Restaurant Tres is an intimate, highly creative restaurant located near the centre of Rotterdam in The Netherlands. It’s a place that embodies experience dining in a setting that is atmospheric and raw at the same time. Chef Michael van der Kroft showcases the very best Dutch products and transforms them into dishes that focus on the pureness and the essence of the ingredients.
Concept & Location
Restaurant Tres is located at “Kop van Zuid-Entrepot” in Rotterdam. This upcoming area is one of the youngest districts of Rotterdam and forms a connection between the centre of the city and Rotterdam South. There are plenty of restaurants, shops and hotels and some of the tallest buildings in the Netherlands can be found here. With the nearby harbour, the beautiful former warehouse and shipping buildings, and the rivers flowing in between, the area reminds of New York. It’s a setting where creativity flourishes.
Restaurant Tres is located at “de Entrepothaven”, a lesser known part of the “Zuid” district. In the small harbour just in front of the restaurant, several beautiful yachts await their wealthy owners to cruise the waters. It forms a great contrast with the surrounding industrial buildings, the modern apartments and the historical bridges. Within this architectural melting pot, Restaurant Tres is housed inside a former warehouse building and hidden under a beautiful, authentic loading bridge. On the ground floor guests are welcomed in the lounge with a few snacks and an aperitif. After this first act, they are led into the basement where the culinary journey continues.
A former jazz basement is the setting of the main dining room of the restaurant. It’s dark, raw, cosy and eclectic. The open kitchen is buzzing with activity and ingredients are everywhere. These are pickled in jars, hang to dry in drying greenhouses, or are cooked on an open fire. It all contributes to the warm and dynamic atmosphere. Restaurant Tres is a counter restaurant and there only 12 seats centred around an open, wooden bar, where the chefs put the finishing touches on the dishes. The rest of the decoration is minimal: some modern artworks contrast with the concrete basement and subtle lighting direct the attention to the counter and the culinary fireworks.
The Chef & The Team
Restaurant Tres is the work of the young and driven couple Emy Koster en Michael van der Kroft. Emy leads the service, Michael the kitchen. Lady of the House Emy discovered her passion for hospitality on a very young age, working on the beaches of Curacao. She gained experience in several restaurants, including Mrs. Meijer in Rotterdam. Chef of the House Michael is a former professional BMX-rider. He discovered his passion for gastronomy when he started working at restaurant Tosca in Rotterdam. At restaurant Meliefste he refined his cooking style and developed a love for the very best Dutch products. With restaurant “Bij Petit”, Michael opened his very first own restaurant, together with Emy and Jeroen Hoep. After three years he and Emy returned to their roots, Rotterdam, to open one of The Netherland’s most unique restaurants: Tres.
Chef Michael van der Kroft’s cooking is based on the best, local products from the Netherlands. He processes these in pure dishes where the essence of the ingredient is sublimated by both progressive and age-old, often very labour-intensive, preparation techniques. Pickling, fermenting, drying and slow cooking are often central. But he’s also a culinary wizard with fungi, garum, milkski and goji. Everything at restaurant Tres is homemade: from exceptionally tasty garums (long-fermented elixirs of animal protein) to blackened gooseberry chorizo.
A meal at Tres starts at the ground floor lounge, where the first appetisers are served. Afterwards the guests are taken downstairs to the basement, where they first pass the kitchen. Here, the ingredients of the meal are displayed on a counter, so that the guests know exactly what the preparations will consist of. The chef often lets his guest taste one of his newest creations here and invites them afterwards to take a seat at the spacious dining counter. Here, the culinary feast continues at a tight and pleasant pace. About twenty snacks and dishes provide an afternoon or evening filled with culinary spectacle.
Milk skin is combined with venison and covered with fire ants, which are foraged by the chef and his team themselves. They provide a pleasant acidic note to the dish. A fresh but incredibly powerful starter of yellow beets, green strawberry and blackberry is followed by yakitori brochettes made of tongue, sweetbreads and purple carrot. Then there’s one of the highlights of the menu (and a signature dish): pear, cooked for two days in a broth made of egg white garum, dried, and glazed with a paprika-tamari. The dish is finished with a sauce of peppers, a gel of black garlic and crispy crystals of sea lettuce. An incredible dish. The meal is ended with sweet servings and a tea ceremony in a second lounge in the basement.
Service And Wine
Lady of the House Emy Kosters is the perfect hostess at Tres. She embodies the serene yet dynamic, creative style and does so in the service and with her wine choices. Most of the wine choices are natural wines – a logic choice to pair with the chef his pure and earthy dishes. There’s an excellent non-alcoholic beverage pairing available as well, which includes kombuchas, kefirs, (fermented) juices and teas.
Tres Rotterdam is a unique restaurant. Chef Michael van der Kroft’s idiosyncratic, refined and highly creative style comes perfectly into its own in a setting that combines mystery and dynamism. A former jazz cellar sets the stage for a culinary experience that is in some ways comparable to Noma in Copenhagen. Because here, too, local ingredients play a leading role and are transformed into surprising and often crazy flavour bombs by using a wide variety cooking techniques. It’s an experience that will leave nobody untouched.