Cabaret & stand-up
Favourite spot


lunchroom Brandstof

Prominent Utrechters talking about their favourite spots in the city. This month: stand-up comedian Anuar tells us about the Brandstof lunchroom on Amsterdamsestraatweg.

So, the Brandstof lunchroom?

‘There’s such a great vibe here: everyone is welcome and people want to talk to each other. It’s where I presented my e-book Je praat veel maar zegt niks. I like coming here because Amsterdamsestraatweg is alive, like Kanaalstraat. I enjoy sitting on one of the benches outside with a coffee, simply watching people walk, bike or drive by. You see young people helping older people across the road, for example. People being kind to each other features in my shows. I always try to include a positive message.’

Biggest letdown?

‘Whenever I come back from a show outside Utrecht and see the Dom Tower, I get this warm feeling inside. I’m home, back in the city I love. So it’s such a pity that Utrecht’s most beautiful building is still covered in scaffolding. To my mind, the renovation should have been finished ages ago.’

Guilty pleasure?

‘I have to be careful about what I eat before a show. No fatty, deep-fried food, for instance. So when I get back to Vredenburg at about 4 o’clock and see the Manneken Pis snack bar, I stop off for chips. And if there’s a market, I buy fresh stroopwafels and a bag of those stroopwafel crumbs that I used to buy as kid for 50 cents. I still do it; I can’t stop myself!’

Reduced to tears?

‘I love documentaries about people. They’re a real source of material for my stand-up acts. Not long ago, I watched The Battle of Nuremburg, about a European Cup match in 2006 between the Netherlands and Portugal. It was mayhem – four red cards and sixteen yellows. At one point, Giovanni van Bronckhorst and the Portuguese player Deco (who knew each other from FC Barcelona)  just decided to walk off. There’s a shot of them on the sideline, arms round each other’s shoulders. I was really moved by that. They’re normally rivals, but when the shit hits the fan, we’re all one big family.’

Recently discovered?

‘Fort Blauwkapel on the Maarsseveense Plassen is a fantastic place to take the kids for brunch or lunch. I arrange business meetings there too now. It’s a lovely panoramic, green space, where you can wind down and charge your batteries, and have a good walk through the Westbroek wetlands. I used to plan my meetings at the Soesterberg Air Base, where hospitality meets nature. But Blauwkapel is my top spot now: in my own city, but still “rural”.’

Best food?

‘Let me tell you about Overvecht shopping mall. It’s a sort of mini Dubai as far as food’s concerned: everything from Italian to Surinamese to Turkish. So my advice is: go on holiday in your very own Utrecht, visit the shopping centre and try one of the places you’ve never been to before. I’m quite partial to an omelette for breakfast at La Suite lunchroom, which is a fairly new place.’

Inspirational Utrechter?

‘Herman van Veen is a true professional. I became a fan as a child thanks to his children’s TV programme Alfred Jodocus Kwak, and I’m still in absolute awe of him. He recently did his 600th show in Carré. He knows how to reach his audience with texts, songs and acts bursting with love. The warmth he exudes gives me a family feeling, as if he’s my uncle. I’d just love to meet him sometime. Perhaps here in Brandstof; we could have lunch together!’

Anuar will be performing his show Made in Holland in the Stadsschouwburg Utrecht on 22 and 23 March


Stadsschouwburg Utrecht

Stadsschouwburg Utrecht is a leading theatre in the centre of the Netherlands.

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