Tasting Tableaus: A Culinary Tour of Schiedam’s Finest
What Rotterdam sometimes lacks can be found in neighbouring Schiedam: restaurants located in beautiful, historic buildings, often overlooking the water. Here’s a short culinary tour of some of them.
Words: Ellen Scholtens
Oyster pearls materialise from the kitchen; balls filled with exciting flavours, lightly frozen in molds, then dipped in cocoa butter to give them a pearly lustre. “The pearls are crispy on the outside, and then you bite into them and get this explosion of oyster, ginger and passion fruit flavours,” explains chef Marcel van Suijlekom.
The owner/chef of De Provenier restaurant in central Schiedam loves explosive flavours. Lamb’s neck slowly cooked with truffle, peas and roasted garlic, and monkfish with rendang and curry, for example.
Rendang is a traditional West Sumatran (Indonesia) dish made by stewing beef in coconut milk. Marcel makes his using seaweed. First, he fries lemongrass, fresh ginger, red pepper and lime leaves, adding fresh seaweed followed by soy sauce, chicken broth and coconut milk. The mixture is then vacuum sealed and left to rest for a while to bring out and marry the flavours.
Another one of his exciting creations is a glass, ball-shaped bowl filled with “earth” made from porcini mushrooms and sweetbreads. After drying and grinding the mushrooms, flour, butter and sugar are added to make a crumble. This is then spread out on a silicone mat and baked for 20 minutes at 100 degrees Celsius, with the mixture being briskly stirred and loosened during the cooking process so that “the ‘soil’ stays crumbly.”
The modernness of Marcel’s cooking – there is also a dish with beetroot that has been aged and dried for 21 days – is a perfect counterpoint to the classic style of Provenier House where the restaurant is located. The building was designed by city architect Arij van Bol’es and built between 1756 and 1761. During the 18th and 19th centuries, Schiedam residents were able to purchase ‘provenier’ for themselves, which secured them lifelong food and lodgings in the house. This sort of arrangement was a precursor to today’s retirement homes.
For their restaurant, Marcel and his wife were looking for an historic building with a particular atmosphere. There are a number in Rotterdam, but rents have risen enormously in recent years. This caused them to look further afield in Schiedam, where they found this heritage building with its lounge terrace on the Schie River.
A bar with copper fixtures and a huge copper chandelier define the atmosphere in the restaurant, with its stone floor, wooden tables and royal blue chairs.
Tables for two clad in white linen and lamps with soft lighting are set out in the restaurant’s loft area, the perfect spot for a more intimate lunch or dinner.
Overschiesestraat 7, Schiedam
Open: Wed-Sun 12 – 4 PM and 5 – 9:30 PM