New on the Rotterdam food scene is Street Food by Han, a partnership between Wah Nam Hong supermarket and Chef Han Ji of Chinese-fusion restaurants UMAMI by Han. T
he casual street food restaurant is located on the first floor of Wah Nam Hong in the Markthal – handy for picking up a few of your favourite Asian ingredients on the way out! We were invited to drop by for lunch. Read on to see how it went.
We walked up the stairs inside Wah Nam Hong supermarket, past the rows of pots, pans and beckoning lucky cats, and into the brightly lit Street Food by Han. The newly-opened eatery wasn’t busy, but there was a steady trickle of diners coming and going. We chose a high table overlooking the colourful Markthal, from where we could people-watch the tourists and locals sampling ice creams, macarons and noodles below.
On the menu
The fairly lengthy menu comes illustrated with photos of the dishes on offer. Usually a sign of a not-so-great quality restaurant (think the dodgy kebab shop down the road or tourist traps near Greek holiday resorts), in this case, the photos revealed Insta-pretty dishes decorated with flower petals, popcorn, tiny green leaves and colourful slices of radishes and beets.
Small plates to share included bao buns, spring rolls, wonton, and meat and prawn satay. While meals for one featured ramen and clay pot rice dishes. Although the rice and ramen looked very tempting, we opted for several plates of street food to sample a good variety of what was on offer. We ordered seven plates between the two of us, but five between two would have been enough.
This street food concept by Han is similar to that of his now well-established UMAMI restaurants, where dishes mix all five basic tastes: sweet, savoury, sour, bitter and, of course, umami. This concept did lead to some interesting flavour combinations, such as duck and cucumber bao buns topped with cream and grated cheese. Some of these additions weren’t always to our taste, but easy enough to push off if needed, to reveal crisp flavours and succulent meats below.
My favourite plate was the little street food dish of green lamb curry. Although not exactly the prettiest dish on the menu, the flavours were full of depth – and even the garnish of grated cheese worked for me this time! I’d also recommend the very reasonably priced fresh spring/summer roll of mango, cucumber and purple cabbage. For my table companion, three dishes took the top spot: the duck spring roll, tenderloin bao bun and iberico satay – the winning factor being the quality and tenderness of the meat.
It had to be the homemade jasmine watermelon ice tea and fresh young cononut water. Not only because these were the most interesting drinks on the menu, but, let’s face it, also because the little pink umbrella and red bobbling balls of watermelon would look pretty good on photos. Aside from a couple of green teas and Asian beers, the rest was a pretty standard offering of soft, hot and alcoholic drinks.
For who, for when
It’s of course a must for fans of the UMAMI by Han restaurants looking for a casual version of their favourite haunt. But locals, tourists and Instagrammers can also find here a quiet respite from the Markthal featuring elevated street food at affordable prices. Street Food by Han opens from lunch until early dinner, as it closes alongside the rest of the Markthal at 8pm on most days, with the kitchen closing one hour before.
Average price: Around €6 to €7 for a small plate, while one-person dishes range from €8 to €20.
Address: Street Food by Han Markthal, Verlengde Nieuwstraat 89, 3011GX Rotterdam
Monday – Saturday 11:00 – 20:00
Friday 11:00 – 21:00
Sunday 12:00 – 18:00
Have you already been to Street Food by Han in the Markthal? Let us know what you thought in the comments below!