-Feature Image Meram West Restaurant, Rotterdam
Often overlooked in favour of The Hague and Amsterdam, the city of Rotterdam is Holland’s biggest hidden gem amongst neighbouring provinces. The fun-loving commercial beehive is bursting with its own answer to the Rio Carnival, adding to it its alluring futuristic architecture and vast assortment of tropical cuisine. In recent years, the Muslim population in the Netherlands has increased drastically due to higher demand in migrant labour and as of 2013, practising Muslims made up over 25% of the city’s metropolitan population. Thanks to this, demand for halal cuisine has increased and in the true Netherlands economical method, halal cuisine was then promptly supplied.
Below is a look into the city’s top 9 halal spots to curb any cravings. I tend to travel to the Netherlands quite often, albeit mostly Amsterdam but I often travel to Rotterdam and have some friends who live in the city, so this is my list of places I’d recommend and enjoy going to. I’ve put addresses in for every restaurant, click onto it and plug in your own address to find out how far out you are!
Gate Of India – Indian
Don’t let the exterior fool you. The small shabby and frankly basic outer walls could deter some people looking to dine well, but the interior has touches of soft Indian character and a strong aroma of spices that you simply will not walk away from. THEY DELIVER(!) straight to your hotel/apartment, which always made me happy, coming in tightly packed boxes that kept the food piping hot when I received it and always in good shape. This place is perfect if what you’re looking for is warm, fairly spicy and cheap food. Seating is available downstairs as well, maximum capacity at roughly 30 people sitting comfortably. They open from 4pm till 10pm and price ranges from around €11-€20. If you’re looking to take a taxi, the address for this property is “Beukelsdijk 98, 3022 DK Rotterdam”. If your British like me and cannot pronounce the words, fear not… show the driver and he’ll know where to go. This establishment offers succulent tandoori chicken meals, everything from Lamb Bhuna to King Prawn Masala Curry, Vegetarian Mushroomn Bhaji to delicious Mango Lassie. The number to contact the company directly is 010-425 40 21. Try the Chicken Kurma!
Meram West – Turkish
On record as the first alcohol-free restaurant in the Netherlands, both Meram branches provide a rich Turkish lavish dining experience, complete with daily specials and culinary delights. If you’re a lover of good Turkish meat, this is your spot. The average spend here is around €20 and the restaurant serves generous portions of everything from luscious ribeye grilled steak to cheeseburgers, smoothies and shakes, seafood, grilled meat, shoarma, falafels, kebabs and dürümler wraps to the more traditional Turkish baklava, chocolate soufflé and sweet pompoen desserts. You’ll also find mouth-watering crepes to quench the sweet tooth, with a choice of banana, nutella and strawberries for added savoury satisfaction levels. Meram West also provides optional access to a traditional Hookah lounge just outside the hotel, or even at your table. The full address for this property is “Mathenesserplein 91, 3023 LA Rotterdam” and is open from 10AM till 1AM from Monday to Thursday + Sunday. Friday and Saturday opening times are 10AM till 2am. The best number to contact with questions for Meram West is +31 10 478 0643. Try the crunchy chicken fingers with hot sauce as a starter, Mevlana Pide with Cajun Wedges and some lemonade/juice. Finish off with a Dame Blanche or a cheesecake or a smoothie!
Madera House – Bar & Grill International Steakhouse
Located in one of the “hippest” parts of town, Madera House is a 100% halal joint with a fairly priced and freshest produce menu. Average spend here is roughly €15 and offers Arabica high tea with Breakfast, grilled meat, cocktails, fish and ofcourse some protein superfoods. Reservation is required for this restaurant through iens.nl or through phone on +31 10 846 8049. The restaurant is open from 11:30am until 23:00, with lunch being served until 18:00 and then dinner for the rest of the evening. Friday and Saturday opening time is 08:00 for breakfast. The full address here is “Tiendplein 11 3014, BH Rotterdam”. Try the chicken soup and grilled steak with sauté and champs!
Sofra Restaurant – Mediterranean/Egyptian/Turkish
Another Turkish influenced establishment, Sofra deliver some of the freshest and appetizing traditional Turkish and Mediterranean dining options right to your doorstep. Ordering is done through thuisbezorgd.nl with minimum order of €14 and delivery times from 5pm till 10pm every day, except Thursday. In house seating is available also, with the menu consisting of grill dishes, soups, mezzes, oven & casserole dishes, desserts, salads and cold drinks. The address is “Large Visserijstraat 156, 3026CP” and can be contacted on 0107860977.
Habibi – Egyptian
Enjoy real fine traditional Egyptian dishes from Hawashi (spiced minced meat in bread), Foel– (fava beans served with veg oil and herbs/spices), Mixed Grill A La Habibi (Lamb chops with herbed potatoes) and even Koshari, a blend of rice, macaroni and lentils topped with sauce and garnished with chickpeas and crispy fried onions. Average spend here is around €25 and not calling beforehand to book reservations is ill-advised. The restaurant tends to attract most of the cities Egyptian lovers and gets full quickly, so call beforehand and book your seats. Closed on Mondays, the restaurant is open Tues and Wed from 17:00 until 21:30 and then Thursday till Sunday from 17:00 till 22:00. For groups of 12 people, exclusive access to the open buffet is available for €17.50 per head. Habibi is located on “Van Speykstraat 190, 3014 VS Rotterdam”. To make a reservation, call 010-4369027 or 06-24774422. Try the Foel as a starter and then Geroosterde halve kip! (Roasted Half Chicken)
Panzero’ Apulian StrEat Food– Italian
Panzero delivers a little bit of rich authentic southern Italy flavours and smells right in the heart of Rotterdam. Presented with the freshest Mediterranean herbs and best Italian virgin olive oils, the menu consists of Apulian delicacies like stuffed Panzerotti, traditional flatbread Pucce and salads. Desserts include Tiramisu, Pistachio Lava Cake and Dark chocolate cakes. Average spend here is roughly €22 and the property can be found on “Botersloot 50A, 3011 HH Rotterdam”. You’ll need to reserve a table beforehand, easily done online through thuisbezorgd.nl or foodora.nl or by calling the restaurant on +31 10 23 78 426. Business hours are Monday to Friday 10AM till 9:30PM. Saturday 10AM till 10PM and then Sunday from 12PM till 7:30PM. If your taste buds crave some Italian, don’t miss this spot! Try the Scuante!
Barbecuehuis Tanger – Moroccan
This bistro has the hallmark of typical cosy conventional Moroccan style restaurants, from the emblematic archways to the fresh aromas of spices and herbs in the air. Promising the best service and highest quality food since 2011, Barbecuehuis Tanger is a hub for many cuisines besides Moroccan, reflected from the menu. Alongside the national delicacies of couscous, beef and chicken tagine, the menu also offers Egyptian sausages (Marques), Italian and Greek salads, Spanish specialties (Paella) and Portuguese dishes (Piri Piri Chicken). They also deliver and can be ordered through hungry.nl or thuisbezorgd.nl, in good condition, prompt and always piping hot. Average spend here is roughly €16 and the property can be found at “Schiedamseweg 25A, 3026 AB Rotterdam”. Contact number is +31 6 36 32 11 35.
Warung Siero – Surinamese/Chinese
Freshly “Made with Love” 100% halal Chinese food, Warung Siero is a food joint thats serves up a delicious feast of oriental goodness. Online ordering is available for collection and delivery through thuisbezorgd.nl, but you can also enjoy the delicacies in the cosy comfort of modern Chinese settings. Menu includes sandwiches, Shrimp & Butterfish white rice dishes, Javanese grilled chicken with veggies, Noodles and Saoto soups. Contact the restaurant on +31 10 785 8173 and the address is “Green HIlledijk 236B, 3074 AC Rotterdam”. Try fried rice with Soy Sauce Chicken!
Dutch Diner – Pancakehouse House
Literally 5 minutes from the famous Markthal, this diner serves delicious cakes and pancakes, prepared in the universal method to ensure it’s enjoyed to the max. In addition to this specialty, burgers, sandwiches and wraps are made available so there is a little something for everyone. The best bit, wait for it…. is a delivery breakfast service. Fresh Pancakes, pastries and fruit with whipped cream can be delivered straight to your doorstep no fuss, scheduled at a specific time or ordered to arrive within 60 minutes. Flowers and cards can also be added for an additional fee. Arrange this via 010-8413054. Normal meals are scheduled from Monday to Sunday 10AM till 8PM. Online ordering can be done through the app or through the dutch diner webshop. The address is “Meent 20, 3011 JJ Rotterdam”. Try the Appeltaart and Vitaminebom for Breakfast!
Tried any of them? Let me know what you think below in the comments!