THE MARKTHAL | Rotterdam

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I finally got to see the the country’s building du jour. It was opened by no less than the queen of the country, so it’s got to be something. Even if I was okay to grab a bite at the Bijenkorf store, it was a given that we had to go to the new food hall for lunch. For a low-rise building, the Markthal certainly had its share of press. Local news, CNN, even Philippine news, and I was curious to see if it lived up to all the hype. Thing was, everyone and their uncle seemed to have the same idea.

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Pretty imposing from the outside, given the Sunday crowd, it felt small and not in a cozy way. After seeing the crowd I was surprised that my partner didn’t just turn and walk out the door, and I was on tenterhooks each minute we were looking for a good place to eat thinking he’d storm out of frustration. Luckily, neither happened though we ended up on our feet during the entire meal, which my partner didn’t even care to finish. So much for a leisurely Sunday lunch.     
While beautiful to look at, when we finally bought lunch and had time to think, one of the things that came to mind was how it was like to live in the flats above the food hall. I hope for their sake their windows are sound- and smell-proof. It’s an amazing place to live in Rotterdam and totally convenient for what it offers – I for one would be so tempted to eat out every night – but for now it’s an easy choice. I’ll have the green and quiet environs of West Amsterdam anytime. 

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