Upon arrival we are immediately welcomed by the large pizza oven and after a friendly good evening of an employee, we are referred to a table in the restaurant. The Mediterranean cuisine of the open kitchen leads the way and my stomach begins to growl. This starts pretty good.
Let’s start at the beginning. The poppodium BIRD is located at the Hofbogen (near the Graphic Lyceum) behind the famous yellow staircase. Often, there are performances and cool events, from jazz and salsa to hiphop and rock’n roll, they got it all covered. The original jazz cafe has several rooms, with a musical treat on the agenda just about every day. There is also a restaurant with a menu that is very like Rotterdam, so says BIRD. They try to make a reflection of the multidimensional, robust city through the menu. Which they did very well!
Take the Panzanella, for example; a traditional Italian salad of vegetables, such as pumpkin, cauliflower, parsnip and sweet & sour onion. With a Bianca pizza slice; covered with mozzarella and salt & pepper. It may sound simple, but the flavors together form a beautifully balanced whole that lets you discover something new about the dish every time. Or take the risotto with shrimp and parmesan cheese. This Italian dish is deliciously creamy, but with a flavor that gives a kick. A little extra pit! However, you also taste a grated lemon frieze. A whole taste experience in one bite. And actually that’s with all the Chef’s Table dishes we tried and tasted. Like (my personal favorite) the salmon with basil, chives and parmesan cheese. And they offer more nice flavors in a selection of dishes which you can share together. That’s actually what BIRD’s about; the nice and cozy atmosphere!
While we are enjoying our sweet cooked mussels in white wine sauce, cherry tomatoes and mint, my eye falls on an award. On top of the wine coolers there are two “Rotterdam Music Award” trophies. The room is filled with several odes to the music. Like the mint green piano next to one of the tables. The vinyl records of Michael Jackson and Prince on the wall. But the big picture of jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker stands out the most to us. Later we are also told that the name of the poppodium is a reference to this man, whose nickname was BIRD.
Slowly, more and more people are welcomed at the cozy restaurant. The sun shines its last sun rays into the building through the large windows at the front. It’s warm and cozy inside. The tables are filled with couples and groups of friends and family, young and old, they are all there. The lights turn on and light up the hollow ceiling. Meanwhile we are five courses further, our belly is more than well filled and we enjoy a cappuccino and tea.
We walk towards the exit, past the open kitchen where the chef and his staff are busy with orders. The smells, the music, the cosiness, overall a great experience. Yes, we know for sure; we will definitely come back here!
Address: Raampoortstraat 26-28
Opening hours restaurant: Tuesday – Saturday: 5.30 pm – 9.30 pm