This post is part of a series of posts from my Netherland’s trip, where I was in Apeldoorn for a performance of my work. On that trip, I also visited Amsterdam (for the third time!), stayed with my friend Patrick in The Hague for a few days, visited Utrecht with YCM14 friends and all-round merry-making in the Netherlands.
Some of the participants of YCM14 spent our day off ‘work’ in the nearby city of Utrecht. Winkel Van Sinkel was our first stop for munchies since we got up late, missed the train, and effectively missed lunch hour too. I had no idea what Winkel Van Sinkel was when I was there, but I now know that it was the building of an old department store built in 1839. The architecture of the place was very interesting and some of us took a walk around the building (illegally) to explore. One thing to note, there’s a huge skylight in this building, which reminds me of the shophouses we have in Singapore.
Here we are, all seated, and more than overjoyed to have some food other than train station french fries (though, to be honest, those tasted better than the food we got here.)
The menus were newspaper! Ingenius! They have English menus too, but the translations are not as descriptive. For example, bitterballen was written as croquettes. No, bitterballen aren’t croquettes – they’re not even similar, other than being deep fried! Prices here are typical of the nicer cafes – between 12 and 20 euros for sandwich, warm food, main course type things. Unfortunately, from what I’ve tasted, it’s not worth the price. The space is interesting though, but you can enter and walk around without buying anything.
Here’s people chilling outside in the cold, sipping their coffee, or just taking up space. Haha! People people-watch a lot in Europe, and don’t really sit across from one other. How fascinating.
Bitterballen (5 pieces) – 6 euros: We ordered some bitterballen. Bitterballen is a Dutch snack that people usually eat with beer. It was traditionally made with left-over ingredients, cooked in a gravy, and deep fried. Basically, it’s deep fried gravy with little bits of questionable meat in them. They’re a really delicious snack, but not quite great for lunch. To be honest, I’ve had lots of bitterballen this trip, and this one was one of the least appetizing ones. The gravy was salty but not very flavorful. They were also the most expensive bitterballen I’ve had as well.
Here’s a photo from our illegal exploration. It’s a cute bar within the cafe! No one was manning it though, so I have no idea if it’s open.
Here’s the beautiful skylight! Also, visit the bathrooms; they are interesting. This would be a really cool space for concerts or weddings. Actually, while we were there, there was a harp festival going on in the same building!
Address: Oudegracht 158
3511 AZ Utrecht
Phone: +31 (0)30 230 30 30