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.
Tonight I made the aubergine with anchovy and oregano and it turned out to be the first recipe from Simple that failed to impress. Considering that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every other dish I cooked from Simple so far, I even went through the recipe again to check whether I’d missed a crucial step / ingredient which caused the end result to be so ordinary.It isn’t a bad dish and was ok paired with a couple of sausages. But it’s definitely not something I will be repeating in a hurry.
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.