Monday, 11 March 2013

Eating my way across Europe: Rotterdam

Now don't laugh. But I love Dutch food and I love going to the Netherlands for work.

My love for Dutch food goes beyond the famous fries in a paper cone served with mayo. My love of Dutch cuisine is a deep love of fusion food...and great service, since the Dutch are the kings (and queens) of trade which seems to have carried through into their service-oriented ways.

Last week, I went to Rotterdam with three things in mind: cheese, pie and rijstafel. I guess I also had some professional stuff mixed in there, but it was definitely secondary.

When we got there, we had lunch at Café Sijf, a nice little café in the center of the city. The sandwich was nice, the bar was very cool and the pie was decent.

After our meeting the second day, I dragged my co-worker to Café Dudok for the best apple pie in the world (my husband calls it the kick ass apple pie). I promise to share my recipe for it in my new food blog (coming soon!).
Anyway, the restaurant has a cool industrial style and the most amazing pie. And don't forget the slagroom (whipped cream).

I then dragged him to Indonesia Restaurant for rijstafel, the original fusion food and my absolute favorite thing to eat. EVER. We had an assortment of 23 dishes, a mix of Dutch and Indonesian. It was delicious, spicy and just plain amazing.

We rolled ourselves back to the Hotel Emma (decent, central and good breakfast).

After our meeting the next day, we hit the cheese shop. The French are too proud of their cheese to admit that their northern neighbors also have an amazing cheese tradition. I brought back a chunk of goat cheese with nettles and aged cheese with cumin. Normally, I would have bought more, but I already had some italian and english cheese in my fridge...a girl has to be reasonable sometimes!

Before boarding the train, I managed to grab a few packs of stroopwafels and hagelslaag (which the Dutch put on their buttered toast in the morning) for the kids.

The one thing I didn't manage to escape was the bad lunch replete with skimpy sandwiches and the traditional glass of buttermilk. I can tell you that when you're having that kind of lunch at an international meeting - English, Irish, French, etc - every one is a bit shocked and concerned by the pitcher of milk placed in the center of the table.

And here I am, sitting in the snow back in Lille looking forward to a big steak with stinky cheese for lunch. Yum.


Tracey said...

Yummy! Everything sounds delicious! I´ll be keeping these places/food in mind in case I ever travel to Rotterdam!!

Michelle James said...

Hi Reb,

I am a Producer on the US travel show House Hunters International. I found your website when looking for expats who might be interested in being a part of the show, I hope you don't mind me contacting you?

I thought I would reach out to see if you or anyone you know might be interested in taking part in House Hunters International?! Ideally they should be outgoing and fun, aged under 45 and have bought a property within the last few years or are renting a property.

House Hunters International is a half-hour TV show currently airing on the Home and Garden Television Network (HGTV) in America. The series is designed to de-mystify the international home-buying / renting process, by going behind the scenes of a house hunt where expats and their real estate agents tour 3 homes. At its core, House Hunters International is a travel show concentrating on the idiosyncrasies of the locales and what makes them special and different.

Here are some examples of the show that you can watch on Youtube: - Barcelona from LA - Vienna from California – Panama from Pennsylvania

Please do get in touch if you or anyone you know may be interested in the show.

Best wishes,


Michelle James
1-3 St Peter's Street, London N1 8JD - +44 20 7704 3300

Reb said...

Tracey, definitely worth the apple pie! Yum !

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