Saturday, 11 September 2010

A weekend in Amsterdam or: Full of tempeh!

As much as "Eat, pray, love" was a major disappointment (although it deals with three countries I am quite interested in - including Indonesia), our bank holiday trip to Amsterdam was amazing and full of great food.

There are plenty of vegan/veg-friendly restauraunts in Amsterdam, however, we didn't go to any. Because of that amazing "Dutch" (colonial) speciality - Indonesian!

Now there are plenty of Indonesian places in London and elsewhere. The problem is that they usually are half Indonesian, half Malay, half something else. Nothing wrong with Malaysian food or any other South East Asian cuisine, but I like my authenticity.

Now there is this wonderful Dutch invention called Rijsttafel (literally "Rice table"), aka a buffet of Indonesian food. The great thing is that Indonesian cooking doesn't use any dairy to begin with, and very little eggs, so if you go for vegetarian options you pretty much have a guaranteed vegan meal.

Our first meal in Amsterdam was at a cute Indonesian deli - spicy tempeh (be praised for this invention, Indonesia!), spring rolls, corn fritters!

Late that night, we went to Puri Mas for our big vegan rijsttafel. For €20 each, we had: plain rice, spiced rice, veggies in peanut sauce, spicy tempeh, tofu in a bbq-y sauce, sauteed mushrooms, aubergine in spicy sauce, cucumber salad, a mixed veggie salad, grean beans, friend bananas... and quite a bit more. It was amazing, and the service was just wonderful. And the condiments! I could sprinkle those sweet-salty roasted coconut flakes on everything I eat!

Now I am somewhat at a loss regarding authentic Indonesian recipes, because I can't seem to find any that turn out right. I am lacking some of the basic knowledge about this cuisine, that's why. Any book/website recommendations (except for The Asian Vegan Kitchen)?


Aimee said...


Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Ooh, I am going to Amsterdam this weekend! If I can only go to one Indonesian spot, where should I go?

ariy said...

Hi Steffi,
I was just browsing to look for places that sell tempeh in Amsterdam when I got to your blog. I'm an indonesian woman married to a french man, and recently arrived in France. I started to miss tempeh, as it was part of my daily meal, and I wanted to travel to Amsterdam to get some. well, i'd like to see around as well. I was wondering if you knew a grocery market that sells tempeh in Amsterdam? By the way, there are a lot of internet websites for indonesian recipes. You just need to google the name of the cuisine you want, and voila.. and even if it's in indonesian, I think you won't have any trouble in translating it with google. cheers, Ariy.

Steffi said...

Ariy, I hope you read this (I couldn't find any contact info on your profile) - thanks for the comment. Sadly, I don't know where to find tempeh in Amsterdam, I could tell you about a dozen other European cities but I really have only spent a weekend in A'dam. Maybe ask one of the restaurants where they get them from? I'm sure they are willing to help out a fellow Indonesian ;)