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 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.
Taberna Dushi is another restaurant on the ever-popular Pannekoekstraat in Rotterdam. It serves up a unique mix of Caribbean and Mediterranean cuisine and is run by a couple – the husband is in the kitchen and the wife provides the service with a smile. They have a small menu with 14-16 small dishes or so and it is a tapas concept, so you order a bunch of things and share. This makes it a great place for casual dining with groups of people. The prices and the service are very friendly and the food is tasty, so we’ve been here many times in the past years. This time around I went with 5 friends and, as I frequently do, ordered too much food. (more…)
DiningCity, an online restaurant guide, organizes “Dining with the Stars” – a two week special event where you can eat at Michelin star restaurants for a reasonable price. You pay €59,50 for five courses at a 1 star restaurant, and add a €15 supplement per extra star at other restaurants. I think they organize this twice a year and we usually try to go at least once during those two weeks. This time we chose Fred, where we had been last year when it had only 1 star, but it now has 2 stars, so we were curious what the difference (read: improvement) would be. (more…)
We had heard about Eetlokaal Kuiter for quite a while and were excited to finally try it. An unpretentious restaurant in the west of Rotterdam with an open kitchen and a staff of only four – one in the kitchen, two serving, and one in clean up. They serve a three-course menu for 32 euros with four items to choose from for each course. It’s French bistro type of cooking with local sourced products. Pure, simple and flavorful food without unnecessary frills and not unimportant, the portions are quite generous, so you will not go home hungry. (more…)
Rotterdam has a new fancy food hall called Markthal; it houses all sorts of food stands and restaurants and we decided to try out Firma Pickles – Burgers & Wines as the name contains three things we like: pickles, burgers, and wine! I had walked by earlier that afternoon with a female friend of mine, D, and we had asked if we could make a reservation for that evening. One waiter said no, and then another waiter came up next to her, points at the first waiter and then plants a kiss on her cheek. She flinched backwards and I, too, was in shock at this extremely inappropriate gesture. The first waiter looked uncomfortable as well and slowly made his retreat. Unfortunately, my mind goes blank when completely unexpected things happen, so I didn’t come up with clever retorts until we walked away. Though I suppose a slap in the face would have been the best response. D was a bit sharper than me, my brain was still short circuiting when she said, “So can I get a reservation now?”, and we were told if we come back that night we would get a table. We scrubbed her cheek clean and lamented about the male chauvinistic society we live in, and went back later to try the damn burgers (and pickles and wines).
Another favorite of ours for a quick meal is Gamasot on the wonderful Pannekoekstraat, where you also find Beijing Bao. Gamasot is a small Korean restaurant with seating for only 20 people and a small menu of only 14 items. By now we’ve had everything on their menu and nothing has disappointed us so far. We keep coming back because the food is simply delicious.
My oyster craving had still not been satiated so we went looking for a seafood restaurant and wound up at Vis aan de Maas. This restaurant sits in an unusual area of Rotterdam (for restaurants), definitely not somewhere you accidentally walk by. Since the weather was nice and we were planning on drinking, we took the subway and made the error of letting me navigate us. For the record, I can read a map and follow instructions. I had simply entered the wrong address into my phone. A 10 minute walk turned into a 25 minute walk where we witnessed all sorts of street activity from a Rastafarian party to an adult on a tricyle that accompanied us for a good 5 minutes and told us not to cross the road when the light was red, safety first! Never a dull moment in Rotterdam. (more…)
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…)