A final cornucopia of restaurants and cafes in Amsterdam post! The one main thing I was really looking forward to in Amsterdam was stroopwafels and so there are two places featured here with them. Oh, how I miss them!

On our first morning, we headed to Lanskroon to get one of their famous giant stroopwafels for breakfast. There was a choice of flavours but I had already decided as soon as I heard…coffee-caramel! While this stroopwafel was served cold, its waffle-biscuits still had a remarkable crispness to them. Delicious.

Breakfast

We also split a ham and cheese croissant, which they first heated up again in their oven in the back. Can any other simple savoury croissant taste any better than this? I think not.

Ham and Cheese Croissant

The bakery’s cat did well to snooze by the electric heater on that cold day.

Warm Sleepy Cat

Lanskroon
Singel 385
Amsterdam

We got our first (and only, so far) taste of Surinamese food at a branch of De Tokoman near the Rembranthuis. It was a great surprise to us how much of an overlap there was with Indonesian food and how there was even a hint of Portuguese influence (they have a spiced salt cod dish). I’m certainly not going to attempt to describe this country’s cuisine when I barely understand the history of Suriname so I’ll link to the Wikipedia entry for now!

Surinamese Dishes

A lunch box of fried noodles, vegetables and babi pangang (grilled pork) wasn’t too inspiring but I think we chose poorly here.

Babi Pangang on Noodles

Much better (excellent, in fact) was a broodje pom – a sandwich filled with the Surinamese speciality of pom, a casserole of spiced chicken and pomtajer root. The women working there were friendly and chatty and happy to explain any aspect of Surinanese food.

Broodje Pom

De Tokoman
Waterlooplein 327
Amsterdam

The next morning, we headed to Albert Cuyp Markt and wandered down the street perusing cheeses and herring and flowers in the freezing cold. Business seemed a bit slow that morning but I think that was again down to the weather.

Cheese

Vlaardingse Haringhandel

Albert Cuypmarkt
Albert Cuypstraat
Amsterdam

We escaped the cold with lunch at Bazar, also along the the same street as the market. Again, prior to our trip, more than one person kindly recommended having a meal at this colourful Middle Eastern eatery in a converted church.

Inside Bazar

We launched on tender veal ribs and a lahmacun with cheese and washed it all down with lots of mint tea (with both fresh mint and black tea). Good eats in a fun place with a great atmosphere.

Lunch Dàndè

Lahmacun with Cheese

Bazar
Albert Cuypstraat 182
Amsterdam

I opted not to have dessert at Bazar (though they did look good) and instead walked out again to the market to visit the Stroopwafel man. Yes, another stroopwafel for us – and this time they were served hot off the iron.

The Stroopwafel Man

When we chose one with chocolate, we elicited a highly unexpected ear-to-ear grin from him and the words “An excellent choice!” I think we may have been the first ones to order chocolate that day. The hot gooey stroopwafel with its extra chocolate syrup was just gorgeous. Highly recommended.

With Chocolate!

There just wasn’t any space for herring on our trip but we did find room for a bit of another fishy special, Dutch smoked eel from Frens Haringhandel on Koningsplein. Four thick pieces were stuffed into a soft bun and to our surprise, no sauce or spread was added. It certainly didn’t need it as the smoky eel was moist enough.

Smoked Eel Sandwich

Finally, we also went one night to the Pancake Bakery for a Dutch pannekoeken dinner. It was terribly touristy but the pancakes being churned out were very good. I loved how the cheese in our savoury pannekoeken was cooked in and formed a thin crispy crust.

Ham, Cheese and Mushroom

Pancake Bakery
Prinsengracht 191
Amsterdam

And that brings my series on Amsterdam to an end. As is usual, all my photos from our trip can be found in this Flickr photoset.

Now please tell me…is there anywhere in London that sells fritessaus?

Easter time was Amsterdam time for us! I’d been looking forward to our first visit to the low country city and I’d been really looking forward to a rijsttafel meal. This Dutch-Indonesian meal is made up of lots of different dishes that fill up entire table and which are served with rice (the name itself translates to ‘rice table’ in Dutch). While there are similar rice and lots of dishes meals in Indonesia (see nasi padang or tumpeng), rijsttafel is truly Dutch-Indonesian.

While researching Indonesian restaurants in Amsterdam, I eventually decided to skip the usual places and go somewhere a little more modern. Blauw seemed just what I was looking for and had great reviews too. On the evening we arrived in the city, we ended up hustling to make our reservation due to a tram jam but luckily they held our table for us. The restaurant is made up of many layers of levels; to reach our table upstairs, we first had to go down then up!

Our table was already set with a generously filled basket of prawn crackers and two chilli-based dips. The chilli sauce was fine but it was the sambal that triggered childhood memories, despite the ingredients needing a longer cooking down. As we were absolutely starving after our journey (we took the Eurostar and changed at Brussels for a Thalys train to Amsterdam), we made short work of these.

Prawn Crackers and Dips

Of course we ordered the rijsttafel (€31,25 per person) and after a while our table was set with a plethora of dishes (there were so many that our waiter had to come to our table twice to fill it up). (Do click through on the photo below to see all the dishes labelled in Flickr.)

Rijsttafel

It was made up of 18 different little dishes of a good variety of things. On the warming plate were pork, beef, and fish dishes – I loved the babi ketjap on the far left and the fish dishes on the right. The rendang served was also very good. And at the bottom right was the original Indonesian version of sayur lodeh and despite it looking all white and insipid, it was full of flavour – fantastic!

Meaty Curries

There were two types of satay – a chicken one with peanut sauce and a lamb one coated in a thick sweet kecap manis sauce (the latter is traditionally Indonesian and a variety I’d not come across before – I want to learn more).

Satays

Fried bananas, the famous Indonesian gado gado and sweet and spicy fried potato sticks (sambal goreng kentang) all made great accompaniments.

Rice and Accompaniments

There were a pair of bergedil (fried meat and potato patties), a refreshing pickled cucumber salad, a sugared toasted coconut accompaniment called seroendeng, eggs in a spiced nutty sauce and fried tofu in a kecap manis based sauce. Two kinds of rice  – putih (white) and goreng (fried) – to eat with everything completed the meal.

Bergedils and Cold Dishes

We doubted our abilities to finish it all but we shouldn’t have worried! That’s not to say there wasn’t enough food – we were utterly stuffed! If anything, it just shows what pigs we are. While we could tell that the flavours of the dishes were muted (under the assumption that Indonesian food can be as highly spiced as Malaysian food), this didn’t stop us from having a grand time at Blauw.

All Done

We even managed to fit in a dessert. Es ketan hitam is the traditional black rice cooked with coconut milk and here served with a pandan ice cream. The dessert portion was a little on the small side for €7,75 but it was just right for two who had stuffed themselves on rijsttafel.

Es Ketan Hitam

Service was excellent with everything explained to us, waiters happy to answer our questions, and our never feeling rushed. So, yes, I’d recommend Blauw for Indonesian food if you’re ever in Amsterdam. If you’re not up for all that food, you can order a la carte and each dish comes with the two types of rice, seroendeng, sayur lodeh, sweet and spicy fried potato sticks, and pickled cucumbers.

Blauw
(Restaurant Blauw Amsterdam)
Amstelveenseweg 158-160
1075 XN Amsterdam
Netherlands

For Indonesian food in London, I’ve only tried the Indonesia Mini Market. Does anyone else have any other recommendations please?