A few weeks ago we received an email invite to eat at new restaurant The Pool (part of new The Student Hotel) in Groningen. Of course we would love to. It took another few weeks before the doors of the restaurant actually opened and when they celebrated their official opening we were on a city trip in Gdansk. Last week we finally went. It was a very hot Thursday night at the end of August. We saw the beach chairs outside and because I did not feel very fit, we decided to ‘hang’ in those lazy chairs.
We both chose a drink from the menu – the ‘Arabic lemonade’. We also drank this lovely lemonade at the blogbar which we held here mid August. For the food part we were going to be surprised with a few small vegan dishes. I’m not really one for surprises and neither is Anneloes. And we often have some doubts with the vegan offerings in regular restaurants (“just leave out the cheese and the meat and the vegan will be fine”). But this night we decided to be open to anything. We thought it was pretty brave of The Pool to invite us, two ladies with an opinion about vegan food. After reading some of our other reviews we think there are quite a few restaurants who would not voluntarily invite us to come taste their food for a blogpost 😉
The first course we were surprised with 3 different dishes: a salad bowl with lettuce, apple, grapefruit, fennel and salted pumpkin seeds (in the menu this one is called ‘Grapple’, with labneh in the vegetarian version), stuffed vine leaves and fried artichoke hearts. One dish was really quite superior to the other two: the fried artichoke hearts in beer batter with an amazing fruity, sweet and a bit smoky salsa. Yum! We almost battled for the last one. The salad was great. The pumpkin seeds were a bit too salty to our taste though. The stuffed vine leaves were a bit boring.
The second course was mujeddrah (a Middle Eastern style dish with lentils and rice), Tabbouleh and the ROS pizzette without the ricotta cheese. We both tried the pizette first, mostly because we could not believe that just leaving out the cheese would be an option but with this one it is! We even think it probably actually tastes better without the ricotta. Although ricotta is of course a pretty tasteless cheese (sorry!). The tabbouleh was served on tiny salad leaves which made it lovely little boats. Nice taste, fresh and healthy. We loved the mujeddrah. Perfect combination of Middle Eastern tastes. On the menu we read that part of the proceeds of this dish will go to boat refugees in Lesbos, Greece. We love that!
Restaurant The Pool has a very cool industrial look. Outside you can enjoy watching people in your beach chair. It’s a very international environment (also because it’s part of a hotel) and the staff is very friendly. No, you don’t see that everywhere these days. We will definately come back here to try some of the other dishes we saw on the menu: fattoush, hummus, baba ghanoush, patatas bravas, spinach, freekeh… And… will you also put a vegan burger on the menu, The Pool?