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Food, Travel

Smakelijk! 9 Halal Spots to curb that craving in Rotterdam, Holland


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-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!

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Food, Travel

Buen Provecho! : My Top 6 Restaurant picks in Barcelona


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The people of Barcelona take food very seriously. I mean, more than anyone. They have breakfast, and think about where to eat for lunch. Midday shopping trips are not complete without a quick Café au laitat or Tortilla Española to round off the excursion. Food is not a joke in this city, and with the rich succulent variety of Spanish Catalonian cuisine available, this is a look at the city’s top 6 halal joints to indulge in Spanish traditions or to simply eat well for the practicing Muslim.

Tandoori Nights – Indian

This casual Indian restaurant in the heart of Barcelona serves an assortment of Indian food as well as a variety of breakfast and sandwiches throughout the day. Meals range from €9.50 to €12.50 per plate, with intense delectable platters of Chicken Korma, Tikka and Sheesh Kebabs served on a special menu. The restaurant provides a shaded terrace out front for taking in this very diverse city and you can enjoy a quick bite under a canopy, glimpsing at locals and travellers alike. The Indian kitchen according to the website, opens at 12:00 (midday) until 16:00 (4pm) and then from 20:00 (8pm) until 11:00am. Sandwich bars are open all day from 12:00 midday until 1:00am- nonstop.

tandoori-nights

If you’re looking to visit- the details for the restaurant are as follows. T +34 676 432 564. E tandoori.nights.bcn@gmail.com or plug the following address into google- Carrer Carretes, 44 Barcelona, España 08001.

Fenicia Restaurant – Lebanese

Rated ‘Best Lebanese Food in Town!’ by one TripAdvisor reviewer, this joint serves an extensive mixture of Mediterranean, Lebanese and Middle Eastern cuisine. It’s in an optimal location- very local to Sants station so if you’re close by, definitely pop in. The quality of the food here is amazing and the rich chicken shawarma’s and appetizing falafel’s are given in extremely generous portions. This restaurant is open most days from 12:30 midday till around 00:30 every night.

fenicia-restaurant

The address for your peruse is Psg Antoni, 9, 08014 Barcelona, Spain and the T +34 933 30 01 46

Rincón Persa Restaurant – Persian

In true ancient Persian cultural entertainment, this restaurant offers the services of professional belly dancers to go with your meal every Friday and Saturday at 22:30hr. Influenced by their vast ancestral culinary tradition stretching from China to the East and all the Mediterranean villages in the west, Persian food is bathed with delicate fragrances and exquisite flavours that you simply must try at this property.  With platters of Mast-Û-khiar (cucumber and mint, mixed with yoghurt), Kufteh (Meatballs with chickpeas, barberries and aromic herbs) and Mirza GhasemÍ (char-grilled eggplant, tomatoes and garlic blended with egg) starters to kick-start the flavour fest, you’re bound to keep asking for more. Meals cost around €12.50 and vegetarians are also well catered for. Desserts are also an option, strating at €3.90 with Persian, fresh mint and lime ice cream,  traditional Persian baglava delights, lemon and basil mousse and the standard tiramisu dessert.

rincon-persa

Close by to the Sant Antoni metro station, the address for this property is Carrer de Floridablanca, 85, 08015 and the T is +34 934 255 996. You can also email them at rinconpersa85@gmail.com

The restaurant tends to get full pretty quick, make sure you call ahead and grab a reservation before you head in to avoid disappointment! They open from Tuesday to Sunday at 12:30 until 23.30 and do not close at midday. Not open Mondays! Reservation required!

Restaurant Bali – Malaysian

This Indonesian and Malay cuisine establishment, located in Laforja street, will uncover typical Indonesian specialties elaborated with traditional recipes and made with the best raw ingredients on the market. Extensive and exotic meals include Pedegil (Fried potato empanada, chopped cilandro, onions and fried shallots), Sate Ayam (grilled chicken skewers mariandos with peanut sauce) or Assam Pedas Udang (Spicy and sour prawns cooked in coconut milk and tamarind), amoungst a variety of other traditional dishes. The Rijstafel, the Crispy Duck and Honey Chicken are rounded off with homemade deserts that will invite you to stay and then leave with the desire to return. This restaurant presents private rooms and long round tables that facilitate good talks among large families or friend groups. Average spend here is from €20 to €30 and wi-fi is also available.

bali

The Bali lunches are presented from 13:00 till 16:00 every day and then dinner is served when doors reopen from 20:00 till 23:30. Doors to this restaurant open from 8am, so feel free to drop in from then! The hotel address is Laforja, 8 Sarriá – Sant Gervasi 08006 Barcelona and T +34 934 61 40 52. Reservation required!

Wild Beef – American

An extension of the ever popular Original PFC in the heart of London, Wild Beef Gourmet Burgers thrives on creating “fast food masterpieces” with their dedication, highly skilled chefs and combined experience. Gaining much popularity over in Britain, the brand moved out to Barcelona and brought along with them their halal-certified, mouth-watering beef burgers, made from the freshest beef to secret recipes with their delectable veggie, manchego and gourmet burgers, poultry, barbacoa, XXL burgers and a “crazy” assortment of delectable chicken Empanada with crispy fries.

burger

If you craving for some 50s-inspired American/British style ambiance in this Spanish municipality, look no further. Rated 5* for their food hygiene, you’re bound to have an unforgettable, unbeatable and mind-blowing experience at this establishment. Average spend here is around €10 per person, with opening hours Monday-Sunday 12:00 midday till 01:00am. The address to get here is Carrer de la Diputació, 214, 08011, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain and to book via T +34 932 69 42 02

Ouzoud Cous Cous Restaurante – Moroccan

With the upbeat vibes and traditional Moroccan interior, you are no longer in Barcelona and are transported into the buzzing cultural setting of Morocco the minute you walk in. True to its roots, colourful textiles, from upholstery to wall hangings, adorn every inch of this property and offers typical Moroccan cuisine from tender chicken chops, minced meat, couscous- a national delicacy- and the Harira. Ofcourse do not miss out on their magnificent Briwat or the Masman served in delicate tagines and there is no lack of rich succulent homemade desserts or tea service. If you’re in the mood, grab some shisha here too and enjoy the ambient mood and good company.

Average spend here is around €20 based on a two-course meal excluding drinks. Food is served from 13:00 till 15:30 every day and dinner is served 21:00 until 23:00 every day. The address to get here is Carrer de Salvà, 5, 08004 Barcelona, Espanja and T +34 931 64 59 37

Helpful? Check out my previous post of my experiences in Barcelona or perhaps you’ve got your own experiences? I want to know! Drop me a comment below.

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Have anyone tried any other restaurants in Barcelona?