Dutch

Kantien, Utrecht

A few years ago we kept seeing ads for a new restaurant in our neighborhood which we wanted to check out but just couldn’t find. We even walked around the neighborhood with Google maps for assistance but the restaurant stayed elusive.

And suddenly one day we spotted this hidden gem and have been frequenting Kantien ever since.On their website they proudly claim that they love everything that has to do with the Netherlands! The lunch menu, therefore, is also very Dutch – a selection of sandwiches and my choice for lunch every. single. time. – the twaalf uurtje (see picture) I must add that the gluten-free variant kicks the regular twaalf uurtje’s ass (not something I get to say very often). The composition of the twaalf uurtje varies very often and some are better than the others; wish they were more consistent.

It’s a kid-friendly place with plenty of room inside and outside and a couple of arcade machines to boot. The staff is very friendly and they work with locally sourced produce. Their dishes are clearly inspired by a love for vegetables and even in items featuring meat it’s very often the vegetables that steal the show.

The dinner menu keeps changing and though we’ve had a few dishes that were meh there have been enough extraordinary ones to make us want to go to Kantien over and over again.

Dogma Utrecht and the quest for a gluten-free hotdog

Over a year ago when Dogma Hotdogs , Utrecht’s very own hotdog bar, opened its doors I remember writing to them to check if they had glutenfree hotdogs on the menu. Imagine my excitement when they said yes and I made up my mind to go there as soon as possible.

One year and zero hotdogs later Rohan and I found ourselves at Dogma. The decor is pleasant with a touch of spookiness which I liked. The restaurant is located on Voorstraat and if you manage to snag a table by the window you can watch other people going about their daily business and do more important stuff while you munch on a hot dog and sip wine.The restaurant is run by really friendly people passionate about… Hotdogs!

The hotdog itself was nice and they are quite creative when it comes to the toppings. But at the end of the day a hot dog for me is nothing but a glorified sandwich so I won’t be rushing to get another hotdog anytime soon.What I really loved though was the service. Since the ‘low-gluten’ bun was smaller than the regular bun I got an extra portion of the toppings on the side. This is a far cry from restaurants whose idea of a glutenfree dish is to remove the items containing gluten from the regular variant of the dish and replace it with nothing. Like the time I was served glutenfree peking duck which was just slices of duck meat without the sauce!!!

So, if you’re in Utrecht and in the mood for a hotdog you know where to go. If you have 1:50 minutes to spare (I know you do)check out the video above that Rohan made of our visit to Dogma.

Utrecht’s first completely gluten-free restuarant – a first look

Utrecht is now home to a very unique restaurant - one that is completely gluten-free. 'Absolutely no gluten on the premises', I was assured by the owner when I asked him if all dishes on the menu were gluten-free.I'd been reading news articles about plans to open this restaurant with great interest so when it finally opened I felt compelled to check it out. So yesterday I took advantage of the lovely weather and walked to The Food Club. The place is bright and spacious and the decor industrial in keeping with the current trends. Jeroen and Carlijn, the people behind this restaurant were welcoming and friendly. Anyway, how very Dutch of me to talk about the decor and ambience even before I talk about the food. I hope to never do it again.Having gone through the menu I settled on the dirty chai and the chorizo hash. Though coffee wreaks havoc on my body I seem to be ordering it very often these days. Guess some people never learn. The dirty chai was flavorful and mildly sweet (though I didn't add any sugar) with a nice kick coming from the coffee. Extra points for not calling it dirty chai tea. It was accompanied by a tiny meringue which absolutely melted in the mouth. I even picked up the crumbs from the table and ate them.The chorizo hash comprised two perfectly poached eggs (runny yolks and all) on a bed of sauteed mushrooms, sweet potato, bell peppers and of course chorizo. Nothing spectacular but better than the lunch fare available at most other restaurants which is bread / soup / salad. I would totally order it again. At 10.5 euros it is pricey but certified gluten free products are more expensive than their regular counterparts anyway. They even have a store tucked away in a corner where they sell gluten-free products.I wished Jeroen good luck when I left but he probably doesn't need it as on it's second day itself the restaurant was packed with visitors from different parts of the country. #thefoodclubutrecht #glutenvrij #glutenfree #utrecht #amsterdamsestraatweg @thefoodclub_nl

Utrecht is now home to a very unique restaurant – one that is completely gluten-free. ‘Absolutely no gluten on the premises’, I was assured by the owner when I asked him if all dishes on the menu were gluten-free.

I’d been reading news articles about plans to open this restaurant with great interest so when it finally opened I felt compelled to check it out. So yesterday I took advantage of the lovely weather and walked to The Food Club. The place is bright and spacious and the decor industrial in keeping with the current trends. Jeroen and Carlijn, the people behind this restaurant were welcoming and friendly. Anyway, how very Dutch of me to talk about the decor and ambience even before I talk about the food. I hope to never do it again.

Having gone through the menu I settled on the dirty chai and the chorizo hash. Though coffee wreaks havoc on my body I seem to be ordering it very often these days. Guess some people never learn. The dirty chai was flavorful and mildly sweet (though I didn’t add any sugar) with a nice kick coming from the coffee. Extra points for not calling it dirty chai tea. It was accompanied by a tiny meringue which absolutely melted in the mouth. I even picked up the crumbs from the table and ate them.

The chorizo hash comprised two perfectly poached eggs (runny yolks and all) on a bed of sauteed mushrooms, sweet potato, bell peppers and of course chorizo. Nothing spectacular but better than the lunch fare available at most other restaurants which is bread / soup / salad. I would totally order it again. At 10.5 euros it is pricey but certified gluten free products are more expensive than their regular counterparts anyway. They even have a store tucked away in a corner where they sell gluten-free products.

I wished Jeroen good luck when I left but he probably doesn’t need it as on it’s second day itself the restaurant was packed with visitors from different parts of the country.

Tahini and halva brownie from Sweet

Yesterday was mamadag, so I got to try another recipe from Sweet (tahini and halva brownies) and Oggie got to watch me bake. The recipe yielded 16 brownies and this is all that’s left today. And before anybody asks let me just say – I didn’t eat them all.Just found out that the term mamadag doesn’t exist; papadag on the other hand even has a Wikipedia entry! That’s so weird!!! #mamadag #ottolenghi #ottolenghisweet #helengohsweet #sharingiscaring #teampixel

Yesterday was mamadag, so I got to try another recipe from Sweet (tahini and halva brownies) and Oggie got to watch me bake. The recipe yielded 16 brownies and this is all that's left today. And before anybody asks let me just say - I didn't eat them all.Just found out that the term mamadag doesn't exist; papadag on the other hand even has a Wikipedia entry! That's so weird!!! #mamadag #ottolenghi #ottolenghisweet #helengohsweet #sharingiscaring #teampixel

Don Kounsuke, Utrecht (redux)

So I found myself dining at Don Kounsouke yet again and I’m happy to report that I am still very pleased with the food and service (the waitress recognised me and they had tamari in addition to the regular soy sauce).The chilled tofu with bonito flakes was nice on it’s own but tasted really good with tamari (extra points for thinking of the gluten intolerant).They really don’t skimp on the matcha when it comes to the matcha ice cream.I only took a sip of the sake which @htwifey ordered and liked it. It is served in a glass which in turn is placed in a box and the menu card includes instructions on how you are supposed to drink it (there are also pictures if reading is not your thing).My favorite still remains the donburi. #glutenfree #glutenvrij #utrecht #japanese #donkounosuke @don_kounosuke

So I found myself dining at Don Kounsouke yet again and I'm happy to report that I am still very pleased with the food and service (the waitress recognised me and they had tamari in addition to the regular soy sauce).The chilled tofu with bonito flakes was nice on it's own but tasted really good with tamari (extra points for thinking of the gluten intolerant).They really don't skimp on the matcha when it comes to the matcha ice cream.I only took a sip of the sake which @htwifey ordered and liked it. It is served in a glass which in turn is placed in a box and the menu card includes instructions on how you are supposed to drink it (there are also pictures if reading is not your thing).My favorite still remains the donburi. #glutenfree #glutenvrij #utrecht #japanese #donkounosuke @don_kounosuke

RECIPE: Okonomiyaki

This is my recipe  for Okonomiyaki, but you can add anything to it.
1. Cook bacon / panchetta until the fat is rendered. Set aside the bacon and in the bacon fat cook finely sliced onions and cabbage. The onions should be light brown and the cabbage should still have a crunch. Take it off the heat.
2. Add finely chopped pickled ginger (optional) to the onion and cabbage mix above. Add bacon and salt and pepper to taste.
3. In a bowl whisk eggs and add the above cabbage mix to it.
4. Cook it in a pan until it’s done on both sides.

To serve:
1. Sprinkle some toasted nori flakes and finely chopped spring onions on the omelette
2. Spoon some mayonnaise onto the omelette. Also mix of Worcestershire sauce, ketchup and soya sauce and spoon this onto the omelette
3. Finally add bonito flakes / katsuobushi

Eat!

Okonomiyaki

Hachee at Moeders, Amsterdam Hachee at Moeders, Amsterdam

Does real, traditional Dutch food suck?

If you live outside Europe, there’s a good chance that you haven’t heard of Dutch cuisine. Considering the Dutch have been world travellers since the medieval times it stands to reason that at least some of their dishes would be popular. It’s true that Gouda cheese is a popular export, Heineken is a well-known food-related brand and there is the occasional ‘Amsterdam chips‘ in Italy. Even touristy things like raw herring with onions and the stroopwafel (literally: syrup waffle) are semi-popular. But what is real Dutch food and is it worth going on a search for?

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