Friday 18 April | 2014
Easter weekend, Netherlands: nothing was open except the tulips.
So we took a bus just out of the centre of town to try our luck at Picknick, a hipster’s delight that happens to serve all day brunch in the Stadsdriehoek suburb of Rotterdam.
If you wake up hungry and have to wait a while to eat, this is a great place to do it. There are so many quirky things to look at here, starting with the industrial interior complete with exposed pipes and hanging lightbulbs.
The Dutch menu is handpainted onto an unfinished concrete wall, a mannequin stands by casually modelling an orange suit, and the table salt dishes come with cute little wooden spades. A pair of old baggage holders from a bus, or perhaps a train, have also found their new home above us.
The typical continental breakfast is updated beautifully by the Picknick Breakfast Platter (€10.50). The boiled egg, cold meat, bread, butter, confiture and orange juice are all there but the quality of ingredients at Picknick is very high, and it is presented with so much love, not to mention the addition of a delicious fluffy scone for a creative twist.
Frühstück 2.0 features hearty farmhouse bread, real ham off the bone, amazing Dutch cheese, and jam that tastes like real fruit and not flavoured sugar syrup. The coffee is artisan and very rich, as much a tribute to the creamy milk being used as the full flavoured beans.
We are also learning very quickly how good Dutch cheese is, further demonstrated by my toasted ham and cheese croissant (€3.00). It’s light, flaky, buttery, and easily the best thing I will eat all week.
The fruit salad (€5.50) is another refreshing menu item that tosses out boring melon, kiwifruit and canned pineapple in favour of exotic red dragonfruit, crisp green grapes and chia seeds. I’m thankful for the very light drizzle of honey, as well as the large jar of crunchy granola that I can help myself to, and only wish the natural yoghurt was a thicker Greek variety.
There’s one brilliant little surprise on the way out: a proef platter of brownies. Proef, proof, prove, probieren… in any language we know what to do! As far as brownies go, these are pretty close to perfection: the rich dark chocolate flavour is all there, and they are just sweet enough, dense yet still cakey, rounded out with a fine crispy crust.
Great Picknick fare, lots of details, lots of love.
Check out Picknick’s menu here: