Meram ~ Turkish cuisine in Rotterdam

Yesterday a friend of mine introduced me to Turkish cuisine. We went to Meram in Rotterdam West, a franchise which has a lot of restaurants in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. When we arrived, there were mainly Turkish people there, so then the food must be good! But also, duh, my friend is Turkish, so he know it is good.

The food

My expectations of the food was actually like the lamb skewers of my father, strong in taste and a lot of herb taste. But the food was more subtle compared to that. The quality though was really high, you can taste the lamb flavor really well. I loved it. They served a Turkish bread with sauces as starter. That bread was a lovely experience for my mouth. It was more dense than Turkish bread from the Turkish bakery and it also had this crispy oven flavor.
I actually enjoyed the food so much that I forgot to take pictures of everything. Here is a small collection of the food that didn’t miss my camera.

Manti

Little lamb meat dumplings. A small bite, with yogurt and tomato sauce

Konya Usulü Etli Ekmek

Minced meat on dough, baked in a stone oven (I think)

Beyti Sarma

Lamb kebab (i think it was lamb) rolled in a pancake, topped with sour tomato sauce and yogurt

Lamb pieces stir fried with pepper, tomato and onion. Fragrant rice in the middle

Menu

Also their menu, interior and business card is designed all so well. Props to the designer! Their menu photos are just so beautiful, I can learn a lot from them.

meram menu

You can find their menu online

Coffee

I ended with a Turkish coffee which smelled as rich coffee, cozy and warm. The smell reminded me of a room with a lot of soft carpet on the floor and the walls, dark red color and old men sitting there enjoying coffee. Maybe a bit racist, I apologize.

Turkish coffee

Hot, warm coffee. Not as strong/bitter as I thought. Sweet and fragrant

The taste of the coffee was not as bitter as normal coffee, I actually liked it. They had put in medium sugar in it, but it tasted very sweet. When you are done drinking the coffee there is leftover residue of the coffee grind, which is very thick. You can use that to predict your future, by putting the cup upside down, letting it cool and analyse the shapes in the cup. Just like tea leaf reading.

Verdict

I really enjoyed the food there. I will be going back to try out other dishes. They know their meat, so I can’t wait to try out meat dishes. Also, I saw they have a Meram Burger restaurant chain. More meat!
Thank you Lazy Friend for introducing me to a new cuisine. It’s awesome to learn from other cultures through good food.

Visit them!

Meram (Rotterdam West)
Mathenesserplein 91, 3023 LA Rotterdam
+31 (0)10-478 06 43
meram.nl/rotterdam-west  Check out their website for more locations

Mon-Thu    12:00-0:00
Fri-Sat        12:00-01:00
Sun             10:00-0:00

Sichuan hot pot at Red Pepper Rotterdam


Remember last week I was nagging about needing more hot pot in the Netherlands? Well, I went to Red Pepper in Rotterdam and I am satisfied. You can eat high quality hot pot there with a big range of ingredients to choose from and they serve a delicious home made dipping sauce.

Sichuan hot pot

The chef of the restaurant comes from Sichuan and has worked in one of the best Sichuan restaurants there, according to their website. It’s possible to order all kind of spicy Sichuan food, like spicy fish soup (one of my favorite Sichuan dish) but this time we went for the hot pot. Every person gets their own little pan which boils on spirit, which reminded me of oldskool hot pot at home.

You can pick a vegetarian or beef soup base and you can choose your spice level. We went for mild, which is a little bit tongue tingly. The soup tasted really nice; salty, herby and spicy. It tasted like the hot pot soup in China.

If you choose the hot pot option, you will get a list with all the ingredients, You can check off the ingredients you want, just like all-u-can-eat-sushi. It’s always possible to get more ingredients. The price is: meat ingredients 5 euro, veggies 3 euro and fish 7 euro. You need to eat a minimum of 15 euro. We ate about 22 euro per person on ingredients.

Other food

Lazy Bear tried the beef noodle soup with mild spice level, but it was quite a punch for him. The soup base was really nice. I also used it to fill my hot pot. We also ordered a cold dish: thin pork slices with cucumber and garlic. So good!

We ordered bubble tea which also tasted very authentic. You can taste they use real tea (or they can fool me very well). Their tea pot is also beautiful. Overall, their design style in the restaurant is well thought off; nice menu card books with mouthwatering pictures, pretty designed eat tools and a lovely interior.

Verdict

Interior / design = 9
Food = 8
Service = 7.5

I really like my first time hot pot in the Netherlands. I will be going back for sure, to try all the other authentic Sichuan foods.

The restaurant is really close to Round&Round, so it’s perfect to combine Sichuan food and soft cakes. Too bad Round&Round was closed on our day of visiting.

Visit them!

Red Pepper
Groenendaal 45F, 3011 SM Rotterdam
T: +31 (0)10 307 03 88
www.restaurantredpepper.nl

Mon-Sat    12:00 – 22:00
Sun            14:00 – 22:00

Round&Round ~ Sweet cakes in Rotterdam

After talking about Round&Round so often on the blog, I have finally visited the place with Lazy Chipmunk. We had a lovely afternoon with the Matcha Lover Hightea, celebrating 20 years of friendship.

This store is so cute and adorable. It’s everything I would have ever wanted in my cafe. But since they already did it so well, plús serving the most delicious soft (not too sweet) cakes, I gave up my dream and I will just blog about them.

History

I have followed their cake business since they had about 100 Facebook followers. Back then, Bing and Chao would bake cakes for friends and others who were interested. After a while I saw they had started a cafe. A store in Rotterdam where they would sell cakes and other cute stuff, which is Round&Round today.

Food

The cakes have a moderate amount of sweetness. I usually prefer to eat salty things, so I don’t like too much sugar. I have been to high teas before, but often the sweetness was too much. The Matcha Lover high tea however, is quite low on sugar, but still sweet enough. The amount of cakes you get is very generous. Whenever I thought they had served all the cakes (and made photos), more sweets were coming in.

We could just barely finish it. In the menu I saw that they also have a mini high tea, for the little eaters.

Menu

Their menu is lovely. Hand drawn sketches everywhere. I especially like their mindmap and sketch of their cafe.

Ordering cakes

It is also possible to order the cakes for a birthday or a cake craving. You can contact them via Facebook, email, calling or visiting the shop. I have ordered their roll cakes before, they range from 18 to 20 euro. The Matcha roll cake was really good, something you won’t eat often in The Netherlands. I also tried the Black charcoal roll cake. It was so black, but not chocolate. It had fresh fruits inside. I couldn’t finish the cake in one day, but after 3 days, the cake was still delicious!

Charcoal and Matcha roll cake

Shop

In the back of the cafe they have a shop section. They sell cute products and art from artists in Rotterdam. 

They have also researched a lot of matcha powders and teas and are now selling their own brand of matcha tea powder. It can be used for baking and drinking tea.

They still have so many cakes I want to try. Gotta taste them all!

Visit them!

Round&Round
Hoogstraat 55A, 3011 PG Rotterdam
☎️ +31 (0)10 7856 545
roundandround.nl      Facebook

Monday     Closed
Tue-Sat     11:00-18:00
Sun            12:00-17:00

Rotterdam restaurant tips


A friend asked for Rotterdam restaurant tips. So here it is:

Chinese cuisine:

Orient Pearl – Good for dimsum according to friends. Reserve beforehand, it can be busy in the weekend. Internet says the service is crap, but that is fast and efficient Chinese service. Just accept it.

Grand Garden – Good for dimsum and Chinese food.

Tai Wu – Good Chinese food according to parents and friends. I think it’s just good Chinese food. Authentic.

SanSan – Authentic Sichuan food. Tastes like China. Spicy dishes are the best here. “Three Spicy” is like burning/numbing the inside your mouth, even for me. But the food is delicious.

Kiroren Restaurant [blog story] – Authentic Xinjiang food. If you like meat, noodles, high flavoured food, visit Kiroren. They have delicious lamb and chicken dishes. (Halal)

Markthal, above Wah Nam Hong (Toko) –  There is a restaurant/shop above the Chinese supermarket. You can order different Asian dishes. Quite good if you want a quick lunch/bite.

Japanese cuisine:

Hinoki Noodle Shop [blog story] – Good ramen, good side dishes. Delicious rice bowl with chicken.

Takumi Düsseldorf Rotterdam [blog story] – Okay ramen, delicious side dishes. Try the chicken karage and fried mashed potato.

Shiki Sushi & Lounge – Higher quality all-you-can-eat sushi. The portions are a bit smaller, so you can try more different dishes. Ordering is done via a tablet. No social contact needed!

Ono Japanese Dining – High quality sushi a la carte. Atmosphere is too fancy pancy for us.

Other cuisines:

Firma Pickles Markthal – The best burgers I ever had in the Netherlands. Went to this place 3 times, every burger had such a good taste (wagyu, duck, pork belly). They have burgers made from all kinds of meats and fish. Also good wines, but I am not a wine person, so I can’t judge.

Loetje – Delicious steaks. Reservation recommended, it can be busy. We had to wait for about 1.5 hour for a seat O_O.

Meram – Turkish cuisine. Really delicious meat dishes. Ask for recommendations to taste all the authentic food.

Desserts:

Round&Round [blog post] – Delicious soft, not too sweet cakes. Come here for desserts or relaxation at a sweet cafe. Blog post coming soon!

YoYo Fresh [blog post] – Bubble tea drinks. I always go for the Hong Kong milk tea with black pearls. The best!


After making this list, I realize, I mainly visit Asian restaurants in Rotterdam. Ah well, still a million non-Asian restaurant to visit in the future. That’s a good future. ^^

Enjoy the restaurants! And if you have any good restaurant tip, let me know!

Takumi Düsseldorf & Rotterdam ~ Japanese ramen in Germany

Finally. The time has come. That famous Takumi store from Düsseldorf, which has 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