And yet, despite common misconceptions of Rotterdam, Netherlands as the practical plain Jane, a discerning traveler can be delightfully surprised with Rotterdam’s little hidden secrets. Like its wonderfully diverse cuisines.
Take the Kapsalon for instance.
What is a Kapsalon?
Kapsalon is the Rotterdam version of British pub food. It is a Turkish meal, a local variant of the tasty shoarma.
Imagine an aluminum takeaway container with alternate layers containing crispy French fries and generous doses of fried lamb meat. Now, add sambal (thick spicy sauce), garlic mayonnaise, melted cheese and bits of lettuce to the dish. And the you get a Kapsalon, a truly greasy meal indeed.
It comes in two sizes; buy a klein (small) one for around 2.50 Euro and groot (big) for 4 Euro.
A little bit of History
It’s understandable if you are confused by the name of this unique dish. After all, every hair salon you come across in Rotterdam is also called a Kapsalon. So, what’s the story behind this?
Well, the story goes that a hairdresser walked down from his work to local Turkish food store in Schiedamseweg. It must have been one of those finicky days when he was not quite sure what he wanted to eat because he ended up asking ‘for a bit of everything, bit of that and this’ in the takeaway container. Creativity induced by hunger pangs and the Kapsalon was born!
Seems like he kept ordering that same dish and soon enough, everyone else wanted the same tantalizing meal. You can see how it came to be named after him – the kapsalon’s lunch eventually came to be known as the Kapsalon.
Now, the Kapsalon can be found in almost all Turkish eateries in Rotterdam.
So when you visit Rotterdam, be sure to try this interesting meal. Better yet, drop by El Aviva on Schiedamseweg, the little Turkish eatery that is believed to be the birthplace of the Kapsalon.