Lunch at Guliano, Rotterdam

After a short break from the hot weather, it got very hot again in the Netherlands. Over here, we like to call it perfect "terrasweer", which means that it is the perfect time to visit a food or drinks shop with an open air terrace and lounge there for hours with a cold drink in your hand. Although I was born and raised here, I never really picked up this Dutch custom. It might be because I like to stay home and from when I was a little girl, I was always too tired to go anywhere. But my health has improved a bit and they say that you are never too old to try new things.

(Long personal story, which you can skip)
Ever since my first school trip to Rome, Italy, during high school, I have fallen in love with their cuisine. I still fondly remember the almond cookies, the panini, the sandwiches, the gelato (pistachio!), and lemon chicken. Back then, I wasn't sure if I should go, but since my parents would have never taken me on such a cultural trip (if we ever go anywhere, it would always be to Hong Kong), I would have to wait until I was a working adult, before I could go. But I was so intrigued by the amazing stories of Rome and Pompeii during Latin classes that I didn't want to miss out on it. Even if it meant that I would be seen as a nuisance by my former classmates during the whole trip. I already knew that they see me as a pitiful charity case and they hang out with me only because the teachers ordered them. But I felt so grateful to be there and outside the house for once that I would try my best to be kind to them and be as friendly and approachable as possible. This was hard for me, as I was bullied and tortured to death on a daily basis from when I was four years old and it never really stopped, no matter what I did. From my point of view, I thought I did a pretty good job. But when I talked to one of my hotel roommates during the Rome trip recently, she told me that she thought I was acting pretty strange and she didn't think the trip was so nice. It really made me think about things differently. I used to wonder how my classmates recall their high school time as pleasant and are happy to return there for reunions and events, while people were openly harming me right in the middle of the class. But I am doing the same thing, I conveniently forgot the strange episodes during our trip in Rome and only focused on the good, as that time was precious to me. Maybe, their high school years are precious to them too and if they can erase me totally or blame me for being obnoxious and deserving that horror, they will feel better. Things aren't black or white. There is not only one truth (sorry, detective Conan ^_^), but different truths can live aside each other. Just like my reviews. It is strictly personal and it can be biased due to previous experiences. I prefer mildly seasoned food, while others might like heavy herbs and spices, and I have good memories about eating Cantonese food during my youth (feeling of home) and the great meals I had during holidays in Japan, Hong Kong, and Italy. So, these cuisines might be slightly valued higher than others. But I will try my best to be as objective as possible with this review and the reviews that follow.
(Long personal story - end)

What we ordered at Guliano, Rotterdam 

First, we had a look at the drinks that they have. The iced coffee and apple-pear juice sounded delicious with the hot weather, so we ordered two iced coffees and one juice.

Guliano rotterdam netherlands iced coffee juice pear apple

The freshly sqeeuzed apple-pear juice (€4.75) came in a large glass with some ice cubes. Although it looks awful (like a cloudy apple juice gone beserk), it has a nice refreshing and natural flavor. I had a tiny sip of it and the balance between apple and pear flavor is quite nice. The sourness of the apple is replaced by a mild pear flavor. The iced coffee (€4.25) that I had was amazing. I liked the strong coffee flavor with a nice sweetness and milkyness, resembling cappuccino. The ice cubes were crushed, so it tasted a bit like a slushy too.

Guliano rotterdam Netherlands bistecca sandwich bread

Bistecca (€9.75)

This is Guliano's most popular sandwich: a toasted focaccia bread loaded with thinly sliced beef, parmesan cheese, pickled bell peppers, a variety of lettuce, and homemade truffle mayonnaise (which they sell in glass jars too). The bread has a crumbly texture and a light tomato flavor. The thinly sliced beef was tender and full of flavor and the parmesan cheese was nicely aged (a bit harder texture and more flavor than the one I normally eat). The creamy truffle mayonnaise with - not too heavy truffle flavor - brought it all together and the pickled bell peppers (you might still need to slice or dice it yourself, so that you can divide it evenly on the sandwhich) added a refreshing, sweet-sour note.

Guliano rotterdam Netherlands ed's pastrami sandwich bread

Ed's Pastrami (€9.75)

It is a Tuscan sandwich filled with thinly sliced beef, thinly sliced provolone cheese, pickles, red onion, a variety of lettuce, a cherry tomato on top, and wasabi mayonnaise. Out of the three sandwiches, I liked this bread the most (crispy crust and airy, chewy bread on the inside), but the thinly sliced beef of the Bistecca was more delicious than the one in this sandwich. The provolone cheese had a softer texture and milder cheese flavor compared to the parmesan cheese in the previous sandwich. The wasabi mayonnaise also has a nice kick to it. Not strong enough for the experienced wasabi eater like me, but still noticeable.

Guliano rotterdam Netherlands porchetta sandwich bread

Porchetta (€9.50)

This is a seasonal sandwich, available during spring, and it is a braided brioche bread loaded with thinly sliced pork, rocket lettuce, and a refreshing tomato salsa with some leaves of basil. I had a small bite of this (the sandwhich is a bit too small to share) and I like the soft bun with the lightly seasoned, tender pork with a nice balance between the fatty parts and meat. The tomato salsa added a nice sweet-sour note. It had simple flavors, but it was very delicious.

It was a bit expensive for lunch (mainly due to the drinks), but the sandwiches were large and generously filled. I ate a half of the Bistecca and a half of the Ed's pastrami sandwhich and I was so full that I only had a small salad for dinner. It is nice to do this every once in a while, when it is so hot.

There are not that many seats in the restaurant and at the outdoor terrace and it can get pretty crowded during lunchtime, so you are advised to visit before 12:00 and after 15:00. You can also take-out or get it delivered to your house or office by Deliveroo.

Guliano - Italian sandwiches (website)
Meent 31A
3011JC Rotterdam
Opening hours: 11:00-17:00
(Sundays and Mondays from 12:00)

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