Yet another great opening in Het Industriegebouw in Rotterdam. A fine dining restaurant with the very exciting name Héroine.
If you go to Rotterdam, you only have to save 1 pin on Google Maps nowadays and that is the one of Het Industriegebouw. The building has been there since 1952 and is a symbol for the post-war construction of the city. A few years ago it was bought by a Rotterdam investor who turned it into a modern hotspot. The architects of MVRDV work there, and there are cool restaurants such as By Jarmusch, Old Scuola and Alfredo’s Taqueria. Héroine is the latest addi(c)tion. I spoke with owner Eva Eekman who runs Héroine together with chef Michael Schook and sommelier Fred de Neef.
The idea of a new restaurant was born at De Matroos en het Meisje where Eva is also the owner together with two other silent partners: “Michael came from Restaurant de Hoefslag and started there as a chef three years ago. He always had the ambition to open something himself and because we work together so well, the idea of Héroine was born quickly after. Michael worked with Fred in The Hague before. Fred has a background in finances, but switched to wine and followed almost every course there is about the topic. He’s now responsible for the wine menu and the beers. It’s so nice to set something up from scratch. So you can implement everything you find important to create the perfect picture. With Héroine we can really show the better version of ourselves.
Héroine is actually a combination of contradictions: “We are in an industrial building, but we do not want an industrial image. We want to focus on fine dining, but not with the corresponding prices and etiquette. We want a beautiful, feminine, strong name with a wink.” That took some time: “The process of selecting the name was even more difficult than making up the names of our children, also because we had a certain idea and had to discuss it with three different people. Héroine is feminine, tough and open to interpretation. It means heroine. And it fits with our ideas of the interior and the food of Michael which are more refined dishes, rather than rough food.”
For the design they worked together with Modiste. A known name for fans of Petite Passport because they also did the interior of Bonanza Coffee in Kreuzberg, Berlin: “Joeri and Marick from Modiste immediately came up with atmospheric images that made us happy. They found the same things important as us. Lighting, comfort, practicality above design. We wanted to create something we haven’t necessarily seen a lot and they have translated that into this interior. The style is warm, 70’s, with the use of beautiful materials, fabrics and furniture.” Striking in the interior are the Burgundy red couches, the plant wall and the many Wishbone chairs by Danish designer Hans J. Wegner, which we have seen at Bonanza Coffee also.
Together with friends I tried the delicious 4-course menu. You can choose from a 4-, 5-, 6- or 7-course menu. Indicate whether you are a vegetarian or have other dietary requirements and then you will be surprised with the tastiest dishes: “You don’t know what you get. Usually, with an a la carte menu, you choose quite quickly what you know and like. Now we choose for you. We use responsible products in the kitchen with a lot of seasonal products. With this idea we almost throw nothing away. Because guests do not know what they eat, we can process leftovers in the menu or as an amuse. The wine list, carefully selected by our sommelier Fred de Neef, is made up of 5 different suppliers and has 100 titles and 15 wines per glass. We make the liqueurs ourselves and soon we will make our own soft drinks.”
When I ask Eva what she would recommend, she says: “I would always choose the 7-course menu because I want to taste everything and wouldn’t want to miss the top-dish. But it depends on your companionship, the reason and the moment. If you have something to celebrate for example, it can be as extensive as you like, but if you just want to come and eat something, or you never eat so much, you take fewer courses. You can also just hang out at the bar and only order bar snacks.”
Check out: www.restaurantheroine.nl