La Sqala is hidden on the Nieuwe Markt, in the beating heart of Zwolle. A wonderful restaurant serving delicious food from all over the Mediterranean, but especially from North Africa. The taste is authentic: the food is prepared by Sifdin and the African mamas from Zwolle provide the inspiration for the dishes.
The restaurant belongs to Sifdin (48), a catering tiger pur sang. Together with his French-Moroccan wife Lamya, he opened the business at the end of July. “Whether you are a vegetarian, vegan or an old-fashioned carnivore: at La Sqala there is room for everyone to come and taste our delicious dishes. Our menu is so diverse.”
Looking for yourself
Sifdin has been working in the hospitality industry almost all his life. Working in and running restaurants is something he has been doing since childhood. It is therefore not surprising that Sifdin was completely exhausted and needed time for himself. “I really had to get away for a while.”
He left the Netherlands to make a tour around the Mediterranean. France, Spain and Morocco particularly attracted him. Sifdin explains: “The people you get to know, the cultures you come into contact with and the experiences you gain shape you as a person. The new insights and adventures really did me good and gave me new energy.”
In 2019, Sifdin returned to Zwolle after ten years. He came back with his wife around his arm and a great idea for a new restaurant: La Sqala. “The idea is simple: an inclusive restaurant serving the flavors of Southern Europe and North Africa in a beautiful old Dutch monumental building.”
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Sifdin himself is not only an experienced catering man, but also a very good cook. “I have always cooked in my own business. In Morocco, where I had a restaurant in Oujda, I learned a lot about Moroccan cuisine. I want to share that with the people here in Zwolle,” says Sifdin. “Of course you do this with products of the best quality.”
Sustainability and quality are therefore of paramount importance to Sifdin. “We only look for the best ingredients for our meals. We don’t do it for less. Our suppliers know that too,” says Sifdin. “We are also working on making our restaurant as sustainable as possible. We therefore recycle as much as possible and buy as little plastic as possible.”
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Experienced chefs? Check! Sustainability? on it! The best quality ingredients? Anyway! But that’s not all. Sifdin also gives workshops: “The interest is enormous and the interested people are people from all layers of society. From plumbers to businessmen; once they have tasted my food, they want to be able to make it themselves”, says Sifdin with a laugh.
“Of course, that secret is not always shared,” Sifdin says. “That secret belongs to the African mothers who also work here. They form the basis of almost all dishes that you can taste here. They are our teachers.”
Are you coming too?
Got hungry too? Sifdin always welcomes you. “With my restaurant I want to give something back to the city where I grew up and which has given me so much”, says Sifdin. “Despite the fact that I have been away for so long, Zwolle really remains my place!”
You can make a reservation at La Sqala here. Be welcome and enjoy all the goodies that La Sqala has to offer!