As I've mentioned before, The Ramen Marauder and I have relocated to Rotterdam. When we tell family and friends, it's not unusual that A) someone assumes I meant Amsterdam; or B) someone asks "How far is that from Amsterdam?" Even when I've booked Airbnbs or flights, the emails I received titled "What to do in Rotterdam" are filled with things to do in Amsterdam.
And by all means, keep visiting Amsterdam.
Someone said to me that, when they visited Rotterdam, they got out of the train station and felt like they were staring at a concrete wall. It seems to me they forgot to turn around.
As I get to know Rotterdam, I feel like this city has been preparing for my arrival all my life. There are Asian restaurants, bars, cute cats, green spaces, markets, board game shops, and still more to discover. Everywhere I turn I see diversity, and nearly everyone I speak with is happy to talk to someone new. (Or they're politely tolerating me.)
Daniel at Noo.Me explained to me that the Dutch in Rotterdam are eager to learn more about Asian culture and cuisine. His crowd-funded restaurant offers dishes from multiple southeast Asian countries, but what makes his place truly unique is that he does the dishes justice. When Asian restaurants offer dishes from multiple countries, they almost seem to lose credibility by combining all these cuisines under one umbrella.
Not Noo.Me. Daniel clearly cares about what he offers on the menu because he wants customers to have a positive, authentic experience, and ultimately hopes they will want to learn more about Asian cuisine. He also approaches it all with good humor - if you check out their menu, you'll understand.
This may be just the honeymoon phase of our new move, but I have a feeling I will continue loving this city.
The Ramen Marauder ordered Vietnamese pho, I had the Malaysian laksa, and we shared an order of Chinese fried dumplings and a cha siu bao. I almost wish I had ordered a larger size because it seemed like all the goodness couldn't fit in a small! Or maybe I just wanted a little more broth, which was a bit spicier than I expected (but pleasant). The pho, which we both enjoyed when we ordered to go another time, was also delicious. Afterwards we both enjoyed a Vietnamese coffee, which came with a mini stroopwafel.
This is a great place to try a variety of good food from different Asian cultures - bring your friends!