The Nhow bar is part of the eponymous hotel at Wilhelminakade, and indisputably commands great views of the river. Therefore, I’m sure any student will salivate at the prospect of an ice-cold cocktail at the bar’s rooftop terrace.

On a Saturday afternoon, my girlfriend Gina and I are in high spirits when we ride the lift to the Nhow bar, situated on the seventh floor of the huge De Rotterdam building, designed by Rem Koolhaas. It will take a lot to ruin this event for us, because the location is perfect and the views are supposed to be stunning. So we don’t really understand why, prior to our visit, we found quite a few negative reviews online. For instance, service was said to be ‘scandalously slow and poor‘, and prices ridiculously high. In addition, some say the music is far too loud, even though other reviewers said they could hear a pin drop. What to make of this? Despite all the criticisms, most criticasters seem to agree on two things: the cocktails are ‘absolutely delicious’ and the skyline is ‘brilliant’.



Once we are upstairs, the first thing that catches our eye is the opulence of the place. The bar seems to cater to a richer clientele. This may cause students whose main source of income is Uncle DUO [the student loan provider] to feel a little ill at ease, but don’t worry: you can get a regular beer for the quite-acceptable price of 3 euros. The vibe is great and the bar looks like a hip, lounge-like rooftop terrace. We spot an empty table within view of the bartender and seat ourselves. Unfortunately, the previous customers have left some sticky stuff on the table, but I’m not fussy about such matters, so I clean up the table myself.

After nearly thirty minutes’ worth of waving, we are finally given a chance to order something. The reason why it took so long (and why our table was still dirty) is because there are only two waiters. They are serving some 35 to 40 guests, which is kind of weird for a bar that clearly has high-class pretensions (judging from the fact that it charges a whopping €15 for a serve of 8 bitterballen).


Since it is hard to mess up something as basic as beer, we decide to try the cocktails instead. There is certainly no lack of options here, but to keep things simple, I opt for the first cocktail listed on the menu, called ‘This is Nhow’. Gina, who is not feeling like the house cocktail, opts for something a little stronger, called ‘Punch in the Head’. The drinks cost €11 and €11.50, respectively. They are served in no time at all (yes, really), before I have even had the opportunity to say anything about the great music, which is played at exactly the right volume. And so, after getting off to a somewhat shaky start, we end up enjoying the sun, the cocktails and the views of the Erasmus Bridge.

The drinks taste exactly as the reviewers mentioned in their reviews, so Gina and I are very happy about the price/quality ratio (needless to say, we steered clear of the bitterballen). If you can get over the fact that the understaffed waiters drop the odd stitch, the Nhow bar is actually a fine place to go.