Discover Benelux, Issue 30, June 2016

Page 66

Discover Benelux | Tourism | Leiden City Special

Perfectly grilled steaks and authentic Dutch vegetables TEXT: KOEN GUIKING | PHOTOS: P.P. DE MEIJER

At Steakhouse Terroir in Leiden they know what it takes to grill a rib eye or tournedos to perfection. “When you heat meat it gets tense. To get a supertender piece of meat, it is important to give it time to rest on a separate part of the grill,” chef Merlijn van der Krogt explains. To achieve that exceptional piece of succulent meat, the owners of Steakhouse Terroir had their grill custom made. “We financed it through crowdfunding, which in turn resulted in more clients from all over the country, many of whom have become loyal customers,” says co-owner Justus Brasem. But do not be mistaken; Steakhouse Terroir is not just about meat. “We believe that the vegetables are just as important as the meat. We use a lot of authentic 66 | Issue 30 | June 2016

Dutch vegetables and people seem to really appreciate that,” Brasem says. The restaurant’s philosophy is to find and enhance the original flavours of all products used. “The origin of a product determines its flavour. Just as the taste of wine is influenced by the climate and soil conditions of the region in which the grapes are cultivated, so do these circumstances affect the qualities of meat and vegetables.” Hence the name Terroir, which means the environmental factors that shape the properties of crops. Brasem and Van der Krogt, who both had extensive experience in the hospitality business before opening up their steakhouse in a former slaughterhouse in the north of Leiden, believe that simplicity is the key to bringing out the best in food and wine. “Our dishes are

pretty straightforward. If you order a bone marrow and onion, or chicory with ham and cheese, you will get just that; nothing more, nothing less. The ingredients are matched in such a way that the flavours enhance one another,” adds Brasem. Transparency about the origin of the ingredients and the composition of the dishes gives customers full control of what they want to eat and how much they are willing to spend, Brasem explains. For that same reason, all the meat can be ordered per 100 grams. “Not everyone who comes to a steakhouse wants a big piece of meat,” he says. “Plus, we embrace the idea of ‘shared dining’. We encourage people to order a variety of dishes per table and share them amongst each other,”