Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Indonesian Dinner in Amsterdam

Mark's mom had been to Europe a few years earlier on a trip she took when she was in college. Some travel-savvy family friends told her not to miss the Indonesian Rice Table (Rijsttafel) while she was in Amsterdam. It seemed like an odd suggestion at the time, but she took them up on their tip. She was blown away by the new and delicious flavors. When were were there this time around, she made sure we didn't miss out on an Indonesian meal. This type of dining is unique to the Netherlands and is a carryover from Dutch Colonies in Indonesia. This is a way that the Dutch people recreated these unique flavors back home.

We sought out a charming Indonesian restaurant in a non-tourist area of the city. There were mostly locals dining, but like everywhere else, the server spoke English. The Rice Table is a collection of many small dishes (about 10-12) that range from sweet to very, very (VERY) spicy. Then you choose your meat that comes on a skewer and you have at it. This is a view of about half the smalls plates from my Rice Table. Three different curries, eggs, fried plantains, to name a few. I got a goat skewer and it was very tender and full of flavor. I am a sucker for goat ever since I tried it at Sweet Mango Cafe here in DC and loved it. Mark's dad got the chicken, which was amazing. Mark got the prawns, which were waaay overcooked, which was sad.
Mark's mom tried the while roasted fish. It was very complex and spicy. What I loved most about this dish is that they used mackerel to make it. Mackerel is not native to Indonesia, but found locally. They took the flavors of Indonesia and married them with a local ingredient for a great dish.
And for learning to pull the perfect Heineken. It took me two tries and lots of help from the very nice, and only mildly exasperated Heineken Experience staff members.

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