Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Utrecht, Netherlands: Tai Soen - a prelude

It's funny how ironic HT couple was the past few weeks.  We've been cooking asian dishes, dining in asian restaurants and unknowingly, we were starting to express our excitement for our 1-month vacation in PH and SG through our palates.

And aside from eating, I noticed these past few weeks, i'm being surrounded by my friends here.  It's like a feel of how I will be spending time with my friends and family back home.

Tai Soen is yet another chinees-indisch restaurant (chinese-indonesian) in Utrecht which has been standing at Hoog Catharijne, the mall connected to the train station, Utrecht Centraal.  It's difficult to miss this place when walking around especially on a Saturday noon, this place might not have long queues from outside, but once you get in, it's definitely crowded with a mixture of Europeans and Asian diners.

We met up with a friend who suggested this place to us.  She had been here several times even though she's not living in Utrecht.  And she vouched for the dimsum here...

Chee Cheong Fun - our friend was craving for this.  We even can't find it in the menu and she thoroughly explained it to the waiter to make sure we're getting the right dish and then I learned that she was looking for cheong fun.  I was not a fan of this dimsum as the impression to me that it was just skins.  We got the shrimp filling, which were pretty big and tasty.  The skin was smooth and it was not too thick nor too thin.  I actually like it so I will definitely have one in SG.
It's funny, but as far as I can remember, i think this was my first cheong fun in my life...and I got it in Holland.  :)

Har Gaw - an all-time favorite...steamed shrimp dumpling.  I learned this even before i learn to talk.  Just like how dutch learned to cycle before they can even walk. :)

Pork Siomai - I love siomai if they're not dry and packed with more meat than fats.  I get goosebumps when I accidentally chew on pork fats.  My mom trained me and my sisters pretty well not to consume fats to the fact that we dislike eating them.  But my dad was a good father to my only brother, he taught him how to eat fats smackingly and letting us feel that we're missing something.

Spareribs in black bean sauce - This was so-so and bland.  I thought the taste would be the same as chicken feet but I guess nothing beats slurping the sauce, skinning the feet and leaving bits and pieces of small bones and finishing a plate is considered an achievement. :)

Babi Panggang - an indonesian dish, typically seen on indonesian-chinese table, is made of pan fried pork (similar to lechon kawali in PH), smothered with tomato-based sauce.  It was my first time to try this dish and I was surprised it looks simple but taste was amazingly good!  The pork was not to dry yet crispy and the sweet tangy sauce went well with the meat.  Ask any Netherlander, for sure, they know what Babi Panggang is (they even have Lay's Potato Chips in Babi Panggang flavor :D).  This is easy to get around Netherlands, as every chinese-indonesian restaurants for sure, serves their own variety of this babi.  (according to wikipedia, this is indo-chinese version of char siew)

I would recommend to try this place when you're around the neighborhood of Utrecht.  Thanks Rei for the recommendation and for stopping by.

Now, do you think HT couple are ready to fly back to Asia? Yes, we are!!!

 Price Summary(euro)
Dimsum - 3+ to 5+ euro per plate
Babi Panggang = 12+ euro (includes rice, i think)
Tai Soen
275 Godebaldkwartier
Hoog Catharijne


  1. Loraine, I didn't know you don't like eating fats.. hahaha... Andrew and I agree with your dad... you're missing a lot! :P

  2. amwtang@hotmail.comOctober 6, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    Hello, I'm the daughter of the owner of this restaurant and for the opening of the official facebook page I have used some of your pictures. Is that okay? If not then I will delete the pictures immediately.

    Kind regards,

    Alice Tang

    1. Hi's ok...:) It would be great to put the link of this post of mine of Tai Soen as the description.