Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Arriving at the Rotterdam outpost of the Netherlands’ very own De Bijenkorf before opening time proved interesting. After finding easy parking in their underground garage, we needed to wait about ten minutes for the department store’s steel doors to magically open at 10 a.m. this Saturday. With slight luck they opened a full minute ahead of schedule – our sheepishly waiting in an industrial-looking stairwell along with several other eager beavers just to go shopping was a first – and not long after we were zeroing in on the expansive cafe-restaurant on the second floor to start the day off right with a window-seat breakfast. It was a nice, quiet start to this the first day of February.


My plan to finish off the gift card I got courtesy of work was thwarted by one unusual fact – De Bijenkorf didn’t have a lot of their online items physically available on the floor, in fact none of the items on my shopping list were there at all. With our friend, Pieterjan, tagging along on our excursion to Rotterdam, the window shopping continued along with trips to an Apple-affiliated store and a place specializing in men’s suits where he splurged like there was no tomorrow, bringing home a new laptop as well as a new, beautifully-cut pinstripe. Nothing like some serious shopping therapy to lift up one’s weekend. It wasn’t long after that it was already time for lunch and with little prodding from our now sartorially-blessed friend, we arrived at the Brasserie Waalhaven right next to the Rotterdam Airport runway for our second meal of the day.


The restaurant it turns out is a replica of a similar building destroyed during WWII though I would have been easily fooled to think otherwise. It was realistically and tastefully redone and a great choice for a plane-spotting stopover, and more so for lunch.
Unfortunately, the space was practically overrun with excessively loud children who were so distracting that even though we moved to a table at the farthest end of the hall, the din was still noticeable. Add to that a house burger which at nearly €17 could best be described as mediocre, I couldn’t finish it at all. The Captain Morgan and cola though made it all seem harmless and it still wouldn’t be far fetched that Teko and I, and perhaps our friend, Pieterjan, as well, return for another try. We were in Rotterdam today, ostensibly to shop but in the end did nothing but eat.

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