Category Archives: Amsterdam

Tempo Doeloe

Utrechtsestraat 75
020/625 6718

As mentioned in our review of Aneka Rasa, very good Indonesian food can be found in Amsterdam. Unfortunately, our first experience with Indonesian food in Amsterdam didn’t go well with Aneka Rasa. We were determined then to make sure that our second and final Indonesian experience in Amsterdam went well. Based on online reviews, we found Tempo Doeloe. We wanted desperately to find a good Indonesian restaurant, so we decided to go for the best, and check out Tempo Doeloe.

 

Reservations are recommended. We were around the area in the afternoon, so K popped in to make a reservation, and very luckily managed to snag a table for 7pm. Tempo Doeloe is famous for being a good restaurant with an attitude. We could see why – some of the servers were indeed quite haughty, but we were very lucky to have a very good server. She was from Suriname, and was very friendly and attentive throughout our meal.

The menu in Tempo Doeloe is quite complicated. They have a few pages of set meals (rice table style) and a very limited a la carte selection, and supposedly dishes from the rice tables can be ordered a la carte as well. Anyway, it was very confusing, so we went for the easy way out, and ordered the rice table, which would give us a huge range of dishes, all in small portions, like a tasting menu.

We wanted something soupy as well, so we went for the spicy Indonesian chicken soup. Our server knew we were from Singapore and that we have a very high tolerance for spicy food, so she gave us some extra chilli to increase the heat. She popped off for a while, and when she came back she started to warn us to be careful with not adding too much chilli into the soup, but we had already dumped a good portion of the chili in our soup and were happily drinking it. So she very quickly got the idea that we meant business, and that we weren’t bragging when we told her that we have a super high tolerance for spicy food.

The rice table was truly impressive. Our table was very quickly filled up with dishes and dishes of food, and we had to shift our water to the bar counter as our table simply didn’t have any more space for anything but our tiny dishes of Indonesian delights.

 

It would be impossible to review every single dish, since there were so many of them – about 30 in all. Overall, we found the taste extremely authentic. It could be the correct type of herb or spice used, or the cooking technique, or both, but anyhow, we were very impressed by how authentic everything tasted. In short, Tempo Doeloe could well have been opened in Indonesia, and it would fit right in with the best of the restaurants there.

 

We were particularly drawn to the vegetables, since we haven’t had any semblance of greens for a while now. They were all very nicely cooked and fresh. We loved the crackers as well, and A was intrigued by the coconut flakes and kept mixing them in everything she ate. Our satay was also excellent. We were given a stick each, and we just wished we had more! The sauce was wonderful, and just night and day from the appalling one we had just one day ago at Aneka Rasa.

 

Our dishes were arranged very thoughtfully for us, with a gradual progression in spice level. We were encouraged to begin with the mildly spiced dishes and to work our way towards the hotter ones. The mild and medium spiced dishes were no kick to us. The ones advertised as spicy were indeed more spicy than the medium ones, but still very manageable. There was one particular dish which our server told us was dangerous spicy. That was impressive. The spice was really bold, and we could feel our tongue getting numb and our lips tingling.

After our meal our waitress was impressed that we managed to eat our way through all the levels of spice, so she brought us a complimentary last dish, a devilishly spicy chicken dish. She told us that this was the spiciest dish that they have. This got us both excited and quite scared. When we first tasted it, we didn’t feel that it was any different from the dangerously spicy one we had earlier. However, after a while we started to feel our tongues and lips getting numb and then start burning, and the chili heating up our stomach walls. It was really one of the spiciest things we have ever had, and it was an amazing experience. We’ve definitely met our match. Now we can say that we’ve tried something that was truly spicy beyond words. The burning sensation lasted us for a couple of hours, and it was just extraordinary.

Overall, we had a great meal in Tempo Doeloe. The food came in very small portions, but there were so many of those small portions that we were well stuffed by the end of the meal. We were just thrilled to find a good authentic Indonesian restaurant, which made the whole trip even more memorable.

Service: 8/10
Food: 8/10

Manneken Pis

Damrak 41
1012 LK Amsterdam
030 2444954

Signs outside Manneken Pis announce that this place sells the best fries as voted by the people. Manneken Pis is Dutch for “little man urinating”. With such a yummy sounding name, and with the public’s endorsement, this is a sure winner!

 

Well, the fries at Manneken Pis are indeed pretty good. They only sell chunky fries, which is a shame, since we would have preferred having skinny fries over chunky fries. However, they are quite tasty, and you have the option of adding some sauces (at additional cost) over your fries. We tried the curry sauce and the cheese sauce.

The curry sauce was pretty good and got A’s stamp of approval. The cheese sauce was also quite decent, though it was definitely the processed kind.

The fries are sold in a paper wrap, which gets soggy really quickly, and can get quite annoying for those who like their fries crispy and fresh from start to finish. Nevertheless, this shop attracts customers by the bus loads, and the fries are perfect for a late night snack in nightlife-heavy Amsterdam.

Food: 6.5/10

Aneka Rasa

Warmoesstraat 25-29
Amsterdam 1012 HV

Our friends know that we travel a lot. However, we have been going easy on our travels this academic year for various reasons. Our one and only trip this Easter was to Netherlands (Amsterdam) to catch the tulips in bloom. However, no trip for us is complete without trying lots of food. The Dutch were once colonial masters of Indonesia, and as a result, there’s a wide variety of Indonesian food in Netherlands. The Indonesian cuisine is most well known for its satay, rendang and sambal dishes. Since these foods are very familiar to us, and since we are massive lovers of spice and anything spicy, we were determined to get our fix in Amsterdam (food wise).

 

Just a short stroll from our hostel, we found Aneka Rasa, which was recommended by a blog we read just before leaving for Amsterdam. It wasn’t listed in many reviews, and is definitely not considered to be one of the best places in Amsterdam for Indonesian food, but since we stumbled upon it, and there seemed to be some Indonesian looking customers, we decided to go in.

A was starving because of her very unsatisfying lunch at Boom Chicago, so right off the bat we ordered quite a bit of food. First up, we had the Sate Ayam (Chicken Satay). The chicken was quite tender but the satay sauce that came with it tasted very clearly of peanut butter. Well, we know that most recipes for satay sauce call for peanut butter, but this was too obvious.

We also had Daging Rendang (Beef Rendang). This was one of the better dishes we had. The beef was cooked till it was soft and tender. However, A commented that it would be better if it was spicier. In fact, we felt that all the dishes we had were very conservatively spiced – not shiok enough for us unfortunately.

The Ikan Pepesan (Assam fish) had some nice spice on the outside, but was extremely dry on the inside. The fish was way overcooked and it was very disappointing. Our Sambal Goreng Rebung Tahu (sambal tofu with bamboo shoots) was equally bad. The entire dish tasted like it came out from a can, and we suspected that canned bamboo shoots were indeed used. We also had Nasi Kuning (Rice with coconut) which was bland and dry, and Bami Goreng (Fried noodles) which fell flat too.

All in all, it was a terrible meal and I think the restaurant fell way short in presenting the exciting fiery flavours of Indonesian cuisine. What a pity. 

Service: 7/10
Food: 6/10

Boom Chicago

Utrechtsedwarsstraat 17-2hg 
1017 WB Amsterdam
020 5300232
http://www.boomchicago.nl/en/

We went for the free walking tour by neweuropetours and at the end of our walking tour, our tour guide recommended lunch at Boom Chicago.  They supposedly serve good, typical Dutch food. They are actually a comedy club, and between 2pm and 5pm they become the ‘personal chefs’ for neweuropetours. We went ahead with the idea and it turned out to be quite disastrous.

Firstly, we waited for over an hour for our food to arrive. When our food finally arrived, it was nothing but a huge plate of disappointment. All of us ordered the traditional mashed potatoes with bacon and sausage, as recommended by our guide.

 

The mashed potatoes were horrifyingly dry. It completely lacked the buttery and creamy texture that any good ole mashed potato should have. It didn’t help also that my plate did not have sufficient sauce. When I asked my server for more sauce, he said that the kitchen was running out of supplies. Great. He did manage to find some sauce somewhere in the kitchen though, and brought it over. However, I’m not sure it helped. The sauce was extremely salty and J (we were travelling with 2 other friends, J and J) commented that he could taste a very strong alcoholic flavor in it, which was also very unpleasant.

The only edible portion of the meal was the sausage, and that was simply because the kitchen did not make them. They were obviously store bought. Well it makes no sense for me to be reviewing store bought sausage, so I’ll quickly move on. Lucky for the boys, we were allowed as many seconds as we wanted, and they made sure they got their money’s worth by ordering more sausages.

While on our tour, our guide told us that there’s nothing much to say about Dutch food because nothing of that sort really exists. Dutch food is more snack-ish, and we had our share of it in terms of stroopwaffles (which are delicious and easily found in any supermarket or tourist shop) and marinated herring, which K loves. A proper Dutch meal doesn’t actually exist, and Boom Chicago did a very job in proving that point. All in all it was a complete waste of money and time. We don’t know the quality of their comedy, since we were very anxious to get out after such a shocking meal, but we hope for their sake that it’s better than their food.

And for those who understand, there is nothing boomz about this place. It’s pure shingz. :S

Service: 5/10
Food: 4.5/10