Read this post in: Dutch
Olivia De Beukelaer has relocated from London to Rotterdam. Now she takes every opportunity to explore her new home. You can follow her Rotterdam adventures on Instagram @olivia.in.rotterdam. As a regular blogger at Weekends in Rotterdam she is mostly reviewing the city’s food and drink scene. For her latest review she went to Restaurant Allure, located in the still relatively little-known area of Entrepothaven in Rotterdam, and had a wonderful four-course dinner with wine pairing. She shares her experience below. Enjoy!
Restaurant Allure: a fine-dining experience in Rotterdam
Allure is a modern French-style restaurant located in the still relatively little-known area of Entrepothaven, close to Kop van Zuid and Noordereiland. The restaurant is run by two of its former employees: Chef de Cuisine Terry and Maître d’ Brian. When Terry and Brian took over the restaurant, they revamped the menu, decor and service to create the fine-dining experience on which Restaurant Allure prides itself today. We were invited to try out their four-course menu with wine pairing on a sunny Sunday evening.
We started our evening on the restaurant’s open-air terrace, surrounded by the tranquil waters of the Entrepothaven port and the historic Entrepotgebouw warehouse. Smartly dressed staff gave us a professional welcome, showed us to our table and pulled out our chairs. Although the initial interactions and white-glove (literally) service were very formal and felt a little detached, once we started asking questions and getting them chatting, our hosts opened up to reveal a warm personality and a real passion for what they do.
Glass of champagne in hand, we watched the dazzling sun slowly set over the sleek yachts and traditional boats that fill the port of this quiet corner of Rotterdam. If the weather doesn’t allow for an open-air aperitif, the windows of the circular-shaped restaurant also offer a 180-degree view over the harbour. Alternatively, you can settle on a bouncy chair by the open kitchen that proudly sits in the centre of the restaurant. There, you can watch Terry and his chefs hard at work with pots, pans and tweezers. The Chef’s Table, which comes with a 10-course menu, offers the best view of all.
On the menu
You can either create your own menu from a selection of cold and warm starters, mains and desserts. Or trust the chefs to make the decisions for you (always my preference!) with the three, four or seven-course set menus.
Our four-course dinner menu set off with a series of three delicate appetisers: black olive bread topped with lavender mayonnaise, bite-sized pork belly flanked by a slice of gherkin, and mini tacos with a kick. Then came the first dish: an Asian-inspired explosion of fresh, bubbly, crunchy, sour and umami textures and flavours, featuring mackerel, cucumber, wakame (Japanese seaweed), radish and gooseberries. This was followed by plaice and mussels on a bed of cauliflower rice, and tenderloin with apple and sweet potatoes done three ways. In each dish, the vegetables were as much part of the show as the fish and meat. Sour, sweet, icy, spicy and tangy, they had attitudes and characters of their own vying for our attention.
Then the time came for Allure’s signature kaaswagen trolley piled high with cheeses to make its grand entrance. How can you resist and opt for a sweet dessert, now that you’ve witnessed the wonders that await you in the cheese course? There’s delicate goat cheese infused with lavender, Dutch hard cheese, gooey soft cheese served on a spoon, intense blue cheeses, parmesan and more. But if the sound of the raspberry and beetroot dessert also triggers your intrigue, there’s always the option to extend your menu to an extra course!
Our first course of mackerel really was a showstopper bursting with attention-grabbing elements. And the cheese trolley is of course a must for any cheese lover.
We let the experts beautifully marry our drinks with our dishes, which took us on a paired wine journey from sweet Germany to opulent Spain, via full-bodied France and smoky Portugal. For the less adventurous or more patriotic, wine and champagne are of course also available by the glass and bottle.
Do you know your X chromosomes from your Ys? Be sure to brush up on your biology before heading to Allure if you plan on using the facilities. Ladies, the XX door is for you. Gents, walk straight on towards XY.
For who, for when
Allure aims to go one step above expectations in everything they do. And they certainly deliver on this promise. This is a great restaurant if you’re looking to impress someone, especially on a romantic level. The sunset and harbour backdrop, fine service and elegant dishes, combined with the hints of soft pinks scattered across the decor of the restaurant, make the perfect setting for a starry-eyed date or anniversary.
And this restaurant is not the preserve of big earners (although if you do happen to own your own boat, Allure can organise a mooring spot for you!). For the quality of the food and service, prices here are quite reasonable. You can also opt for shorter or longer set menus to keep prices within your budget. But if you’re a big eater, make sure to go for a minimum of four courses to leave the restaurant feeling satisfied.
From €38 per person for a 3-course dinner, to €78 for 8 courses with cheese. Plus €4 per paired half glass of wine or €7.25 per full glass.
Cargadoorskade 107, 3071 AW Rotterdam
Tuesday – Sunday: 12:00 – 14:00 for lunch & 18:00 – 22:00 for dinner
Have you already been to Allure in Rotterdam? Let us know in the comments below! Are you looking for some more inspiration for hotspots in Rotterdam? Be sure to check out my Instagram @olivia.in.rotterdam.
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