Aloha bar in Rotterdam

I have been falling in love with Rotterdam recently. It has been the place I have visited most in 2016. The city has changed so much in the last years (in a good way!) and has become a real heaven for foodies like me. New food concepts, hipster markets and groovy bars, they all found their way to Rotterdam. 
One of the coolest places I discovered there is Aloha Bar. Set in a dilapidated tropical swimming pool from the nineties this bar and restaurant will blow you away with charm and style. 

The Tropicana swimming pool used to be a landmark in Rotterdam, where many children's birthday parties were held. But then bad management made an end to it and the building was completely neglected for many years until a few people and local authorities set their shoulders under the renovation project and re-invented it into a place for fabulous food and drink. Every time I was in Aloha bar I overheard a mum or dad telling their child how they used to come swimming here and the birthday parties they went to. Partly with nostalgia and partly with pride that this place has found a new life again. 

With respect for the original features - you can now walk through the wild river passage and the swimming pool coat hangers are still there - they turned the space into a cool loungy spot. Just picture it: Sunday morning brunches at the front where the sun shines through the floor to ceiling windows, hidden corners with comfy sofas to sink into and have daylong chats with friends, an outdoor terrace with a fabulous view of the Rotterdam skyline along the river, the perfect spot for an apĂ©ritif. Sitting on the swing with a nice gin & tonic in my hand and the river sea breeze on my face on a hot August afternoon, is going to be on my 2016 best moments list.

Sustainability can only be high on the agenda of people who re-invent a rundown swimming pool. The place offers shelter for different food entrepreneurs who work with the principle of circular economy. Aloha bar roasts their own coffee beans in the restaurant. They use the outer peel of the coffee berry to make tea or as a sweetener in their recipes. They even brew beer with it. The Aloha white stout is produced with a local brewery. There is a beekeeper and a oyster mushroom producer working on the site.

The menu is a reflection of the owners fabulous taste and food knowledge. Expect really flavoursome dishes and surprising contemporary food styles: from amazing appetizers like sweet potato aioli to signature dishes like pork stew with Aloha white stout beer or mushroom 'bitterballen' with coffee mayonaise. Bitterballen are a typical Dutch appetizer normally made with meat. At Aloha bar you get the veggie version made with the oyster mushrooms that are grown in-house on the ground of the Aloha coffee beans! The circle is round. And yummy.

What is the vibe? Totally relaxed, all day eating and drinking and hopefully the sun shines so you can chill on the terrace with a spectacular view.

What is on the menu? Very original food, ever tried finely ground coffee with your cheese? Around the world recipes made with local products, think Peruvian chicken and North Sea shrimp dim sum. Lots of veggies.

When to visit? Open 7 days a week from 12:00 till late.

Aloha bar and restaurant
Maasboulevard 100
The Netherlands

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