I grew up eating rice with every meal. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.. rice is always on the menu. Well, what else can I say? Rice is life! That is why I never felt so much rice deprived until my trip to the Netherlands. I will not lie. My friends already warned me about this but I never felt the intensity of their words until I felt my stomach growling like crazy on my first day! To think, it was only my first day in the beautiful Netherlands. I thought I was going to lose myself. There was already a little voice inside my head saying “Rice is life! Rice is life!”. I guess I just can’t stop being Asian. HA HA!
My first attempt failed. I thought I can get it from the hotel’s restaurant so I ordered a roasted chicken but to my surprise it only came with fries. Fries, mayo and a salad. Wow! Where’s the rice? My poor heart was disappointed. Looking around my neighborhood in Zaltbommel, I didn’t find any nearby sources of food aside from Jumbo and ALDI.
Samy’s Eetcafe in Den Bosch
When we took a stroll in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, I told Tina, my colleague, that I have craved for Asian cuisines (specifically rice) since my first day in the Netherlands. From our experience, it was not easy looking for an Asian restaurant even in the beautiful and lively city of Den Bosch. The light rain was also making our search a bit challenging. We passed through one corner to the other until we found Samy’s. Sure. There were small Asian stalls selling different variation of noodles along the sidewalk but Samy’s was the place we were looking for.
The place was fine and warm.
It was perfect for that cold night. The waiters were very accommodating and they guided us to a vacant spot. It was not that spacious inside though but I enjoyed the cozy feeling. You can also share a few drinks at Samy’s with your friends. While waiting for the food, my colleagues ordered beer. Tina and I had sweet beer and it was delicious!
I ordered pork ribs and of course rice (which was sold separately). As usual, the food serving was too much for me so I took my leftover back to the hotel for my midnight snack. My colleagues were surprised when I ordered two servings of rice but they were too kind to understand how desperate I was craving for it. HA HA! Tina ordered shrimp on the other hand.
While we were paying for our bill, the waiter who attended us asked for my age. He said that I look 13 but he served me a glass of beer. Oh the look on his face when he found out I’m already 22! HA HA!
River Kwai in Utrecht
This Thai restaurant is definitely heaven-sent. Two days after our night in Den Bosch, we decided to explore Utrecht and search for Asian restaurants again. I would say River Kwai is a haven of Asian Cuisines. The waitress who attended us was also very friendly and quick. She assisted us and answered our questions with a smile. I felt at home. And for that, I’m giving her a two thumbs up!
Great Thai food that feels like home.
I ordered pork with salsa and mushroom and it smelled good! (I can’t remember what it was called). The plating was very lovely too. The food was served hot which was also perfect for the rainy evening. Then, the rice (which was sold separately again) made me feel so much more at home. This time, it was a plain rice compared to the garlic rice at Samy’s.
How it’s like to be Asian in Holland?
I’m not sure but damn it’s so hard to be Asian (and rice-eater) in Netherlands. Oops! I’m not being racist here. HA HA! A cup of rice is sold separately and it is expensive! Next time when I visit, I’m definitely going to bring my rice cooker and a sack of rice.
P.S. Samy’s and River Kwai were the only restaurants serving Asian cuisines that I tried during my stay.
Can you not live a day without eating rice also? Tell me some of your “rice hunting” experience and how did it go? I also love to hear more restaurants serving Asian Cuisines in Netherlands so if you know any, please don’t hesitate to comment it down below.