it be? We were standing out front sharing a Johnny cake and kroket from Toko Nobo (across the road), looking in, and thought, why not, let’s try this new place. (more…)
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…)
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.
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…)