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Apr 4, 2000 06:23 PM

surinamese food

  • r

All you Queens food fans should go over to Sorrento's Bakery on Jamaica Avenue in Richmond Hill for a Surinamese lunch. No not Guyanese food, much of which can be found on Merrick Avenue in Jamaica, but Surimanese food, a combination of Indonesian, Dutch, African, Amerindian and even Jewish foods. The woman who runs it with her teenage children bought the Italian bakery and still offers decent Italian pastries. But the real star is the steamtable in the rear, filled with incredible curries, etc. Try the pumpkin. Try everything. It's pretty amazing. And maybe you'll spend $4.

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  1. r
    Robert Sietsema

    I concur. This is a great place that deserves a lot more attention. It's easily accessible by J train to Woodhaven Blvd stop. A surprising element in this South African cuisine is the Javanese--in fact many food street vendors, called wartung, are of Indonesian extraction.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Robert Sietsema

      Isn't it South American?

      1. re: Allan Evans

        South African, South American, what's a syllable among friends?

        1. re: Helen
          Robert Sietsema

          Sorry, I meant South American. South African food also has a Javanese element to it, but I find it more surprising in the South American context. It's those damn Dutch!

          1. re: Robert Sietsema

            I haven't tried this place, but I am from Suriname and we do have the best food (I don't mean to sound cocky, but we just do). There are several different ethnic groups in Suriname, so there are lot of different types of food that are called surinames. Sounds like this place has mostly javanese food, which is similar to Indonesian food. We also have creole, chinese, and indian foods, all with a suriname flavor/twist to it. I still think that chinese surinamese is the best. I am dying for some good surinamese food, but some ingredients can not be found here. bye the way, if you ever go to Holland (amsterdam), you can find really good surinamese food there (as good as in Suriname itself).

    2. we like this tiny, sparkling clean, friendly place quite a lot - just tried about 5 things, but liked the indian-style (the owner is of indian extraction) long-bean curry and dal the best - bamie (noodles) the least-to my taste, the indonesian style fried rice was much preferable with the chicken.

      There are more vegetable curries available than those out on the steam table - just ask. They also have several home made hot sauces which you can ask for, and a deadly sambals- look out when you try the latter.

      Sorrento at 88-17 Jamaica Avenue just east of Woodhaven Blvd, on the north side of the street.

      3 Replies
      1. re: jen kalb

        ps. In the interests of honesty, I want to clarify and recalibrate my prior post a bit: (1) In the universe of Caribbean places the food offered at Sorrento is not really worth a special long trip (unless you are curious about the obscure cuisine of Surinam as I was), but it is a very pleasant and interesting stop if you are in or near the neighborhood. An analog would be some of the filipino and african restaurants, where the cuisine is interesting but not all that distinguished. HOwever, this will not keep us from visiting again and exploring the available options when a chance arises. (2) If you are expecting exotic, indonesian style spicing you will definitely be disappointed - the main indonesian ingredient was the sweet soy and the bamie were soft and one-dimensional in flavor.

        1. re: jen kalb

          Although Iam not familiar with Sorrento, my impression of Surinamese food is similar. We at in a few Surinamese spots about 12 years agao in Phillipsburg in St Martin, and were completely underwhelmed. There was enough resemblance to Indoesian food, combined with an almost total lack of tastiness, to be very frustrating.

          1. re: Alan Divack

            hey, let's not judge an entire cuisine by one or two experiences!

            FWIW, I really didn't like the place in Queens very much when I tried it...but since Jen found a few decent things there, I'll try again


      2. This was the nicest food I ever ate. Better than me momma made. Me a ruff neck eater. Respek.

        1. 12 yrs old when i came to us. returned 16yrs later, and all food had lost either flavor or an mportant ingredient that made it specialor gave it that distinct flavor. i would assume the owner of the restaurant visits suriname , she can't bring back spices or ingredients that she can bringback with her. i.m not the best cook in the world but my food taste like rel authentic suriname food. ex. roti is like one of my favorite dishes. ihave been to indian restaurants here and am always disappointed, why ? because people altar the taste of these meals and i dont know why, when i lived at roepram(hahaha) i smelled the curry before i got there, duh! here you don't smell it till it is under your nose i tell indian people from india or trini(just as bad) that what they call curry is not curry, what ever they use is either watered down or softened for some reason i know the smell is strong but it tastegood all these other coltures have food that stink, they are not embarrased, why should we, americans eat chitterlings(it stinks rel bad) i think we can reprsent our food, i'm in the us army and i made herring the other day (it was good) they got over it i wish i could recommend my mother to host like a dinner so people could taste real authentic surinames food, not altered or remixed as i like to call it surinamese food without flavor , but with flavor, i'm sorry for all the people that are disappointed. but that is not authentic suriname food, its just food cooked by surinamese people who live far away

          1 Reply
          1. re: vanlee

            Is there any Surinamese food anywhere in NYC?
            I would kill for a really good Soto soup with dark meat pulled chicken, celery leaves, bean sprouts, noodles and a hardboiled egg. Also would love a bakabana with peanut sauce. And teloh.

            Sucks we don't have this here.

          2. how is it different than guyanese food?

            1 Reply
            1. re: bruklinboy

              I don't know anything about Guyanese food so I can't say. I'm mostly used to Amsterdam-style Surinamese food which I'm sure is it's own thing. It has a lot more Indonesian influence, I would reckon. Lots of spicy peanut sauce on everything.

              There are these Surinamese and Indonesian take-away places in Amsterdam where you can get any dish they make served on a roll as a sandwich. Beef Rendang sandwich, chicken sate sandwich...anything you want on a roll.

              I recall that some Surinamese restaurants were obviously more Indonesian influenced, others were Chinese and others were more Afro-Caribbean.