After the Dutch colonization of Indonesia, delicious Indonesian food remained on the mainlands. At the present, one of the best Indonesian restaurants in Amsterdam is Blue Pepper, a small fine dining place with a dimly lit ambiance and pre-set menus. 🙂
The restaurant opens at 6, but fills up towards later hours. Even with the preset menus, our waiter recommended us eating family style– with a combination of the two pre-set menu choices.
We got two of the traditional pre-set, and one of the more modern menu. The first dish that came out was the amuse bouche, a little like a kebab with cheese sprinkled on the top. It was quite delicious!
After the amuse bouche, the dishes from the preset menu came out. The first dish was a light soup with a strong sense of lemongrass. Two types of soup came out: one with shellfish and one without. My Papa has an allergy to shellfish, and often, preset menus are required to have another option on hand for their customers.
The first picture is the lemongrass shellfish-based soup, and the second is the modified one.
Another one of the first dishes to come out, the softshell crab with mango and pineapple was delivered right next to our soup platters.
Although the fruit was a nice touch, the fried outside of the crabs overwhelmed the inside, making the dish more commonplace and greasy than would be an expected of a more upscale restaurant.
The baked scallops were my favorite dish of the night, accompanied by caviar and greens.
The raspberry was a nice fruity add on, and the scallops themselves seemed to disassemble in my mouth as I ate them.
Then the chicken sate and lamb sate came; this was one of my favorite dishes that came out. It reminded me a little of a kebab, but with an Asian twist (for example, they added grapefruit instead of say, tomatoes).
The duck came in a tortilla-chip like bowl with greens on the side. The menu said it came with avocado salad, but from what I saw, there really wasn’t any. It seemed that in place of the avocado, they added cucumber. It was also pretty soggy, with the juices of the meat seeping into the chip. In contrast, this was one of my least favorite dishes on the menu, seeming both too common and too badly done.
After the duck, it was truly a family style meal. Waiters brought us all kinds of dishes including fish, beef, and a truly delicious goat curry.
My least favorite dish was the mixed vegetables, which to me tasted kind of pickle-y. Truly rather bland. The best dishes were the Balinese fish of the day and the delicious goat curry. Although a little more fishy than I would have liked, the balinese fish was melt in your mouth, and was paired nicely with some crunchy deliciousness on the side. I was very excited about the goat curry, because it was the spiciest thing on the menu. Not only that, but it was also very melt in your mouth (I seem to like melt in your mouth things). For those who don’t like goat, the beef curry is another delicious alternative, though it is far less spicy.
I took a bit of all the dishes and put them on the plate they provided, which was topped with a beautiful volcano of rice.
To be quite honest, dessert was somewhat of a letdown, with a mango pannacotta and a surprise dessert with a mix of several traditionally “Indonesian” flavors. The mango pannacotta was delicious, but other than that, dessert was disappointing.
Because of Blue Pepper’s reputation as one of the top 5 Indonesian restaurants in the Netherlands, I had expected something spectacular. I didn’t get what I expected, but I did get a pretty good meal. Not spectacular, but worth the experience. Indonesian food is definitely one of my new favorites. 🙂
🙂 🙂 🙂 3/4