Takeout menu from Zinc doesn’t make it difficult for the home cook

Almost twenty-five years ago, Zinc marked the relaunch of Rob Baris, who was famous in Rotterdam for his pioneering work with natural food and his restaurants Le Munich and Kantine Werklust. He handed over the informal, cozy business in Calandstraat to his son Jos and Zinc remained in the Baris family until the end of 2019. The new owner Marcel Dörr started the renovation and opened his doors at the beginning of March last year to have to close it again – corona – almost immediately.

When I come to pick up my order on Good Friday, the tables are neatly lined up, but due to the second lockdown, nobody has been touching it for half a year now. Nevertheless, Dörr makes a cheerful impression. He must be used to adversity, because in 2017 his Artusi business in Delft was hit by fire. Before he left for Delft, he cooked in Rotterdam restaurants such as Loos and Parkzicht.

Dörr has made Zinc lighter and renewed the open kitchen. The atmospheric side wall of rough brick, white tiles and peeling plaster has been maintained. He hasn’t changed the concept either: you eat what’s on offer. Until he can receive guests again, he cooks a three-course takeaway menu for 29.50 euros on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

My two paper bags are ready, only the desserts have to be added from the refrigerator. This time the starter is white asparagus with burrata, peas, artichoke and verveine (vegan) or white asparagus with thinly sliced ​​leg of lamb, hazelnut and truffle vinaigrette. The main course is a frittata of spring vegetables with salad (vegetarian) or grilled veal ribeye with white beans, sage, pancetta and porcini butter. The dessert is pannacotta with strawberry and raspberry, lemon curd and pistachio meringue. I ordered the supplement of four cheeses with fig bread and fig jam (à 3.50 euros) twice.

Dörr does not make it difficult for the home cook. The starter, both the vegetarian version (once ordered) and the one with meat (twice), is eaten cold. None of the three of us is vegan, I divide the contents of the bowls equally over three plates. The asparagus are roasted in both versions and are al dente. The green peas are crispy and the lamb tender. The vegan variant is accompanied by a whole burrata (mozzarella filled with cream), which seems like quite a calorie bomb for one person.

The main course is just as easy to put on the table: it needs to be put in the oven in the oven in which it is packaged for eight minutes at 200 degrees. The frittata is also a generous portion and no cuts have been made on the meat either. Again I divide everything into three. The ribeye is good with a tasty gravy in which the beans float and the frittata with green vegetables is also excellent.

We drink a bottle of Neleman’s tempranillo from our own cellar, who also acts as an accompanist for the cheeses. It is a fruity wine in which we taste cherries before the somewhat smoky aftertaste, the unforgettable summer that awaits us already in the glass.

We eat the dessert from the cardboard jars, because if I wanted to transfer the contents to a plate, I would have to destroy the entire layout: the panna cotta and the lemon curd on the bottom with the meringue balls and the lambada strawberries with some fresh cress and crumble on top.

A great end to a ditto meal, because if this food is what the pot buys, that pot may buy more often. The price-quality ratio is perfectly fine, as is the manufacturability of the menu. Because that is sometimes nice: no bags, jars and trays from which you have to compose the dishes yourself. Or this heated in a bain-marie, in the oven for a while, then in the pan and then on the plate.

Zinc is simple: sit and eat.

is a culinary critic and journalist.

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