Indonesian rijstafel in Amsterdam - do or not?
A relative newcomer to the rijsttafel scene is Restaurant Blauw on Amstelveenseweg 158-160 (www.restaurantblauw.nl). The interior is sleek and modern, without being pretentious, but the food is some of the best and most traditional I have found in Amsterdam (although as Harters points out, the concept of a rijsttafel is Dutch rather than Indonesian).
There is an a la carte menu, but the rijsttafel is really the best value – and most sociable - way to sample a number of different dishes.
Blauw offers three rijsttafel options: meat, fish and vegetables; fish and seafood; or vegetarian. These cost between €25 and €30 per person. This might seem pricey, but each option consists of about 18 different dishes, including classics like ikan pedis (spicy fish), satay with peanut sauce and rendang (thick beef stew), as well as rice, pickles, sambal etc. etc. - all the dishes are beautifully presented in white, boat-shaped bowls that just seem to keep on coming.
If you have space at the end of all this, I recommend the black rice pudding with pandan ice cream and coconut milk for dessert.
You should definitely have one rijstaffel meal while in Amsterdam. We loved the dinner at Sama Sebo. The staff explained each dish, and the food was delicious. I hadn't had this sort of meal for many years when a cousin once tried to 'entertain' us.
It is definitely not a tourist gimmick and is to be taken seriously - also a nice break from more traditional European food.
Definitely not a gimmick - although it's a style developed by Dutch colonialists, rather than "authentic" Indonesian.
It's about 4 years since we ate at Tempo Doeloe but I understand it is still as good an experience. It's actually the furthest we've ever travelled simply for a meal. Flew to Amsterdam; ate; stayed overnight; flew home. Loved it.