Local Heart, Global Soul

April 28, 2015

“Christoffel” And A Small Clash Of Cultures…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This series of archive posts is all about a Saturday trip to the Noord-Brabands city of Den Bosch.

We’ve already been on one of the boat tours, the others have spent some time at the visiting kermis (fun fair) whilst I visited the St Jan’s (St John’s) Cathedral.

We did however stop for lunch at a café / restaurant called “Christoffel“.

The portion sizes were rather too small for our Canadian visitor, even though  to be fair this was a lunch menu rather than a dinner one, and she had definite issues with the fact that the small salad and side order of fries (I forgot to photograph them) that were  bought out were not just for her, but was meant to be shared with me because we both had ordered a warm lunch and a joint salad and fries are not uncommon here in the Netherlands.

Yes, the portions are small but the rest of us, being used to this had no issues and the food was  ok.

It wasn’t the best lunch I’ve ever eaten but it was also far from the worst and I’d eat there again myself. I wouldn’t go so far as to recommend it to someone like Himself however, because as a very tall, strapping Dutchman with a healthy appetite, he likes a plateful to be a plate full… and if that plate happens to be a pasta dish then a plate and a half would be most welcome no matter what time of the day.

It was certainly a cultural learning curve and reminded me that what visitors expect is not always delivered in Europe.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

December 23, 2014

Going To Market For Lunch…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In this archive post about our travels to Legoland Germany, it’s time to review the food available in the park and if it’s possible to keep our fussy offspring happy.

Although the results were mixed as far as the food is concerned, none of us could fail to be impressed by the continuation of the Lego themed decor inside.

The restaurant / café is “signposted” with not only a large Lego chef figure by the door but also four smaller extra ones around the sign above. We are smiling already.

Yet again many of the figures inside are mechanical, which is excellent amusement for your children whilst they wait for you to finish your meal, but less amusing when trying to get your excited Little Mr to stand still and  focus on making a choise of what he wanted to eat.

My persistance and his hunger eventually helped to beat the distractions and we settled in to eat lunch. I’d ordered Schweinshaxe and although it was edible it was a poor imitation of what this amazing dish usually is.

Little Mr was delighted to find spaetzle on the menu here, especially since there was nothing else that took his fancy (too many things with sauce, mixed veggies etc.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Kiwi Daughter settled also struggled to find something she fancied and settled on a sort of hash browns (that weren’t particulatly brown) a desert and fries.

The desert that Kiwi Daughter chose looked like it had a chocolate componant on the top but ti was something completely differnent once you dug down into it, and whatever Kiwi Daughter assumed she was expecting, she was disappointed.

It’s the down side of trying new cusine in a different country, it doesn’t always work out as you expect it too, but I praised her for having a go and assured her that dessert at the hotel in the evening would make up for things. By the same token it might have been the hit of the holiday, so at least she tried it to find out.

Himself prefers to eat a very large breakfast and skip lunch on days out like this, saving  his appitite instead for a hearty meal at the end of the day and a good beer to wash it down with. The coffees were all his.

There was a corner for lego building for smaller kids and since no small kids were using it, Little Mr got his fidget fix building “something nice for the little kids to find later” whilst I finished my lunch.

Hmm, it’s a theme park lunch, made for the masses and it tastes like it. Probably enough said. It filled a gap.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 5, 2014

Cooks Who Know What They Are Doing…

Filed under: Cafe and Restaurant Reviews,FOOD,GERMANY,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Somewhere close to Essen in Germany, in a roadside restaurant that I didn’t get the name of, is a lunch menu that outdid itself.

Himself only wanted coffee and Little Mr and Kiwi Daughter only fancied fries but I’m never one to eat too early in the morning, especially if getting up in the wee hours is followed by a long car journey.

Now it’s lunchtime and I’m the only one who skipped breakfast.

I love schnitzel but there’s an art form to cooking them right so that they aren’t as tough as shoe leather and try as I might it seems it’s an art form that I find impossible to master when cooking them at home. Therefore if I’m in Germany and I see that they are on the menu I know I have a good chance of getting one cooked by someone who knows what they are doing, and here was no exception.

I order the schnitzel and it comes cooked to perfection… it’s clear that the restaurant is some kind of chain, but at least the food is quality, even the few fries I tried were really good (I’m not a massive fan of fries, give me a baked potato any day) and the kids must have thought so too because between them they made serious inroads into the large serving.

There’s even a special warmer for the German sausages on sale… I’ve had these before on many a trip to Germany and can highly recommend these too, although on this day I was definitely in a schnitzel mood.

It’s one of the things I love about Germany, they take their food seriously (far more than the Dutch I have to confess) and even roadside restaurants serve up a quality product. Why even consider a second rate burger when first rate food like this is available? We certainly don’t…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 27, 2013

A Late Lunch Is Better Than Nothing…

Filed under: Audley End House,ENGLAND,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Last summer  our Singaporean friend “Velvetine” was visiting the Kiwidutch Family and together we set out on a bucketload of adventures.

At this stage of our journey we are touring the grounds of Audley End House and are almost at the end of our tour. Velvetine and I missed out on lunch after each becoming separated from Himself and the kids, so now we are back at the house and really hungry.

Luckily the Servant’s Hall has been converted into a Café so we can grab a quick bite to eat. I opt for a sausage roll and a slice of coffee walnut cake, whilst Velvetine goes for a sandwich, scone and a piece of Victoria sponge.

I don’t know if it was because we had lunch so late in the day, but the food was a bit dry… edible but nothing to write home about.   We ate it because we were hungry but Himself said later that he thought that he and the kids had better fare where they were earlier but not having been with them earlier I can’t personally compare.

After our quick late lunch we have a look at the estate shop, buy some postcards and jars of  locally made chutney for gifts and then head out to the last part of the estate we can manage to see before they close the gates for the day and kick us out…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 2, 2013

Saracens Head Menu, How Much… For HOW Much???!!!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

With some help from Himself and the kids Velvetine and I have installed ourselves  in our hotel  room at the Saracens Head Hotel in Great Dunmow and now the troops  declared  themselves hungry and thirsty so the next logical step is to adjourn to the hotel restaurant for lunch.

As with any visit to the United Kingdom we are usually hanging out for a fix of fish and chips, and so duly asked if it were available on the menu please.

It was, but only on the children’s menu and the mention that we had just arrived from abroad and were really looking forward to fish and chips along with a polite request for the adults to please have a child  (or even and adult) portion of fish and chips was as equally politely  refused.

We were rather taken aback but they were adamant, no fish and chips would be served to adults.  We had no clue if this was standard attitude in the UK these days or if it was as it seemed to us, just plain weird. Half of us were keen to go elsewhere for fish and chips for all of us, but we had hit on that age old restaurant dilemma, we didn’t know the town, or where to find fish and chips, we had made ourselves comfortable, it was hot and the cold drinks we had ordered had arrived, and the kids now wanted said fish and chips from this menu.

The adults craving fish and chips were now in the uncomfortable position of the possibility of looking elsewhere with no guarantee of success so sucked it in and took a look at the menu to look at alternative options.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Under  the heading of “light lunch”  we chose “Pan fried Mackerel fillet  on toasted ciabatta served with herbed potato salad (£11,–)” and a “home-made british beef burger, mature cheddar cheese with smoked bacon, skinny chips and mixed salad (£10.50) “, fish and chips  for the kids and added  a portion of pork scratchings because we none of us had ever tried them before and were intrigued.

Our lunch arrived and we were all very hungry. I have to say it was all delicious but clearly “light lunch” actually meant miniscule portions more than mega healthy menu  and all three adults were still hungry after we’d eaten. (the pieces of bread the mackerel was served on were about as long as your thumb). The waitress came to ask if our lunch was ok and Himself  mentioned that it was delicious but there didn’t seem to be much of it, she shrugged  her shoulders in response and said that was how they served it here.

Now somewhat annoyed by these facts we decided to cut our losses and get an earlier than planned fish and chip dinner. The final blow came when the bill arrived, …with added cold drinks for five people the bill came to roughly £55,–  (approx Euro 70,–) which seemed an awful lot  of money for so little food.

It certainly made the job of deciding where to have dinner easier:  at these prices, anywhere but here.  It’s entirely possible we are out of touch with UK prices… is this maybe now the norm? We remembered it being far far cheaper in the past, have things changed so much in recent years since we were last here?

There is certainly nothing wrong with the food, but the tiny amount for so much, has definitely put us off returning  here again. Live and learn.  We leave still hungry, poorer and wiser.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 31, 2013

Lifting The Lid On Something Totally Unexpected For Lunch…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This post relates to a trip some weeks ago when Himself and I took a friend of ours to the Belgian city of Mechelen to help with an urgent personal matter.

We have to get everything done today with reasonable speed and get back to the Netherlands  by early afternoon because otherwise our children will be finishing school and will be wondering where on earth their parents have disappeared to.

(We did arrange backup with other friends in case we got delayed in traffic or unforeseen circumstances but I’d taken some annual leave the week we went,  and had made  other promises to the kids too so it was preferable to get back on time if we could).

The business end of things went relatively fast today (compared to the previous trip we made a few weeks earlier in the pouring rain when our friend was made to wait ages in more than one establishment even though she had previously arranged appointments).

Since it was a stunning day today we decided to have a very quick lunch and a better look around the city centre  in the sunshine as we made our way back to where the car was parked and then headed to the motorway again.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We stumbled on a little area full of cafés and restaurants with outside tables in a picturesque area by Vismarkt. There wasn’t really time to look at the various menu’s, our choice was made more by trying to stay upwind from little gaggles of dining smokers.

All of us were rather thirsty by this time and ordered cold drinks,  then opened the menu and were surprised to see only a very short range of menu choices: pretty much all of them being tagine.

After recovering from the shock that there was nothing like a sandwich on offer we settled into the idea that having a tagine for lunch might not be a bad idea at all.

Himself likes a hearty breakfast and if he eats warm in the middle of the day he would very much to have accompanied his meal with a very nice local beer (lots of that available in Belgium!) or a glass of wine, but being by necessity the only driver amongst us, and by far the least hungry, he opted to pass on food and went for  tea and a little of our bread instead.

Our friend and I were hungry though, so ordered a vegetable and chicken tagine respectively and after a short wait were each presented with single serve tagines containing our meals. Yikes, these containers were hot… literally fresh from the oven, and the steam poured off for ages, making for impatient photo taking.

Due to our time constraints I didn’t even remember to photograph the menu for the name of the place,  ( the waiter had removed the menu’s before I had my wits about me). I did ask for a business card but they didn’t have one and so I didn’t even get the name. I can tell you though that it’s the red/brown place with four upstairs windows and  red tiled roof in my photographs, so a description will have to do.

It was not overly spicy, but also not bland and we each enjoyed our meals. We agreed afterwards that whilst we liked what we ate, the unexpectedness of the menu had caught us off guard and eating this at a leisurely pace would have been far more enjoyable.

However, we had already  made  wish-list of what we want to do with our short remaining time and in order to achieve it we needed to rush lunch. It’s a pity we didn’t really do it justice.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 25, 2013

A Delicious Culinary Taste of Armenia…

Filed under: ARMENIA,Armenian Cuisine,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We went for lunch at  friend: “A’s” place recently and because our friend is from Armenia, we were served some delicious Armenian culinary treats.

I was too busy enjoying the food to write down that exact Armenian names of some of these dishes, but there were barbecued meats,  roasted veggies as well as several other superb offerings.

The cheese was home-made and sent over by “A’s” mother, she has round wooden cheese moulds  that she makes her cheeses in at home, and it tastes amazing.

Surprisingly for me it’s apparently not unusual to have a large plate of fresh herbs on the table,  diners take what they fancy and just eat it like a side dish to the rest of the food.

There are also bundles what you should really call “sheets” of flat bread as well as regular  “loaf”  style breads. Added too  are cold meats and salad veggies both au natural and pickled… and all delicious!

Also there is a meat and herb mixture that’s rolled up and cooked inside cabbage or grape leaves… this one is to die for and I’ve begged not just the recipe but also a cooking lesson. Naturally the only thing I didn’t try were the mushrooms since I’m allergic to them, but Himself declared them excellent too. Let’s take a look…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 19, 2012

An Arty Lunch On The Beach…

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,Restaurant and Cafe,SINGAPORE,Trapizza — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The trolley-bus that we are taking to the beach has now completed it’s journey after our unexpected stop to take photographs of the monkey’s that appeared on the hotel driveway on the way down.

Usually we are at Trapizza for dinner, but this time we are here for lunch so I’m busy taking photos in the brighter light than of other visits.

Once again I take an interest in the making of our pizzas, but there are also some “arty” photos to be found on the beach, zooming in on the ships in Singapore Harbour, the palm trees and beach between us and the hotel, in the checked shadow patterns  made by the chairs on the beach, and on our table in the colours of our glasses of cold drinks.

The mood today is very relaxed and lazy, Little Mr. alternated between polishing off slices of pizza and playing with the plastic kid toys on the sand out the front of the restaurant.  He was however (strangely enough LOL) almost glued to our table once the ice-cream dessert arrived.

Once we finished our long relaxed lunch we call the trolley-bus to collect us again and after a trip  to our room to get changed, the kids and Himself are off to the pool, and I’m ready to put my foot up and have a siesta. Sometimes when travelling you just need a lazy day off to recharge your batteries.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 27, 2012

Chopsticks en Guarde, Hotels Duel for The Most Stars…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

These are the photos that a Foodie cannot resist taking… not only is much of it new to me, but the colours the tastes and smells… heaven!

An instant clue that I’m a long way from Kansas The Hague is that where I hoped to find knives and forks there are instead chopsticks and spoons.

Actually that’s not a problem because I’m quite proficient with chopsticks but Kiwi Daughter has a small look of panic on her face. She needn’t have feared, we found knives and forks on the tables and Little Mr would have been totally happy to use this fingers so was actually rather disappointed by this discovery.

Velvetine is delighted to find what she called “porridge” but it’s certainly not “porridge” as I know it, no rolled oats in this, instead it’s a rice porridge and whilst she’s keen that I try it, to be honest it doesn’t look enticing enough when were are on a time limit and there are other goodies I’d like to try.

There were some things I couldn’t identify, and most things I didn’t know the name of but what I picked out turned out to be tasty.

The kids stuck to plain fare in the savoury section and did well considering how picky they usually are. That said,  a large part of their consumption turned out to be in the dessert section where the discovery of a selection of ice creams suddenly made all that sitting still in the coach completely worthwhile.

Himself isn’t totally sure of his stomach today so settled for a lunch that consisted of a  cup of tea instead.

This hotel is touted as the local five-star establishment so Velvetine and I set about seeing how it compares to the Rasa in Singapore.

The verdict is quick and clear… full marks for effort but from what we’ve seen in the entrance area so far (and the Ladies, where there was a very small but hazardous step outside the disabled toilet) and the fact that if you looked in corners or at the periphery of the rooms the decor looks a little tired so we both have the impression that this was a place trying hard to make a grand impression on a less than grand budget and that it certainly doesn’t even come close to the Rasa. That said however, this is a place that’s making an effort and whilst they are not there yet, we are sure they will get there in the end.

Now I get to tempt you with the delicacies on offer… it may not be quite five star but I’m sure you will manage to drool anyway.

First, this is “porridge”… (with additional condiments added) What do you think?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Condiments for in the soup or to put with the noodles…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Fish cakes… particularly good.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Ice-cream,  the kid favourite…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Kiwi Daughter and I loooove fresh tropical fruits…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 26, 2012

An Equatorial Melaka Lunch…

Filed under: MALAYSIA,Melaka,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

We have arrived at our destination: Melaka.  The first stop is for a quick lunch, it will be  slightly hasty affair because it’s taken us three hours to drive here, it will take another three hours to get back and there’s plenty to see and do  so we are told to get our skates on, it’s a eat, enjoy, run kind of meal, not a long leisurely lunch. The coach has pulled in at the Melaka Hotel Equatorial for lunch  so let’s go inside and take a look around.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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