I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting places to go to and through Instagram, I discovered Smaakatelier Zoet & Zout in the Pannenkoekstraat in Rotterdam. I had read about their lunches and high teas and then I knew I wanted to visit it sometime. So when my grandmother wanted to do a high tea for her birthday and didn’t do this because she turned out to do a barbecue instead (which was a true succes as well!), I knew just what to give her for her birthday. A high tea at Zoet & Zout. But not the regular one at around 15.00 o’clock, but a Breakfast High Tea. I thought this was a creative twist to the concept and was curious to find out what it would be like.
Smaakatelier Zoet & Zout is run by an Italian lady, who was working in the kitchen as my grandmother, mother and I arrived. There had been a little miscalculation, as she thought we had the reservation a half an hours later. But since we didn’t mind a little stroll over the market at the Binnenrotte, we gave her some more time to prepare. As we got back, we already saw the cabinets with all the nice food on it. There were no other customers yet, so I took the chance to take a good look around. The space is very narrow, but this gives it an informal and intimate feel. The kitchen is an open kitchen, small as well and what I like about this is that you automatically feel like you are at someones’ home. You can see, hear and most important, smell the food being prepared. Opposite of the kitchen
is a cabinet with all kinds of Italian delicacies and curiosa that are sold in the shop as well. Very inspirational. We took a seat at the largest wooden table in the back. There were all kinds of different chairs around it and a huge vase with claws (!) filled with an enormous amount of fresh flowers.
When we sat down, our table was being made by the owner and we got our tea and the sweet part of the high tea first. We also got a big glass of freshly made orange juice. The sweet part existed of:
● Yoghurt with red fruit and granola
● Croissants with raspberry jam
● Pancakes with blueberries and syrup
● Raspberry tarts
● Mini chocolate cupcakes
● Mini muffins
● Australian chocolate
● Cream puffs
the yoghurt, because it was just screaming ‘Eat me!’. It was a nice mix of soft and sweet black berries and strawberries with crunchy granola. After that we had the croissants, which were nice and fresh. I also liked the pancakes filled with the blueberries (you could tell they were homemade, which is a plus). It had a syrup inside as well, but I am not sure what kind of syrup it was. Most important: it wasn’t overly sweet. So far for the true Breakfast items. By this time, the savoury sandwiches were served as well, which were:
● Ciabatta with parmaham and pesto
● Ciabatta with mozzarella and tomatoes
● Brioche with omelet and guacamole (my absolute favorite)
While we started the sandwiches to have a little break from all the sweets, the owner was working in the kitchen on other orders. You can reserve for catering or you can rent out the entire place as well if you want to have your private party there with all of the wonderful food she serves. We had our own little private party, since we were still the only customers at that time. The Ciabatta sandwiches were very nice, super fresh and crispy. The parmaham was nice and tender and the mozzarella very tasty. But the winner
for me was the brioche with omelet and guacamole. The bread was perfect in combination with the omelet. In the omelet there were red onions and underneath it was a creamy and spicy guacamole. Just heavenly!
After the sandwiches, we were actually quite full already, so we took a little break with some tea. I had a coconut pineapple tea which was a nice surprise. While chatting we had some of the left sweets. The raspberry tart had become a little bit soft and soggy because of the raspberry juice that came out of it, but it didn’t effect the taste. It was really not too sweet and light and clearing tasted like raspberries. The other sweets were very nice as well and my favorite were the small muffins (at least, that’s what they looked like) that seemed to be drenched in a syrup of some kind. Also the glaze on the chocolate cupcakes surprised me, because I thought it would taste like vanilla and it turned out to be some kind of citrus fruit flavor, also very nice!
Unfortunately, we couldn’t eat all of the food that was prepared for us. It was just way too much! I was so full I didn’t know if I could manage the walk back to the subway station (and if I could still jump in the dance classes I had to teach after). When we wanted to go and pay another group of customers came in for lunch and as they wanted to Sit outside, the owner and customers started to move the tables from inside to the terrace. This also shows all the possibilities she offers, just adapting to what the customers needs are.
My mother, grandmother and I were unanimous about wanting to go back to Smaakatelier Zoet & Zout, whether it would be for a lunch, coffee with the cake of the day, a regular high tea or one of the dinners that are arranged every now and then (not on a regular basis). The proces are in the normal range for a lunch or high tea. And we also thought it would be neat to have a celebration with our family there, as the space and the catering would be perfect for it!
I highly recommend visiting Smaakatelier Zoet & Zout if you are near de Pannenkoekstraat (subway station Blaak is only a 3-minute walk). You do have to make a reservation if you want to do a (breakfast or regular) high tea. We will go back there for sure!