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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.

Searching for Laksa!

On our last trip to Singapore I went on a hunt for the best laksa in town. While Katong laksa came up top, there was another place that piqued my curiosity. It had good laksa, of course, but the fruit juice mee siam was the other interesting item on the menu which I absolutely had to try.

My mom, Oggie and I found ourselves walking in the direction of Chinatown yet again. This time though we were looking for a hawker stall in the Hong Lim Food Centre by the name Famous Sungei Road Trishaw Laksa.

Considering this stall finds a mention in the Michelin guide I naively imagined there being signs guiding visitors to the stall. But there was no such thing. The people I asked for directions to get to the stall hadn’t even heard of it. An older gentleman, in an attempt to help out an obvious tourist, told me that I’ll find some of the best Laksa in building – no need to go anywhere else. I did manage to find the stall though. I would have probably found it sooner had I cared to read the address carefully!

The stall is operated by Daniel and Susan Choo, a charming couple who take great pride in their food. I ordered large portions of Laksa and the fruit juice mee siam which cost 10 SGD in total. While they prepared my order we chatted about their trip to Amsterdam many years ago and how much they had enjoyed the boat rides in the canals.What sets Daniel Choo’s laksa apart is the broth. He manages to keep it light without compromising on the flavor. The coconutty broth together with the rice noodles, chicken, shrimp, bean sprouts, tofu puffs and cockles make the laksa a wholesome meal.

The star of this story is the fruit juice mee siam – a dish that comprises thin rice noodles, bean sprouts, omelette, chicken, hard-boiled eggs all swimming in a fragrant, sweet and sour broth. Though the broth traditionally contains tamarind water Mr. Choo uses a secret blend of fruit juices which results in a sweet and sour broth packed with flavour and lingering floral notes which I bet comes from the addition of lychee juice.We ate our packed lunch in the Hong Lim Park across from the market and it’s definitely one of the most memorable meals I had in Singapore!

On our last trip to Singapore I went on a hunt for the best laksa in town. While Katong laksa came up top, there was another place that piqued my curiosity. It had good laksa, of course, but the fruit juice mee siam was the other interesting item on the menu which I absolutely had to try.My mom, Oggie and I found ourselves walking in the direction of Chinatown yet again. This time though we were looking for a hawker stall in the Hong Lim Food Centre by the name Famous Sungei Road Trishaw Laksa.Considering this stall finds a mention in the Michelin guide I naively imagined there being signs guiding visitors to the stall. But there was no such thing. The people I asked for directions to get to the stall hadn't even heard of it. An older gentleman, in an attempt to help out an obvious tourist, told me that I'll find some of the best Laksa in building - no need to go anywhere else. I did manage to find the stall though. I would have probably found it sooner had I cared to read the address carefully!The stall is operated by Daniel and Susan Choo, a charming couple who take great pride in their food. I ordered large portions of Laksa and the fruit juice mee siam which cost 10 SGD in total. While they prepared my order we chatted about their trip to Amsterdam many years ago and how much they had enjoyed the boat rides in the canals.What sets Daniel Choo's laksa apart is the broth. He manages to keep it light without compromising on the flavor. The coconutty broth together with the rice noodles, chicken, shrimp, bean sprouts, tofu puffs and cockles make the laksa a wholesome meal.The star of this story is the fruit juice mee siam - a dish that comprises thin rice noodles, bean sprouts, omelette, chicken, hard-boiled eggs all swimming in a fragrant, sweet and sour broth. Though the broth traditionally contains tamarind water Mr. Choo uses a secret blend of fruit juices which results in a sweet and sour broth packed with flavour and lingering floral notes which I bet comes from the addition of lychee juice.We ate our packed lunch in the Hong Lim Park across from the market and it's definitely one of the most memorable meals I had in Singapore!

Recreating The Food Club, Utrecht’s breakfast

For breakfast today I tried to re-create what I ate @thefoodclub_nl a couple of weeks ago. I must say it came pretty close to the original in terms of taste. The poached eggs didn't look very pretty because I didn't have fresh eggs at hand; in fact I think they might have been pretty close to hatching. I wish I could have this for breakfast everyday but there is no way I can spend half an hour cooking breakfast every morning. Oh wait... I don't even make breakfast on weekdays. That's @fatherofogg's department 😀 #glutenfree #breakfast #eggs

For breakfast today I tried to re-create the chorizo hash I ate at The Food Club a couple of weeks ago. I must say it came pretty close to the original in terms of taste. The poached eggs didn’t look very pretty because I didn’t have fresh eggs at hand; in fact I think they might have been pretty close to hatching. I wish I could have this for breakfast everyday but there is no way I can spend half an hour cooking breakfast every morning. Oh wait… I don’t even make breakfast on weekdays. That’s @fatherofogg‘s department 😀

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.

Breakfast at Ya Kun Kaya Toast, Singapore

Last time we visited Singapore Kaya toast was my breakfast of choice. Bread and I are no longer on good terms so I had to look for other options. This is what I happily ate every single day while we were in Singapore - two soft boiled eggs with soya sauce and pepper.I didn't think of combining the eggs with soya sauce until I asked the ladies at the adjacent table what they were eating and one of them came over and poured sauce and sprinkled pepper over the boiled eggs while the other warned her to go easy on the pepper.It turned out to be a great combination. I love eggs in any form but the addition of soya sauce elevates it to a different level. I loved it even more because the combination seemed strange and I didn't expect to like it but I did. A LOT!This gives me hope that even when I'm old and toothless I can enjoy a good meal.And the ginger tea which I miss everyday day now that I'm back, was perfect on all counts. It had the right colour, was as strong as I like milk tea to be and the flavor of ginger was just right - doesn't knock you out but definitely makes it's presence felt. All in all a great breakfast. #singapore #eggs #breakfast #gingertea


Last time we visited Singapore Kaya toast was my breakfast of choice. Bread and I are no longer on good terms so I had to look for other options. This is what I happily ate every single day while we were in Singapore – two soft boiled eggs with soya sauce and pepper.

I didn’t think of combining the eggs with soya sauce until I asked the ladies at the adjacent table what they were eating and one of them came over and poured sauce and sprinkled pepper over the boiled eggs while the other warned her to go easy on the pepper.

It turned out to be a great combination. I love eggs in any form but the addition of soya sauce elevates it to a different level. I loved it even more because the combination seemed strange and I didn’t expect to like it but I did. A LOT!

This gives me hope that even when I’m old and toothless I can enjoy a good meal.And the ginger tea which I miss everyday day now that I’m back, was perfect on all counts. It had the right colour, was as strong as I like milk tea to be and the flavor of ginger was just right – doesn’t knock you out but definitely makes it’s presence felt. All in all a great breakfast.

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

Does real, traditional Dutch food suck?
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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