Street food is right at the forefront of food trends at the moment. There have been a number of very successful restaurants and food businesses that have begun as street food vendors, being sold at markets and events. Amsterdam is no different, and this weekend is the Rollende Keukens Festival, at the Westergasterrein. Rollende Keukens means “rolling kitchens”, and the festival is crammed full of mobile kitchens in vans, caravans, and even in a converted mini!
There is also entertainment in the form f bands and DJs. When we went on Friday, there were also a fine group of buskers who play rock and roll from the back of a Ford Mustang. This is not the first time I have seen this group, but it is great to see them at a planned event, normally, it is total luck if they happen to park up and start playing at the terrace of your choice. I have still never quite managed to catch their names though.
As well as music, there is a kid’s play area, and a demonstration kitchen which has given a series of lessons throughout the weekend. When we were there today, there was a children’s pizza demonstration. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch the rest of the programme.
After dark, there are a series of food related films on offer, although it is worth noting that we went at nine (dusk) on Friday, and a number of the kitchens were already starting to shut up shop for the day. This may be because the Dutch generally like to eat at 6 -6.30, and it is mostly us expats who fill the restaurants in the late evening. This was a popular event, and it could also be that they need to restock after a busy day, so I am not going to pass judgement as to which is more likely to be the case.
As I mentioned, we went yesterday, and today. With over 75 different stalls, there is plenty to choose from, and I wanted to give as many of them a chance as possible. As you would expect from so many food vendors in the same place, the cuisines are really varied.
With one or two disappointing exceptions, the quality of the food on offer is high. There is something for everyone, including vegetarians, vegans, and even qualitarans like me (organic, local good quality food)! I would have liked to have seen more organic fare, but I really hope that the numbers of producers offering organic will improve if more of us start to demand it.
Over the course of the two evenings, we have eaten oysters, drunk great cocktails, and had some really very good food of all kinds, as well as a couple of disappointments, but no need to dwell upon those.
Rollende Keukens is also open tomorrow from 13.00 – 23.00. It is a fun event, with some great food and drink, and a great atmosphere. We are going back tomorrow to take advantage of the rhubarb tasting menu offered by Mr Kitchen. Maybe we’ll see you there?