At the Oude Haven (the old port) underneath the Kubuswoningen in Rotterdam, many restaurants are located. Mainly because of the central location, and of course the lovely view over the Oude Haven. I have to admit though, that in my 28 years of living in Rotterdam I had never been there. So when I was walking past the Kubuswoningen, I decided to explore the area some and have my lunch in one of the restaurants. All of the reataurants have a terrace where you can sit near the water, which is really nice on sunny days. But, as you can tell on the picture above, this was a rainy, gloomy day. As I walked around, Nielson, Pain du villa, one of the smallest lunchrooms caught my eye. As I found out later, Nielson cooperates with the restaurant Villa Kakelbont, which is nextdoor. You can also order sandwiches and have them delivered. They advertised with a sandwich of the week, that would be free for a single one person, who’s name was mentioned below. I thought this was so funny and decided I needed to have a look and lunch inside.
Inside, you find only a few tables, but the terrace outside is quite large. Because of the weather, I sat inside. There was only one guy (not to mention, quite a handsome guy) working at this time and he did both the waiters job as well as the preparing of the sandwiches. The interior of Nielson looks a bit industrial, with white tiles, large rvs lamps and a big blackboard on which the menu is written.There are also small blackboards on the tables with the options for juices and sweets. After a look at the blackboards, I decided to go for a sandwich with warm ham with honey-mustard dressing, lamb’s lettuce and red union marinated in port. I wanted just some water to go with it, so I ordered that. The waiter/cook then asked me if I wanted tap- or bottled water and I said tapwater would be just fine. Little did I know the tapwater was free, as I found out afterwards. I thought it was really kind to offer this option, because they of course, didn’t make any money of it.
Nielson has an open kitchen, so you can see how they prepare your lunch. I always like that, because it gives you a sense of how fresh all the ingredients are. So I saw my sandwich going into the oven and started to smell this wonderfull odours. Nielson uses bread from Jordy’s Bakery, a great baker in Rotterdam, which I also visited (blog will be on later). It didn’t take long before I got my sandwich and did it look delicious!
The bread was warm and as fresh as it could be, crispy on the outside and nice and soft on the inside. It tasted so great, the bread on it’s own would have been a sensation! Then the ham with honey mustard sauce, which is a classic, but always tasty combination. The sauce was really good and the ham was as tender as you could want it to be. The onions marinated in port were so delicious: sweet, but you could still taste the onion itself without it being overpowered by the port. There was a little bit of salad on the side.
I would have liked to try their cheesecake, but I just couldn’t eat any more. Lucky for me, I got a very small piece of cake when I asked for the bill, so I could still try some of their sweets. So when I was about to leave I made a quick visit to the restroom. This is downstairs and just as small as the rest of the inside location, but clean.
I would definetely recommend Nielson, Pain du villa for a lunch or cup of coffee for their nice menu and of course the location. I would go there and sit outside near the water if the weather is a bit better than it was on this day.