SNCKBR IV Utrecht, The largest vegan restaurant of Europe

Vegan food is hot hot hot! Everywhere you look, a new vegan restaurant pops up in Holland. We already wrote about the Vegan Junk Food Barand some secret vegan spots in Amsterdam. But there’s now also a new vegan restaurant in Utrecht, which is the biggest plant based restaurant in Europe: SNCKBR IV.

SNCKBR
SNCKBR already has three other restaurants in the Netherlands, two in Amsterdam and one in Eindhoven. But the one in Utrecht is very special, mainly because it is 100% vegan ánd has 110 seats which makes it the biggest vegan restaurant in the whole of Europe. So it’s 100% VGN and 0% BULLSHIT, to use their own words. The place is a perfect hotspot for people who like both guilty pleasures as well as healthy and cruelty free food and snacks. The name might suggest a snackbar kind of place, but that’s not the case at all. They serve all kinds of international classics like Chinese bao buns, Indian curry, but also Dutch kapsalon and various pizza’s. Everything is cruelty free, so you don’t have to feel guilty. Even the interior is 100% vegan and the clothes of the staff are fair-trade.

SNCKBR

100% VGN, 0% BLLSHT

Delicious vegan bites and dishes
I have to admit: I think I have never eaten vegan before. Shame on me, I know…Every time I’ve eaten a vegetarian dinner, it was topped with cheese, cream or eggs. I am curious about vegan food, but never cooked something for myself nor did I try it in a restaurant before. You can imagine my excitement when I got invited to the press dinner in the new SNCKBR. I really had no idea what to expect.

SNCKBR Utrecht Avo Toast
Avo special on toast anyone?

SNCKBR Utrecht 2

The restaurant arranged a six course menu for us so we would be able to taste a variety of nice dishes. We started off with Gyozas, made with spiced tofu, shiitake, leek and peanuts. Then we got the Peking Luck which were thin pancakes we could fill with soy protein, spring onion, cucumber and plum sauce. The protein really tasted like duck, which was very surprising. My favorite dish was the third one, the Bao Bun with eggplant, panko zucchini, mayo and cucumber. It was very crunchy and tasteful. And it didn’t stop there!

SNCKBR Utrecht food

We also had the delicious Mushroom Wellington, which tasted much like beef Wellington, but without the meat. And we had two small burgers, one made of chickpeas, miso and chestnut mushrooms and one which was filled with mushrooms, seaweed, beetroot and soy protein. We finished with a tasteful Chocolate Ganesha made of chocolate, dates, mixed nuts and custard together with a scoop of rice ice cream.

Vegan desert SNCKRBR

Wow, who knew vegan food tasted so good! I really liked it and I am definitely going to check them out another time to try something else from their big menu. SNCKBR’s menu changes every few weeks so make sure you check them out regularly. They have many delicious recipes coming up!

Love,

Merel

SNCKBR IV Utrecht
Vredenburg 28, Utrecht
Website

*Merel is one of our guest editors from Utrecht and describes herself as a daydreaming student who has wanderlust ever since she traveled sround Jamaica for 3 months. She can’t wait to travel the whole wide world after she finishes her bachelor. Follow her on Instagram!

Roootin » The Healthy Middle Eastern Hotspot in Amsterdam

Hello hello newbie, warm welcome to Roootin. For weeks or maybe even months they were renovating their place…and the result doesn’t lie. Don’t expect the usual hotspot with eggs Benedict’s, croque madams and juicy burgers, nops. Time for something new, let’s introduce you to the Middle Eastern cuisine! I think I never had something Iranian or Kurdish before, so let’s zoom in on what they’ve in store for you!

Roootin
Interior Roootin Amsterdam

Roooting

The story behind Roootin Amsterdam
Roootin is an idea of one Iranian brother, his two sis and their mom. How cool a family have teamed up. During reading the intro you might have thought: Roootin with 3x ‘o’? Yes, and I tell you why. Roootin is a combi of roots and origin. It doesn’t only has to do with their Iranian roots, but also with their interest in the essence of humans, nature, healing power of products…let’s say the roots of things. Mix that with origin and Roootin is born, a place where you can meet the healthy Middle Eastern food.

Amsterdam meets Middle Eastern food
When it’s bedtime I can become such a happy kid by thinking of how my next morning will start: yaaasss breakfast is callin’! Recently my day started even better with a brunch at Roootin. I had no idea what to expect from a Middle Eastern inspired kitchen, I couldn’t mention one typical Iranian, Kurdish or Lebanese dish. A totally new food world opened for this girl with dishes like orange blossom pancakes, labneh, avocado toast the Iranian way and a Kurdish dish called Sawar. Choosing didn’t last long, pancakes for me. Defenitely one of the best I’ve had in Amsterdam, and I can know as probably one of the biggest pancake lovers in town (wink wink). Dropping by at Roootin means experiencing lots of new flavours, unknown homemade dishes and…a bright colour overload! Even when sometimes the sun is hard to find, you can find her here on your plate. Oh and I don’t discuss their complete menu in detail, because it has so much more charm to discover it by yourself.

Roooting
Pancakes Iranian style, love them!

Roootin
Vegan avo toast, worth tryin’

Roootin, place to charge yourself
Besides I really liked the pancakes and juices, for me the whole atmosphere stood out. No hustle or bustle, just relaxed vibes, laidback music in a modern and above all warm place. East has some places where it is ‘see and be seen’, luckily they’re not that kind of a food spot. In terms of hospitality, they also score super high. In case you’ve a food allergy, nothing is too much to ask. They’re really supportive and focus on specific solutions for every vegan, lactose-intolerant or other special wish.

One last thing: Roootin hopes to further deepen the concept by initiating all kinds of projects that are in line with their philosophy. Think about workshops and yoga classes, you name it. I’ll try more of their brunch food and healthy guilty pleasures as soon as possible, and book a yoga class. Who wants join this beginner yogi?

Love,

Sharmaine

Roootin
Linnaeusstraat 16, Amsterdam
Opening hours: Tuesday till Sunday 09:00 till 17:00, Mondays closed
No reservations
Facebook

Instagram

More foodie spots from Sharmaine? Check out Tasty Hotspots section!

LUST Spots

6 x Amazing Lunch Spots in Los Angeles

Sarah enjoyed a week of sunshine in Los Angeles recently. Before heading to Coachella, she had some time to wander around and find the best lunch spots. (wandering for hours in the streets of LA makes you hungry!) I found some very nice ones that are worth sharing.
Have a look to our Top 6 lunch spots in Los Angeles!

1. The Butchers Daughter

You must visit this spot when you’re in LA. The interior, the food, it’s a dream. Min you, it can get pretty busy so you might have to wait to be seated. They have one location in New York and one in Venice California. But during the busy months, they also have a food truck driving around Los Angeles to easy your hunger. They serve the perfect brunch meals like avocado on toast, poached eggs, pizza’s to die for, Acai bowls and lot’s of veggie options. Come here for breakfast, brunch or cocktails.

FOOD, COFFEE, COCKTAILS
1205 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice
Website (photo source)
2. Kreation
My friend told me to go to this juicery place on trendy Abbot Kinney boulevard. ‘This juicery really provides healthy and delicious drinks designed to invigorate the body and mind! Kreation only uses 100% certified products, which include natural protein, vitamins and trace minerals.’ What? Yes very healthy juices and they all looked so dam good! That’s not all, they make their own cold-pressed raw almond and coconut milk with no added sweeteners and also serve tasty sandwiches and salads. You feel incredible when you walk outside, Health boost to the max! They also do delivery and take away, but the seats inside are very pleasant.

Kreation Los Angeles
FOOD & COFFEE & HEALTY JUICES
1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice
176 S Lake Avvenue, Pasedena
3. Joan’s On Third

This is one of the places that I will always remember; I love these kind of shops where you can get high quality charcuterie, french cheese & excellent wines, my favorites!  Joan’s on third is a market place where you can stroll around for hours. Once you have your perfect food they offer seating inside & outside and take away. Next to cheese etc. they also have healthy tasteful sandwiches, crunchy bread, sweet cupcakes and they also sell cook books & coffee mugs. I really enjoyed being here, everyone was very friendly and the food is amazing! What do you think we ordered?

 

top 5 lunch spots in Los Angeles
FOOD & DRINKS
8350 W 3rd St
 Los Angeles
Gjelina Take Away puts you smack in the middle of one of the hippest shopping streets in Los Angeles, Abbot Kinney Boulevard
4. Gjelina
A few local people mentioned this place, the restaurant & take away around the corner on Abbot Kinney is one of the trendy places on Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Impressive from the inside & outside. Immediately when you open the wooden doors you feel at home. If you normally can’t choose your dish directly, to many options are mentioned, you are at the right place! Gjelina has a seasonal menu with small plates, cheese and charcuterie, pastas, and pizza. Try the pizza, really!


FOOD & DRINKS
1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
http://www.gjelina.com/

5. The Sycamore Kitchen
One of the places that I wanted to visit but didn’t had the time for is this bakery close to Beverly Boulevard.
The passionate couple Karen and Quinn, also owners of Michelin star restaurant Hatfield’s, started this urban bakery-eatery in 2012 where they serve wholesome pastries (daily homemade), delicious lunch, or simply a great cup of coffee. The rustic and industrial space & apparently very nice people makes this place even more special! My friend told me that I should try the Mediterranean Chicken Salad; made with kale, dates, hazelnuts, radicchio, blue cheese and red wine vinaigrette. This makes my mouth water.…. First thing what I will do next time is visit this impressive spot! It has everything that I want for breakfast and lunch!

IMG_1300
source: http://thesycamorekitchen.com/

BAKERY; BREAKFAST, LUNCH & BRUNCH
143 South La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036
6. Rosaliné
Located in one of the most high end streets in Los Angeles, expect to pay a little more. Good thing is, you are going to get worth for your money. Rosaliné is a contemporary Peruvian restaurant. The place looks amazing because of the hanging plants from the glass ceiling, white floors and modern use of space. Chef calls it the “next phase of Peruvian dining”. You better go check it out. 
BRUNCH & DINNER
8479 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood
www.rosalinela.com (photo source)

Enjoy!

Love,

Wander-Lust

» Check Elke’s post for our top 5 best Coffee Bars in the world

The Avocado Show just announced their second location in Amsterdam!

Holy guacamole! Just when you think the hype has calmed down a little bit, The Avocado Show is back at it. Again. Celebrating their 1 year anniversary, the’ve just announced their second location in Amsterdam and we know where!

Haven’t heard of the Avocado Show? Quick recap; it’s the first Avocado restaurant in Europe and has been trending on social media for the past year. You can order anything you can imagine that includes the healthy green stuff. Entrepreneurs Ron Simpson, Julian Zaal and chef Jamie van Heije, opened the first Avocado Show in trendy area De Pijp in Amsterdam and even had people sleep in front of the doors, the night before it opened.


From L to R: Ron, Jamie and Julian

After a good and solid first year, their collaboration with Shawn Harris, the woman behind Nature’s Pride, one of the largest Avocado supplier in the world, they dicided to take the next step and expand abroad. She believed in the Dutch entrepreneurs from the beginning and is investing millions to take The Avocado Show International.


Avocado breakfast

The Avocado Show second location in Amsterdam
Source

But first, let’s talk about the highly anticipated second location of the Avocado Show in Amsterdam! (I know you have been scrolling down the page for this one..;)) It will be located on the Willemsparkweg, with the focus on take-away and delivery so you won’t need to queue for hours. As soon as there’s more news to tell, we will be the first one to let you know, of course.

Love,

Elke

*All photo’s are courtesy on the Avocado Show

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Recipe » Aji de Gallina (Peruvian shredded chicken in a creamy chili sauce)

Each month, a wonderful food blogger will share one of their best recipe’s in our LUST section. This month it’s a warm and tasty Peruvian recipe from Paola Holthausen, better known as @cravingsinamsterdam.

When I was little, I would always ask my mom to make me this dish. Aji de Gallina. It is such a comforting meal for me. And now I make it for Pieter since he really likes it as well. It’s not very spicy and you can always adjust the heat to your liking. Gallina means hen in Spanish. As it was traditionally made with it, but nowadays is most commonly made with chicken.

It is made with Aji Amarillo, a Peruvian chili paste that you can find in Latin American stores or online. In Amsterdam, you can find it at Tjin’s Toko.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 medium white onion, very finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 6 tablespoons of Aji Amarillo paste (you can add more if you like more heat)
  • 500grs of boiled chicken, shredded
  • 2 slices of white bread, crusts removed
  • 1/2 a cup of milk
  • 300ml of cream
  • 3/4 of a cup of chicken stock
  • 100grs of grated Parmesan
  • Salt to taste
  • Extras for serving:
  • White rice
  • Quail eggs (or chicken eggs)
  • Pecans
  • Parsley


Aji de Gallina is a traditional Peruvian recipe

Remove the crust from the white bread and discard them. Soak the bread in the milk, use a fork until it dissolves.

Place the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Once it melts, add the onion. Let the onion cook for a few minutes till it becomes translucent, stirring from time to time so it doesn’t get brown. Then add the minced garlic. Stir. Add the Aji Amarillo paste. Stir for a minute.

Then add the shredded chicken. Add the white bread soaked in milk, the cream and chicken stock. Stir until everything is well combined. Let it cook for about 15 to 20 minutes until it thickens. Stirring from time to time.

Then add the Parmesan and salt to taste. Mix well. Serve with white rice, soft boiled quail eggs, chopped pecans and chopped parsley.

Enjoy!

Love,

Paola
www.cravingsinamsterdam.com

Arriba Arriba, the new Mexican hotspot in Amsterdam!

Are you ready for a new South American hotspot in Amsterdam? Arriba Arriba will open its doors on the Rozengracht on the 1st of February.

Arriba Arriba is a Mexican street food hang-out with South American influences. You can go here from noon for quick taco’s or to dine extensively, 7 days a week. All dishes on the menu are created for sharing. Perfect for two or with a large group of friends. Arriba Arriba is a concept created by the IQ Creative team, that also brought you Happyhappyjoyjoy. For the concept and interior, they have joined forces with architects Concrete and JPS.

the word streetfood or ‘antojitos‘  literally means cravings

A quick bite or a long meal
In a country where 50% of the population buys their food on the street, the word streetfood or ‘antojitos‘  literally means cravings. At Arriba Arriba you will have the option to go for a quick mean taco or lunch. All tacos are created with authentic Mexican tortillas from Taiyari and baked according to the method of the old Aztecs. The toppings vary, from crispy pescado with crispy cabbage and lime, to rib-eye with chimichurri and avocado, or pulpo ‘octopus’ with sweet potato and pickled onion. You will also find healthy salads, and other bites such as oysters on the menu.
Starters and main courses do not exist here, just pick and choose want you want to try. Good to know that all tortillas and tostada’s are gluten-free!  The menu also offers plenty of choice for vegetarians.


Mexican street food? Yes please!

A typical Mexican restaurant with a modern twist

Modern and Mexican interior
We haven’t seen it yet but word is that it’s going to look and feel like a typical Mexican restaurant with a modern twist. The inspiration for the interior comes from the Mexican architect Luis Barragán, who works a lot with color, light and shadow, without losing any subtlety. The elongated space on the Rozengracht will becomes an atmospheric and cheerful place with areas of color. The decoration will consist of modern objects and will be filled with natural materials such as cactus and rattan. It’s also going to be quite spacious as the restaurant easily seats 150 people and is also perfect for people that just want to drink a Mexican beer or Margarita.

We can’t wait to visit this Mexican hotspot!

Arriba Arriba
Rozengracht 114 , Amsterdam
Website

Love,

Elke

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Everything green at Matcha Bar in Amsterdam!

Amsterdam couldn’t stay behind, it’s Matcha everything at the new Matcha Bar and we love it! 

What is Matcha?
I first tried Matcha when I was in one of my healthy periods where I would try pretty much any weird superfood. I used Matcha powder in my smoothies but that was about it. I discovered it again when I was in Hong Kong several years ago. Matcha tea and Matcha coffee. I liked it immediately and noticed the little green stuff also gave me a boost, something that coffee does, but this boost felt a bit stronger. Ok, Matcha is something special I guess.


Matcha tea

So what is it? It’s finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves. It contains both caffeine and theanine. This combination of chemicals is for the (calm) energy people might feel from drinking matcha. It originated in China but is used is many Asian cultures such as Japan.

Being the city of hotspots, Amsterdam picked up this trend  and The Matcha Bar opened their doors a few weeks ago. Here you can eat and drink Matcha until you see green. Literally.

What’s on the Menu?
Matcha Latte’s, tea’s (including Japanese bubble tea!), waffles, cakes (in all shapes and sizes), pastries and even Matcha pudding. You can feast your eyes on the green stuff and the funky pastel coloured interior. Come inside, grab a seat or take out. 


Yes please!

The Matcha Bar
Albert Cuypstraat, 89, Amsterdam
Open from Wed – Sun 12 – 8pm
Website

*Header photo credit: @flavorist_and_crossfiter

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Back in Amsterdam » Modern Asian Cuisine, Umami by Han

If you love Asian food, you’re going to be pleased about the return of Umami by Han in Amsterdam. The restaurant concept was first brought to live in Utrecht with then many restaurants to follow. Amsterdam used to have a all you can eat location on the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal but this closed 2 years ago due to a difference in vision between Michelin chef Han (known from Michelin Star HanTing Cuisine in Den Haag) and his business partner.

The Concept
Now, Han’s original concept returns  back with the modern Asian dining experience that is all about the Umami philosophy. The word Umami is all about keeping different flavours in balance. The tastes of sweet, salty, bitter and sour are familiar to us, but there is a fifth taste we can perceive with our tongue, umami. Its taste has been described as rounded, rich and savoury. It’s usually matched with salt to add depth and complexity to foods that may lack depth and complexity on their own. “If you take ginger for example, your body actually needs something to balance it out, this could be cucumber.” We try to implement this to all our dishes” Chi, the restaurant manager tells me.

The Overtoom
The location is something you may have been before. At the beginning of the Overtoom, where concept store Friday Next used to be. They have completely changed it and you won’t believe your eyes. The restaurant is deep and spacious, with a Asian style bar at the entrance. The open kitchen looks amazing and the latern lights plus Asian wall art completes the look & feel. The restaurant is also open during the day for a quick business lunch or à la card meal, but you can also walk in for a coffee or glass of wine.

Umami by Han in Amsterdam
The open kitchen

Bar Umami by han, Amsterdam

The Menu
You can choose between the 3-course Social Dining Menu for €27,50 or the Menu Gastronomique for €31,95. You can find signature dishes like Teriyaki Chicken, Bangkok Prawns or Orange Duck, alongside Truffle Paksoi, Spicy Eggplant or Little Gem. You can order an extra course for an additional 8 euro per dish. Deserts are available for only €5,- and the menu consists of Matcha Cake, Pandan Créme Brûlée or a Choco Brownie, yum!

food at Umami by han in Amsterdam
Beautiful balanced food for a small price

scallops at Umami, Amsterdam
Scallops à la Umami by Han

Matcha cake, Umami by Han, Amsterdam
This desert is ready to be eaten!

I can’t believe that a modern Asian cuisine can be so good and yet so affordable! Get your hungry ass over here, cause this place is of of the best food discoveries of this month!

Umami
Overtoom 31H, Amsterdam
020-2801379
Website

More tasty hotspots in Amsterdam? ↓

Mama Kelly Amsterdam Meal

These are the coolest Concept Stores in Amsterdam

Fashion and apparel concept stores are popping up all over the world, so is Amsterdam. A great experience where you find a combination of fashion, food, furniture, books, art, all-in one! It involves more than just shopping, inspiring places where you can wander around and discover new and secondhand stuff where it’s hard to leave empty handed.

Read more

Recipes » Dutch Winter Meals

Food, food, food, we love it! One of the best things about traveling is that we get to taste different cuisines. We love it all!
Asian, Mexican, Italian, French, you name it! But as we are both from the Netherlands, we thought it would be nice to show you some authentic Dutch winter meals! We’ve selected 2 favorites that perfectly suit the cold season:

Hutspot
This dish includes a whole bunch of potatoes and it mostly combined with vegetables such as cabbage, carrots or kale. The idea is that you mash the veggies and potatoes together so you get one mashed dish.
It’s mostly served with meat such as porkchops, big meatballs or sausages with gravy.

The recipe for a traditional “Hutspot” (Carrots & Potatoes) like the picture below is quite simple:

Cook 1kg potatoes together with about 1kg big carrots for about 15 minutes. Once cooked, remove the water and start frying some finely cut onions into a separate pan with butter. After glazing them, add the onions into the pan with the potatoes and carrots and start mashing them together. Add a tablespoon of mustard and 50ml of semi skimmed milk. You can add 150 ml of vegetable stock for extra flavour, but reduce the milk for it becomes too watery. Add some salt and pepper and top it of with some gravy and a (veggie) sausage. Yummie!

“These 2 Dutch winter meals will keep you warm this season!”

Dutch winter meals

Ewrtensoep (Dutch traditional split pea soup)

»300g dried green split peas
»100 g thick-cut bacon (for the vegetarian version you can use smoked veggie bacon from the vegetarian butcher.)
»1 stock cube (vegetable or chicken are both fine)
»2-3 carrots, cut into 1 cm cubes
»1 large potato, peeled and cubed (optional)
»1 small onion, chopped
»1 small leek, sliced
»half a celeriac, cubed
»Salt and pepper, to taste
»a handful of chopped celery leaves
»a handful of sliced smoked sausage (Dutch Rookworst) I used 2 vegetarian sausages

Dutch winter meals

For the best results you should rinse and set the split peas into cold water for about 1 hour. After that you boil the split peas with the pork chop and bacon. Let it boil for about 45 minutes and skim off the floating scum. Pour all water off, rinse peas (and meat) again and put them back on the fire with clean water if possible. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables:
Cut the skin of the celeriac, peel the potatoes, and dice celeriac and potatoes. Peel the carrot and dice it. Cut the leeks and wash them. Add the vegetables to the pan and let simmer until the peas are done (one hour at least, the split peas must be broken). Twenty minutes before the end of cooking, add the whole smoked sausage and celery leaves. Taste, finish off with pepper and salt. The pea soup is still fairly liquid. Let it cool completely and reheat it the next day, or freeze in portions. When you want to freeze the soup, add the smoked sausage when reheating, or divide the sausage in equal quantities over the portions. » Skip the meat for a vegetarian version and add a veggie sausage at the end.

These 2 dishes will keep you warm during the winter time!

Love,

Elke