Takumi Düsseldorf & Rotterdam ~ Japanese ramen in Germany

Finally. The time has come. That famous Takumi store from Düsseldorf, which also made its appearance in Rotterdam. Finally, I could eat the ramen I have craved for. Is it better than Rotterdam’s?
During the Düsseldorf food trip with Lazy Pinguin we recorded a food review video about the ramen at Takumi’s. I proudly present you my first food vlog, presented by Lazy Pinguin.

Let me know if you interested to see more videos like this. I really enjoyed making it, so probably you will see more of these 😛
That was Lazy Pinguin opinion about the food. I also have some stories about the two restaurants. So here is my take on the two restaurants and food.

Rotterdam versus Düsseldorf 

I went to Takumi Düsseldorf Rotterdam with Lazy Pinguin and Lazy Sloth (a new Lazy friend for you guys). The restaurant started 10 February 2017 in Rotterdam. I have always wanted to try Takumi ramen in Düsseldorf, after I had eaten at Naniwa. Their ramen was soso; very salty. So I was very happy to try Takumi first in Rotterdam.

We went on a Saturday around 14:00, it was not that busy, no lines standing outside. There was one couple before us, so after 5 minutes we could get a big table. Enough time to admire the interior and other graphic visuals. I really liked their PUSH and PULL on their door. Ain’t it strong?

When you are waiting in line, you get a menu to make yourself familiar with the food. This is also the same for the Takumi in Düsseldorf. In Düsseldorf they also have a lot of special menu things hanging on the windows. We had to wait for about 10 minutes in Düsseldorf and we got a table outside. The trees above us were shedding little flowers, so luckily there were parasols to prevent flowers falling in our food.

The interior of Rotterdam is really nice. The use of wood, red and black colors, Japanese menu signs and lanterns give a lovely Japan-feel.

In Düsseldorf we were sitting outside, so I didn’t really ‘feel’ the interior there. The interior is simple; crowded tables and good food.

Menu

I love menu’s with pretty food photos, this way I can have a better idea what to expect. In Rotterdam you get a form to fill in your choices. In Düsseldorf you also get a form, but they fill it in for you since the form is in Japanese, so traditional. Also the waiters speak Japanese to their customers, like “ira shai ma se” (Welcome!) I don’t know if the waiters in Rotterdam can speak Japanese..

Rotterdam menu:

Düsseldorf menu:

The food

The side dishes were really good in Rotterdam. Salty and crispy, but so o-so-soft chicken karaage. We also ordered fried mashes potato, this was also surprisingly good. Perfect crispy and salt taste. No problems there.

Chicken karaage

I ordered the Buta-Tama Tonkotsu ramen, because I wanted to try the soft boiled egg. But I was a bit disappointed. The first few bites were good, but after a while the soup left a strange taste in my mouth. Which I have had before when eating ramen, a taste I don’t really like. It tastes bitter. I give it a 6.5. This experience made me a bit less fan of Japanese ramen.

“Tonkotsu ramen broth is made with pork bones—in particular, pork hock and trotters. They are boiled for several hours until the collagen and fat break down and liquefy. Collagen, found in the bones and in the tendons that surround the bones, makes the broth dense and slightly sticky. Collagen and fat, together, turn the liquid milky and opaque.” Source

Aha! So maybe I cannot handle the collagen and fat in the soup broth… I have been warned.

Buta-Tama Tonkotsu ramen

In Düsseldorf I ordered the Teriyaki Miso Ramen. I tried to be safe by not ordering Tonkotsu pork broth with some strange aftertaste. The Teriyaki Miso Ramen was really nice, a good bowl of ramen with the best Teriyaki chicken I have ever had, juicy and plumpy. I would give it a 7.5, safe food.

Teriyaki Miso Ramen

However Lazy Pinguin DID order a pork bone broth ramen (pork shio ramen) and it was good! The pork taste is so much richer then the miso soup (also compared to the pork broth in Rotterdam). You can really taste that they have cooked the bones for a long time. I would give it an 8.

Pork Shio Ramen

In Düsseldorf we also ordered two side dishes: dumplings and chicken karaage. The dumplings had the right taste and the chicken karaage tasted good, but I thought the Rotterdam chicken karaage were better. But it’s like Dusseldorf’s tastes like an 8 and the Rotterdam’s tastes like an 8.5, so quite high up there.

Then there was this delicious braised pork rice bowl, which Lazy Pinguin described in the video: GOOD FOOD!

Pork don

The verdict

Rotterdam Takumi has more side dish choices, but the soup tastes and ramen toppings quality of Düsseldorf are better. So go to Düsseldorf!

Visit them!

Takumi Düsseldorf Rotterdam
West-Kruiskade 9b
Rotterdam, Netherlands
+31 (0) 10 302 7240
facebook.com/TakumiDusseldorfNetherlans (no, it’s not a typo)

Mon-Thu 11:30 – 22:00
Fri-Sat 11:30 – 22:30
Sun 12:00 – 21:30

Takumi Düsseldorf
Immermannstraße 28
Düsseldorf, Germany
brickny.com/takumi

Mon-Fri   11:30 – 22:30
Sat   11:30 – 21:45
Sun 11:30 – 22:00

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Five Restaurants in February

A quick post for this week, since I don’t have a lot time to work on a big post. Looking back at the restaurants I have visited in February I concluded that there are quite some places I recommend. They have the food, which you will go back for. Sorry to the restaurants I didn’t post about, you were nice, but… it’s not you, it’s me.

Fika – Nijmegen

FIKAnijmegen

A Scandinavian lunch/brunch place. I heard from people that Scandinavian food is about quality and damn these sandwiches where good! Fresh ingredients, delicious smörrebröd and okay drinks. The tastes are quite strong, which I like. Next time I have to try the other sandwiches.

Visit them

Van Broeckhuysenstraat 5, Nijmegen
www.fika-nijmegen.nl
Open every day 10:00-20:00

The Black Fox – Nijmegen 

theblackfox nijmegen

This is a butcher / meat workshop / restaurant. They get there cows from milk farms, so the cows were milk producing cows before. So the meat is a bit tougher than massaged cows. Lazy Pinguin and I got a Tomahawk steak. Really good. Their interior and graphic design of the menu is really well designed. I might write a full post for them, only my food pictures are a bit blurry. So I need to go back to make better ones 😛 They served a little gem salad with Sriracha and onion compote which was soooo good! Spicy, sweet, crunchy.. one dish just was not enough.

By the way, Lazy Pinguin is mastering the art of sous vide. Sous vide is putting ingredients in a plastic bag, putting the plastic bag in water and cook for a while. Meat and fish that comes out of this bag is sooo soft and juicy (after a quick burn in the pan). My steak expectations have skyrocketed since, no steak in a restaurant can beat the sous vide steak. Maybe the Kobe beef in Japan. This Tomahawk steak was quite good for a restaurant, but compared to sous vide steak, no.

Visit them

Kelfkensbos 32, Nijmegen
www.theblackfox.nl
Mon-Fri            17:00-01:00
Sat-Sun             12:00-01:00

La Tasca – Delft

dessert la Tasca delft

There a two kind of restaurant which I assume are good for going back: authentic food (reminds me of the good old food) and new food experiences (things I have never ate/experienced before). La Tasca is a restaurant for new food experiences. They offer a fixed surprise menu every period of time. The chef will pick the seasonal ingredients of that time and create dishes with it. The taste, textures and ingredients are always surprising. This was my second visit and I was still very pleased with all the tastes and experiences. The pasta was really good this time (also the first time).  Oh no wonder, they are an Italian restaurant with influences of Spain and France.

Visit them

Voldersgracht 13, Delft
latasca.nl
Mon-Sat 18:00-22:00

Kiroren Restaurant – Rotterdam

big chicken plate kiroren

Went for a second time to Kiroren Restaurant to taste that authentic Xinjiang food. We tried the chicken we didn’t have last time, with the secret powder recipe, but we were not so impressed. The big chicken dish with pulled flat noodles is still our favorite chicken. The owner told us that they had revised the big chicken dish, to let it taste more like the authentic one in China. But honestly, we liked their first version better. That was really an explosion of taste in your mouth. This new revised recipe was a bit softer, still good none the less, but we had tasted something nicer before to compare it with. I will update my old Kiroren post with the new photos and experiences. I will do that over the weekend.

Visit them

Schiedamsedijk 1, Rotterdam
Facebook
Mon – Thur, Sun             12:00-22:00
Fri – Sat                          12:00-23:00

Roast Chicken Bar – Delft

roast chicken bar delft

I like restaurants which specialize in something. This one only has roasted chicken; marinated perfectly, crispy skin, darn good pulled chicken over fries, tomato chutney and apple compote. Good food, trendy and hip interior, huge kitchen to look in. I visited this place today, so it’s still fresh in my mind/mouth. They only started 13 weeks ago, but already had quite some customers on a stormy evening. They also offer breakfast and lunch stuff from 10:00 from The Egg Store. That’s also a brand in the same restaurant. Interesting… eggs and chicken.

Visit them

Voldersgracht 12
www.roastchickenbar.com
Mon-Sun           12:00-23:00 (Roast Chicken Bar)
Tue-Fri, Sunday  10:00-17:00 (Egg store)
Mon           12:00-17:00 (Egg store)
Saturday  9:00-17:00 (Egg store)

 

That was not a quick post at all. Well… enjoy all the places! See you guys in the weekend. ^_^

A dedication to ramen – Hinoki Noodle Soup – Rotterdam

Aah.. ramen, noodles, 拉面 (la mian). One of my favorite foods. Often, on a blogging Friday like today, I will eat a package of instant ramen for lunch. With an egg, tomatoes, vegetables and sometimes surimi sticks.

instantramen

I grew up with the brand 出前一丁, so usually I have these at home. Today I am out, so I am a bit sad. In Chinese we call these noodles: “easy noodles”, because they are already pre-fried/cooked. You only need to boil them for about 10 minutes. Instant ramen is a simplified version of normal ramen, which consists out of a strong broth with chewy noodles. The Japanese learned about ramen from the Chinese, that’s why the name is similar to 拉面 (la mian) .

Actually with this post I wanted to tell you guys about a nice Japanese ramen restaurant in Rotterdam. Called Hinoki. They started around May 2016 across SanSan (Sichuan Chinese restaurant-> recommended!), near the Markthal. They told me that they are connected with Takumi Ramen, A famous Japanese noodles restaurant in Dusseldorf, Germany. And indeed, they have the similar menu graphic style. I still need to visit Takumi one day…

At Hinoki I have tasted several ramen soups. Some were a bit too strong for my taste. But I wonder then, do you usually drink the ramen soup, or is it only for giving the noodles some taste? I have to Google this..
Soon I will be able to taste the ramen from Japan, then I will let you know the differences.
hinoki-09
The other dishes at Hinoki are delicious. The edamame green soybeans were so fresh. The inkfish balls are deep fried, at least I think? The inside was still gooey. I actually liked it better than the balls I had in Japan…

Oh! And I have never eaten such delicious rice, spring onions and mayonnaise. It was leftover from a Chicken Teriyaki don, chicken over rice. The chicken and sauce was really nice on the rice. But I was so surprised that without any chicken, the rice still tasted good.

Time to visit them!

Hinoki Noodle shop
Keizerstraat 52
3011 GH Rotterdam
+31(0) 10-4133585 (No reservations)
hinoki.nl

Tue – Sun      12:00 – 21:30
Closed on Monday

Kiroren Restaurant ~ Xinjiang food in Rotterdam

china map-05

A new Xinjiang restaurant has emerged in Rotterdam: Kiroren Restaurant. They opened on 8 August 2016. I visited their restaurant on their 20th day. It is located near the Beurs in Rotterdam. china map-01

Google maps says: Xinjiang, an autonomous territory in northwest China, is a vast region of deserts and mountains. It’s home to many ethnic minority groups, including the Turkic Uyghur people. 

My father comes from the Xinjiang area, so I am quite familiar with Xinjiang food. I was quite excited to hear about this new place.

History

china map-06

The brother Shirali Tursun and Ahmatjan Tursun are from Urumiqi (乌鲁木齐). They saw there wasn’t any Xinjiang restaurant in the Netherlands yet. There were a few in Germany, London and America, but not in the Netherlands. So they started their own restaurant. They have a chef, Kaysar Sirajialin, who has practiced 30 years of cooking and 10 of those years in Beijing in the Xinjiang cuisine. Now he is cooking for Kiroren Restaurant in Rotterdam.

The brothers have a famous whole-lamb-recipe from Xinjiang from the father in law and they use it now to make their chicken. It also includes a delicious sauce. Too bad it was already sold out for the day when I visited the place. Their lamb is very tender. They receive lamb meat from the butcher farm, so it is extra fresh, since it hasn’t been cooled for a very long time. And it is cheaper, 6 euro per kilo!

The food

We ordered some of the dishes we often eat: Mapo tofu, shiss kebab (lamb on a stick 羊肉串), pulled noodles and meat, “big plate of chicken”(大盘鸡). Aah, just take a look at the photos and the names: 

The lamb meat was so nice! And we got a lot of big pieces of lamb on a stick. My father often makes lamb on a stick, but he said these were very good. They had a special herb in them. In the future I will post the famous lamb recipe from my father. I liked the “big plate of chicken” the most. The chicken was spiced very nice and the flat noodles under it with the sauce is just to die for!

I am just getting hungry by looking at the pictures. Maybe I should eat some lunch…

The Menu

menu2

You can find their menu on their Facebook. I believe they removed the sushi from the old menu. I went there for a second time (February 2017) and the menu didn’t have the sushi anymore. Only the Xinjiang dishes.

kiroren-menu

This restaurant is really a recommendation if you like meat and spiced food. It was not spicy, but it had a lot of spices.

Price is about € 26 p.p including drinks. I ate with 5 persons and we paid € 130,- and we still had leftovers. They don’t serve alcohol there.

Second visit experiences (Feb 2017)

We went for a second time to Kiroren Restaurant to taste that authentic Xinjiang food. We tried the chicken we didn’t have last time, with the secret powder recipe, but we were not so impressed. This chicken is made by grilling over fire; a bit dry. The big chicken dish with pulled flat noodles is still our favorite chicken. This chicken is stir fried with a lot of oil; the texture is softer/juicier. The owner told us that they had revised the big chicken dish, to let it taste more like the authentic one in China. But honestly, we liked their first version better. That was really an explosion of taste in your mouth. This new revised recipe was a softer explosion, still good none the less, but we had tasted something nicer before to compare it with.
We ordered a lot of the same dishes as last time, because they were nice. A new one was the eggplant. Eggplant has always been a favorite dish of ours, red hot burned eggplant (红烧茄子). It tasted nice and spicy. Wish there was more eggplant, because we finished it very fast.

Time to visit them!

Kiroren Restaurant
Schiedamsedijk 1
3011 EB Rotterdam
+31 (0) 10-3419836
www.kiroren.nl (the website is not done yet on the day of posting this)
Facebook

Mon – Thur, Sun             12:00-22:00
Fri – Sat                          12:00-23:00