As per earlier Dutch reviewes I was in Holland with my father to celebrate his 80th. I left most of what we did to him as the trip was his present but one thing I had ranked high on my on list of priorities was taking in a traditional rijsttafel. We visited the diverse inner suberbs seeking a place but was put off by the prices being asked, further inflated by our particularly weak national currency at the time in question. In some of the recommended establishments a meal of the type we were after (a rijsttafel with a dominent seafood theme) with wine and water looked set to cost in excess of £100 per person). In the end we gave up and I picked out a Cambodian place I had read good things about in various guides. When we arraved it had shut down but fate was on our side, it had become an Indonesian offering a seafood based rijsttafel for something in the region of 30 Euros (at the time almost on a par to the pound).
We enquired about tables (having failed to secure tables at those other establishments that we thought we could afford - though these were closer to 50 or 60 Euro each) and found that one would be available in an hour. After a visit to a Brown Cafe we returned to work our way through what I regarded as authentic and well prepared dishes full of flavour with imported Bintang Beer and attentive service.
Food was impressive and from what I had seen elsewhere represented exceptional value but there was way more than we could manage to eat. Soup (especially good), starters and a number of main courses with various accompianments arrived at a reasonable pace. The place did not fill up but a number of regulars came and, no bad thing, no other evident tourits. The owner to whom I got chatting explained she had purchased the place as the Cambodian but changed it to Indonesian and brought in a chef who was clearly doing a good job. She honestly admitted that she was not however a native Indonesian though having travelled extensively in Java almost 20 years ago she could have passed off as one in my eyes. I respected her honesty in this matter.
I must have mentioned my fathers celebration as at the end of the meal (by which time we were the only remaining customers having chomped through mountains of food) we were surprised to see the owner emerge with an improvised birthday cake with sparklers. This was a lovely touch.
The bill came in at around 80 Euro including our drinks which from my experience of this city and what we were serves is pretty modest.
Being our last night of the holiday I was pleased to have fulfilled my desire for a traditional Indonesian meal for a very reasonable price. I would certainly look this place up again if I were ever back in Amsterdam and warmly recommend it to others who are prepared to travel the 4 or 5 tramstops out from the centre (about 1/2 a KM south from the Carlsberg Experience).
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