dim sum

Tai Wu (Rotterdam, Netherlands): Great Dim Sum That Doesn't Require Reservations

THE STORY

You may be wondering “‘Doesn’t require reservations?’ What dim sum place does?”

The one I tried to go to before going to Tai Wu. That restaurant.

It was my birthday. I had been planning to get dim sum on my birthday for weeks. Generally, the way it works is that you get up and out the door by 10 a.m. on a Saturday in order to beat the rush. First come, first serve.

Tai Wu Dim Sum Chinese Restaurant Rotterdam Netherlands Holland asian food travel craving

There have been multiple occasions when I end up hangry by the time I arrive at the dim sum restaurant, only to wait another 30 minutes for a table. It’s just an accepted reality of dim sum: you eat nothing so that you can wait for an unknown amount of time to then stuff your face with dumplings. Regardless of where you are, these rules hold true.

Or so I thought.

We arrived at the dim sum restaurant, and they asked if we had a reservation. At first, I thought “Is he speaking to me in Dutch? Because I don’t think I understood his question.” But he then repeated himself and yes, he was confirming whether I made a reservation.

Tai Wu Chinese Dim Sum Restaurant Rotterdam Netherlands dumplings haam sui gau wu gok asian craving travel

After telling him we did not have a reservation, he said that he could not seat us. In my hangry state, I muttered something snide and proceeded to leave.

I had previously marked Tai Wu as another restaurant to try, and so we went, hoping they would let us sit without a reservation. To our delight, they sat us immediately.

Tai Wu has a few dozen tables for various-sized parties, but most are large enough to fit a lazy Susan in the center. And while no one was carting around trolleys of dumplings (which is no longer commonplace in dim sum restaurants), there a luxurious chandelier hanging from the high ceiling.

By this point, I was ravenous.

(The Ramen Marauder claims I was creeping on another table’s food in this picture)

(The Ramen Marauder claims I was creeping on another table’s food in this picture)

When restaurants still pushed dumpling carts around the tables, it was easier to pace myself. I had to wait patiently for the dumplings I wanted. Now, however, I can order all of them at once, which usually leads to a combination of shameful overeating and a waste of food.

Maybe this article will serve as a reminder to my future self not to order so much. But probably not.

Tai Wu Chinese Dim Sum Restaurant Rotterdam Netherlands chicken feet lo baak gou asian craving travel

THE REVIEW

When ordering dim sum from a menu, usually the options are limited. Not at Tai Wu! They had everything I wanted: siu mai, har gao, chicken feet, fried taro, those glutinous rice balls filled with ground meat, baos, turnip cakes…it was a joy.

If you wake up craving dim sum on a Saturday morning, bring your appetite to Tai Wu.


Tai Wu, Mauritsweg 24-26, 3012 JR Rotterdam, Netherlands, +31 (0)10 433 0818

Noo.Me (Rotterdam, Netherlands): Your Go-To Asian Restaurant For All Noodle Soups

THE STORY

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.

Kralingse Plas Rotterdam Netherlands Sailing Boats Park Spring

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.

Noo.Me Rotterdam Netherlands Holland Laksa Pho Bao Dumplings Asian Food Malaysian Vietnamese

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.

Noo.Me Rotterdam Netherlands Menu Noodle Soup Malaysian Laksa Seafood Asian Food

THE REVIEW

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!


Noo.Me, Botersloot 18A, 3011 HG Rotterdam, Netherlands, +31 10 737 1865

Want more? Check out the Archive!

Dim Sum Haus (Hamburg, Germany): The Best Looking Chinese Food in Germany

THE STORY

First and foremost, let me say that I wanted to go to Hamburg because I knew there would be seafood.

Friends of ours invited us to drive up to Hamburg for the long weekend. We rarely take the time to visit other parts of Germany, so we happily agreed. And also seafood.

Hamburg was never on my list of places to visit, but I am certainly glad we did! For anyone interested in military history, the German Tank Museum is located in Munster, an hour's drive south of Hamburg. Fun fact: the Germans named their tanks after cats (like Apple OS).

Hamburg felt like a city that didn't want you to know it was a city, so it curled up into itself at the top of the country where most people wouldn't want to bother it. The people who do seek it out, however, are packed together in small restaurants and bars like Auster Bar and Ramen Bar Zipang.

Hamburg Germany Miniature Land Dioramas

Miniatur Wunderland was the largest place we went to, and it may have been the most enjoyable tourist experience I've ever had. I thought it was going to be just dioramas of places around the world, but there were so many stories throughout the exhibit. If you don't think you'd like it, consider this: there are all kinds of sneaky Easter eggs tucked away into all the displays to keep you entertained, like unicorns, E.T., lovers in a field...

We also went to the Fischmarkt early Sunday morning to get all kinds of seafood goodies for dinner, including oysters, crabs, and mussels, all of which were alive when we purchased them. Even if your accommodations don't have a kitchen, there are trucks with prepared foods to be enjoyed zugleich (i.e. immediately).

Hamburg Germany Oysters Crab Seafood Dinner Homemade Market

The highlight of the trip, of course, was the dim sum restaurant Dim Sum Haus. Luckily our friends are equally as starved for delicious Asian food as we are, so the recommendation was well received. Shockingly, however, was that they had never eaten dim sum!

Dim Sum Haus is on the first floor of the building, modestly decorated as Chinese restaurants go. Nowadays it seems that carts coming around to the tables is out of fashion. I'm sure it helps with food waste and costs, but whether it helps me stuff my face with fewer dumplings has yet to be determined.

Hamburg Germany Dim Sum Haus Dumplings Chinese Food

THE REVIEW

Places that advertise dim sum usually have only three typical items listed under their appetizers: siu mai (pork dumplings), har gao (shrimp dumplings), and bao (steamed pork bun). Dim Sum Haus, however, lived up to its name. While I couldn't list every dim sum item there can possibly be, the menu included a significantly wider variety than what many restaurants in Europe seem to offer.

We ordered siu mai, cha siu bao, soup dumplings, spare ribs in black bean sauce, deep fried taro dumplings, and beef rolled in rice noodles. It doesn't seem like a lot of food, but I have this blurry memory at the end of being very, very full and satisfied.

It may not deliver the full dim sum experience, but does that really matter when your belly is full of delicious dumplings?


Dim Sum Haus, Kirchenallee 37, 20099 Hamburg, Germany, +49 40 280 23 12

Want more? Check out the Archive!