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Jan 20, 2014 10:27 AM

Rijstafel in Amsterdam

I am looking forward to having fantastic Rijstafel in Amsterdam. Tempo Doeloe is closed on the Sunday night I want to go, so the options are:
Long Pura, Sampurna or Blauw. Which should I pick, or are there others?

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  1. You are lucky that Tempo Doeloe is closed. they are nothing more than a tourist trap.

    6 Replies
    1. re: ThomasvanDale

      Interesting. When we were there a few years back, we were the only non-Dutch speaking diners within earshot. Of course, maybe they were all tourists from Eindhoven, Arnhem and the like.

      1. re: Harters

        My experience was almost the opposite: most of the people I heard spoke English or another European language.

        Perhaps ten years or more ago, it was not unsual for local people to recommend it to tourists, especially if the local people were not particularly interested in food. In the meantime though, other places are first recommended to tourists.

        1. re: ThomasvanDale

          So, which of the three that I have mentioned do people prefer?

          1. re: tstrum

            Why are you limited to these three?

            1. re: ThomasvanDale

              I'm not, I just don't know any others. What am I missing for a Sunday night Rijstafel feast in Amsterdam?

              1. re: tstrum

                If you are expecting a feast, I'm afraid you may be disappointed. A rijsttafel is literally a "rice table". This means will you will be served a number of meat, fish, vegetable dishes in tiny plates, plus a large bowl of rice.

                When I say tiny plates, expect to get no more than one or maybe two bites of each dish. The places you have named are among the most expensive places for Indonesian food in Amsterdam and Indonesian food, unlike Japanese or Korean, is not an expensive Asian cuisine.

                I would say your best experience would probably be to get take-out Indonesian food, but, if you are staying in a hotel, that might be difficult. The highest rated Indonesian restaurants are not located in the city centre. If you don't mind travelling a bit, you could try Sari Citra or Shanty's Kitchen. These are not fancy restaurants, but if you want to try the authentic cuisine, they are better than the tourist places you listed.

    2. Yes, ThomasvDale is right as always, particularly about Tempo and Blauw.

      1. Just returned. Tempo was FANTASTIC. it was the best rijstafel that I have had any where. Mr Van Dale is mistaken. Blauw was good but not as impressive as Tempo Doeloe. I have travelled the world sampling this dish and Tempoe wins hands down. The service was also impressive there.

        7 Replies
        1. re: tstrum

          Sorry, but where did I say the food was not good at Tempo Doeloe? I said it was a tourist trap. Perhaps where you are from that means bad food, but not here. It simply means the prices will be high and the quality will be variable. Did you perhaps ask for a glass of water while you were there? If so, what happened?

          FYI, on a Dutch (local) restaurant site, Tempo Doeloe is listed at number 46 out of 83 Indonesian restaurants in Amsterdam. So I'm not the only one who doesn't think much of them.

          1. re: ThomasvanDale

            Thomas, perhaps you have listed alternatives elsewhere, but I don't remember. I tend to be staying in Amsterdam East nowadays when there (Oost - especially Dapperbuurt - Indischebuurt).

            1. re: lagatta

              What are you looking for? Just Indonesian or anything else?

              1. re: ThomasvanDale

                I'm looking for all kinds of things, but that might get us off-topic for the request of the original poster.

                1. re: lagatta

                  If you think it is better, you could start a new thread and I'll reply to you there.

                  1. re: ThomasvanDale

                    Yes, I will, with pleasure. But perhaps you might have a better Indonesian restaurant (or even a good toko) to suggest here?

            2. re: ThomasvanDale


              Yes, where I am (UK), tourist trap usually suggests bad quality food and poor value food. Thanks for the explanation that it's different in the Netherlands.

              May I ask about your question about the glass of water? I presume the response that the restaurant gave would be an indication of something but what would that be, please? Again, I suspect things may be different between our countries - here, if a place serves alcohol, it cannot refuse a glass of tap water

          2. In case this will help others:
            We've just returned from Amsterdam, and had the vegetarian rijsttafel at Sampurna. I *would* label it a feast- for the two of us, there was quite a lot of food, and I definitely did not manage to eat half of each of the dozen or so dishes. The service was good.

            One of the tofu dishes- a stir-fried spicy version, was my favourite. The cold cucumber salad was also great- even my husband loved it, and he usually hates cucumbers. Lots of other veggies, including a green bean dish where the beans tasted wonderfully of themselves, rather than slathered with sauce so they are beyond recognition.

            On the whole, while I liked it for the opportunity to try a large number of different flavours- and I think they did a good job of making each dish taste different, rather than various veggies or tofu in repetitive sauces- I was not exactly blown away. I do think the format would lend itself to showing off some great cooking, so while I maybe wouldn't try Sampurna again, I'd definitely try rijsttafel again.

            1. When I was there for work, I tried (4) different places. By far the best one out of the four was Puri Mas. I'll be there next weekend and I can't wait!