Petit café Rabarber in Utrecht has a menu full of special dishes
When college friends Else Nugteren and Pauline Polak opened the doors of Rabarber, they realized their hospitality dream. The concept? There isn't really one. They wanted to create a place where they themselves would prefer to be and that is why they actually do everything they like and enjoy. This results in a cafe with an organized chaos; they keep changing.
And because of those changes and their own will, it is such a place where you always want to come back to, but where you can go all day long as well. The kitchen is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except on Sundays, then they start an hour later. It is therefore the perfect place to start with a nice cup of coffee, continue with breakfast and then choose one of the special, tasty lunches. And if you prefer to have a hearty lunch in the morning and have an (un)healthy breakfast in the afternoon, then they don't have a problem with that either. The entire menu can be ordered throughout the day!
Well, we arrived around two o'clock and quickly caught the last table in the middle of the spot. Time to order a drink; Ruden ordered a glass of fresh jus d'orange and I went for the jungle tea (with all the different herbs) - yes, indeed mainly because of the name. We usually start with an extensive photo session, this time we enjoyed our drink because of the crowds and we studied the menu.
The menu is really special in a positive way! The menu changes quickly - as we said, they love changes - but this time there were quite a few creative dishes on it, such as a turmeric latte breakfast (with cocoa-granola, hazelnut and grilled apple) and a Greek pita (with smoked eggplant, carrot hummus, beetroot, pinned red onion, a boiled egg, rettich and zhug). With a little help from the staff, Ruden finally opted for two fried eggs on white sourdough bread with kimchi, miso mayonnaise, fresh herbs and furikake popcorn (also possible with bio-bacon by the way). I had a little less choice because I can't really eat gluten, but the oatmeal with mushrooms and kale caught my attention the most. If you really can't choose, the Mezze breakfast plate is also a nice option, that way you can try all kinds of Mediterranean snacks.
We already saw the most beautiful creations being brought to our "neighbors", but were quickly surprised with our own meals. You cannot make a reservation here, but they do try to help everyone as quickly as possible. The combination of oatmeal, mushroom and kale sounded strange to me, but I can only be positive about this. It reminded me a bit of risotto. Really delicious! And that while I'm not such an oatmeal eater at all. Ruden had a slightly 'safer' choice with the fried eggs, but the popcorn completely finished this dish. Very unique!
At Rabarber, they use the seasons as a source of inspiration for the menu and they often work with local suppliers. Because why not, if such fantastic products are made nearby? Since a few months they have been serving coffee from the Nordkapp Coffee in Utrecht, which is brought to the Zadelstraat by cargo bike, and Utregs Wijnhuis also ensures that Rabarber is supplied with good wines this way. The 100% organic beers come from De Leckere Brewery and the bread is baked around the corner at Bond & Smulders.
As I told you, the kitchen closes at 5 o'clock in the afternoon, but that certainly doesn't mean it's finished here. You can also just sit comfortably until 8 o'clock to enjoy a good glass of wine or a number of specialty beers with something tasty next to it, such as a cheese plate or bitter garnish. More hungry for something sweet? Even then you will certainly enjoy yourself here, because all the cakes in the display are baked with love for you every day.
As you probably already noticed, there is a lot to tell about this great café. So I will quickly say something about the interior, which also changes regularly. The wall with white and pink - or orange? - checkered tiles immediately attracts attention and is, if you ask me, the eye catcher of this place. But the 'vases' with flowers on the small, brown tables and the seating areas by the window also provide the right atmosphere. They have the cozy living room feeling completely mastered!
As far as we are concerned, you don't want to leave here once you get there. So be sure to stop by, play a game (because yes, you can) or take a seat on the small terrace overlooking the Dom!