Rotterdam Eating Out Series – Part I

This entire weekend was spent in walking the city and gawking like a typical tourist at things like shiny red clogs in a shop window, the famed cube houses, beautiful street cafes and the Blaak (main street, two blocks down our house) Saturday market.

I wish I had my camera with me when we went shopping at the Blaak market. It was a veritable sight for sore eyes. Garam masala and “madras curry” masala were jostling for shelf space next to asparagus, cherries, etc. Basically, everything from the mundane to the exotic to the nonsensical (used toilet brushes, anyone?) were there. And the shops selling cheese! oooh how I wish I had an oven.

But it was when I set eyes on the seafood counters that I really breathed a sigh of relief. Yes, now I can call this place home.

After the shopping on Saturday and a lot of touring on Sunday, we took a breather at one of the beautiful cafes that lined up in front of the city hall at Steadhuis, a commercial area in Rotterdam. The Dutch believe in opening only for lunch on the weekends and most restaurants have a limited “Lunchkaart” or lunch menu on display. We stopped at a cafe called “Lets go back to the 70’s and 80’s”, that was belting out Abba and Buffalo Soldier from the speakers.

Pancakes and Spanish Omelette

What I had:

Pancakes with cheese (called kaas here) and bacon, served with caramel syrup!! Why you ask? I don’t know myself. And I didn’t venture to try the syrup with the pancakes. Next time, when I’m feeling adventurous maybe.

What he had:

Spanish stuffed omelet served with sliced bread and a salad on the side, with beer (““How refreshing, how Heineken”). Very much on the bland side, and had to be fortified with lots of salt and pepper.

Here’s a look at the cafes in the street of Studhuis:

Street cafes

Don’t you love the alfresco dining concept? and particularly street cafes? I am a sucker for open air dining. Here’s a click of a cafe along the Maas river:

River-side cafe

Rotterdam from an initial look, comes accross as a city with diversity. There are several Indian restaurants, at least 50% of which have the word Taj in their names, but from ethnic communities, Chinese dominates, followed by Japanese cuisine. The Dutch themselves don’t have much of a cuisine culture, but have an inexhaustible love for potato fries, or frites as they are called here. They are sold at every corner, with every sauce and dip conceivable. Maybe I should make frites the next subject of this series. Hmm.

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