Restaurant review #141 – Stoom is a restaurant next to the railway station of Middelburg, which is in Zeeland, the Netherlands. Zeeland is the closest Dutch province to Bruges, and we went cycling in the area a couple of weeks ago, on a lovely Indian Summer day. To get at Middelburg, which is across the mouth of the river Schelde, we took the ferry from Breskens to Vlissingen, with our tandem (no cars on the ferry).
I had seen Stoom mentionned in a vegan facekookgroup as a place with vegan options. Arriving at the station dinner, we were a bit hesitant to go in. From the outside, it did not look like they have many vegan options*, and we did not see a menu. From our experience with station diners in Belgium, serving only snacks, we could not imagine there would be any vegan options for lunch here!
But we decided to check it out anyway. And so glad we did! What a pleasant surprise looking at the menu: several vegan options clearly mentioned! And not the ‘pasta with stir fried vegetables‘ as is so often the case in bistros, but vegan burgers (they have the Dutch weedburger), satés and even vegan ‘prawns’. All ‘mayonaise’ used in the restaurant is veganaise, and fries are baked in plant oil, so no confusion even possible there. Yeah! Lovely!
*When leaving the restaurant, I did see a poster of the Dutch weedburger on the window though, so we missed that before going in.
We wanted to order the seitan filet, but that was unfortunately unavailable that day. But plenty of other options on the menu. This is what we had for lunch:
- Seitan sate with ketjap sauce and fries and salad (12,50€)
- Vegan gambas (prawns) in garlic sauce, and fries and garlic (12,50€)
Beautifully presented on wooden boards, with two bowls of salad on the side. Simple but delicious. We loved it!
There was also vegan dessert available, but we were too stuffed. And we wanted to try some vegan icecream from Fresco, an Italian icecream bar in the center of Middelburg (review will follow).
Stoom is a spacious place with high ceiling. No fancy interior or furniture (it is a station diner after all), but it does have a lovely vintage feel, with some glass windows and a collection of trivia and antiques. The door at the back leads you directly to the train platform. Toilets are in the back. Clean, albeit a bit outdated (but fitting perfectly with the antique decor). 0,50 € on door knob to get in (I guess they are also used by railway passengers).
Old fashioned, but charming 🙂
Service was also very friendly, and we did not have to wait long for our drinks (bitter lemon 2€ and halve maan beer 2,75€) and lunch.
We loved it! Definitely would visit again when in Middelburg. And we wish station diners in Belgium would follow this example!