It’s that time of year again, the holy month of Ramadan is upon us. Come tomorrow, Muslims around the globe will be fasting from sunrise till sunset. A time for reflection and spiritual recharging. And where my parents come from, the best month of the year. The time for family gatherings, good food and outings with friends.
Growing up in the Netherlands, that whole Ramadan ambiance is the thing I always missed most. Over the last few years though, the Ramadan spirit seems to have come alive here too. And now that I have more fasting friends in my social network, I can feel that ambiance I have always longed for, growing each year. There are even places we can go to now, to enjoy iftar (which literally means breakfast, the first meal of the day) and break our fast amongst friends and family members outside the confinement of our homes. Here are 3 spots in Rotterdam you will definitely find me at least once over the next month:
The very best Indian-Pakistani restaurant in town. My Indian friend first introduced me to this place many years ago and I have been hooked ever since. The only other place I have ever eaten better Indian food was in India itself. All the meat is halal and during Ramadan besides serving iftar they also have a special area for praying.
This place is renowned for its amazing spare ribs and non-alcoholic cocktails. During Ramadan though, you can indulge your senses on a special iftar buffet after breaking your fast with some dates and Moroccan Harira soup. And to stay in the spirit of Ramadan the owners donate a part of the profit to orphans in their home country. I say time and money well spent! 😉
My friends and I were already loyal customers back in the day when you could just drop by this place without a reservation and pick your table. Nowadays you’re lucky if you can have dinner before 9 p.m. The perks of Ramadan in the Netherlands, iftar isn’t until after 22.00 😉 which means we can enjoy the authentic Ramadan spirit in the company of lighted lanterns just like in Egypt 🙂 A little piece of home away from home, just the way I like it. And so is the food!