Whilst the Coronavirus pandemic has put traditional eateries under huge pressure, a number of ‘home-grown’ kitchens have sprung up, offering a taste of authentic food delivered to your door
By Thomas Ansell
The City of Groningen is fast-becoming the Northern Dutch home of innovative eating; with new food services seemingly opening every other week. This is to be applauded: in the recent Monocle ‘Best Small Cities in the World’ list, where Groningen placed 19th, the biggest criticism of the Northern metropolis was indeed its food offering: “All that cycling and cultural appreciation works up an appetite. A few decent restaurants, please.”
Indian food in Groningen (with one or two exceptions) is an experience that can generally be likened to being at a concert with earplugs in. Not bad, but not exactly a feast for the senses. Enter Curry Me, a new delivery service offering a changing menu each week. It’s a simple concept: order on Monday or Tuesday to eat on Wednesday, or order on Thursday or Friday to eat on Sunday. All of the dishes (with plenty of veggie and vegan options!) have the deep colouring, blended hit of spices, and thickened gravy that signal something quite out of the ordinary. They don’t limit themselves to just one region of India either, with Keralan egg roast sitting pretty next to Northern matar paneer.
With such a long and brutal Dutch colonial history in Indonesia, you might think that some good fusion cuisine would be easy to find in the North. Alas, the city of Groningen mostly offers greasy messes. Not Tante Greet, though, who provides Indonesian food on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings as well ask catering services. From deeply warming Rendang, to long-stewed Babi Ketjap; it’s all lovingly prepared by owner Hilda Dijkstra, who maintains that ‘food connects people’. We’ll toast to that!
Shabbat Shalom Bakery
Now, full disclosure, I have occasionally had Jewish baked goods™ shipped to me from other countries. And whilst you still can’t find a decent bagel within 50km of Groningen (sorry Bagels and Beans), you can now get braided, enriched, and completely moreish Challah in the city via Shabbat Shalom Bakery. Whilst the owner’s Israeli vibes might make you think of sunshine and light food, their Challot and Babkas come straight out of an Ashkenazi fantasy. They even do vegan versions, too! There’s no delivery at the moment, but the bakery is located in central Groningen.