Foodies’ Guide to Amsterdam

When one thinks of Amsterdam’s pleasures, often illicit activities come to mind. This stereotype is disappointing because the port city offers a lot of delicious and interesting food. Everything from restaurant meals to take out snacks is better than average. And it’s not just cheese and chips. There are many international cuisines, including Indonesian and Surinamese. The two days and nights my wife and I spent there hardly seemed enough.

Hard to come by is a phrase that means something is difficult to find. ‘Cheap airline tickets are hard to come by these days.’

We arrived in Amsterdam on Friday night. After a total travelling time of about five hours, including trains, I had one thing on my mind. Dinner. I wanted to try one of the city’s Indonesian restaurants. I had quite a good experience from a previous trip and good Indonesian food is hard to come by in the Czech Republic.

The concierge at our hotel was able to direct us to Tempo Doeloe which he said was the best Indonesian restaurant in Amsterdam. It was completely booked but there was another Indonesian restaurant right next door called Tujuh Maret. They had space.

I ordered a Besengek Daging, which was a spicy beef dish served with beans. My wife ordered chicken cooked with fresh turmeric and coconut milk. The meals were spicy, the meat tender and both servings were huge. One would have been enough.

After dinner there was time for a local beer in a ‘bruin’ up the road. ‘Bruin’ is the Dutch name for these older pubs. The name comes from the Dutch word for brown and the pubs are called bruin because of the wood panelling on the walls.

I’ve eaten a lot of Swiss style cheese in my life including imports from the Netherlands. What we got from the market the next day for lunch a good quality. We had them with crispy rolls. As it was starting to rain, we thought it was the perfect time for a coffee, or for me a wine at a nearby pub. We also kept wandering along the canals.

Winkel only serves one type of dessert, a traditional Dutch apple pie. Winkel’s version had a nice crust, large chunks of apples and lots of cream. After a piece each, we decided to wait for dinner.

I had always wanted to try Surinamese food. Suriname, located in the north of South America, was a former Dutch colony. The staff at our hotel recommended a place. The desk clerk wrote down her favourite Surinamese dish: broodje pom.

Broodje is actually a type of sandwich. This surprised me, so the man working at the shop explained to me a little about Surinamese food.

Pom is both a dish and the name of a root. The dish is something like a mild chicken curry, but almost better. The best thing is to try it the next time you’re in Amsterdam.

If we call something or someone ‘something else’ it means it is beyond explanation or definition. ‘My brother is something else. All week he works 14 hours a day and then parties at the weekends.’

The chips in Amsterdam are also something else. I’m not sure if it’s the potatoes or the frying process but the chips we had for lunch on our final day were perfect.

We’ll definitely be going back for more broodje pom, and that apple pie.

Original article by Ryan Scott – Sydney, Australia. Text edited by The Word’s methodology team

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The stereotype concerning Amsterdam’s illicit reputation is disappointing because the city offers a lot of delicious and interesting food. There are many international cuisines, including Indonesian and Surinamese. The two days and nights my wife and I spent there weren’t quite enough.

Hard to come by is a phrase that means something is difficult to find. ‘Cheap airline tickets are hard to come by these days.’

We arrived in Amsterdam on Friday night and I wanted one thing. Dinner. I wanted to try one of the city’s Indonesian restaurants since Indonesian food is hard to come by in the Czech Republic.

The concierge at our hotel was able to direct us to Tempo Doeloe which he said was the best Indonesian restaurant in Amsterdam. It was completely full but there was another Indonesian restaurant right next door called Tujuh Maret. I ordered a Besengek Daging, which was a spicy beef dish served with beans. My wife ordered chicken cooked with fresh turmeric and coconut milk.

After dinner there was time for a local beer in a ‘bruin’ up the road. ‘Bruin’ is the Dutch name for these older pubs. The name comes from the Dutch word for brown and the pubs are called bruin because of the wood panelling on the walls.

I’ve eaten a lot of Swiss style cheese in my life including imports from the Netherlands. What we ate in Amsterdam was a good quality.

Winkel only serves one type of dessert, a traditional Dutch apple pie. After a piece each, we decided to wait for dinner. I had always wanted to try Surinamese food. Suriname, located in the north of South America, was a former Dutch colony. The staff at our hotel recommended a place and a favourite Surinamese dish: broodje pom.

Broodje is actually a type of sandwich. Pom is both a dish and the name of a root. The dish is something like a chicken curry. The best thing is to try it the next time you’re in Amsterdam.

If we call something or someone ‘something else’ it means it is beyond explanation or definition. ‘My brother is something else. All week he works 14 hours a day and then parties at the weekends.’

The chips in Amsterdam are also something else. I’m not sure if it’s the potatoes or the frying process but the chips we had for lunch on our final day were perfect.

We’ll definitely be going back for more broodje pom, and that apple pie.

Original article by Ryan Scott – Sydney, Australia. Text edited by The Word’s methodology team

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When one thinks of Amsterdam’s pleasures, the clichéd view runs to more illicit kinds. This stereotype is disappointing because the port city offers a great range of delicious and interesting food. Everything from restaurant meals to take out snacks is above par. Furthermore, it’s not just cheese and chips. There seems to be a very wide range of international cuisines, namely Indonesian and Surinamese. The two days and nights my wife and I spent there hardly seemed enough.

We arrived in Amsterdam on Friday night. After a total travelling time of about five hours, including trains, I had one thing on my mind. Dinner. More specifically I wanted to try one of the city’s Indonesian restaurants. I had quite a good experience from a previous trip and good Indonesian food is hard to come by in the Czech Republic.

The concierge at our hotel was able to direct us to Tempo Doeloe a place he said was the best Indonesian restaurant in Amsterdam. Even better, it was about a ten minute walk from the hotel on foot. Unluckily, it was completely booked. Luckily, there was another Indonesian restaurant right next door called Tujuh Maret. They seemed to have a spare table.

The restaurant seated about 30 people and the whole place was served by this one flustered, brisk waiter. After removing the reserved sign from a table and hurriedly shepherding us to it, he shot off to take another table’s order, dashed to the kitchen for three plates of food, hurried to show two new customers to another table then back to the kitchen. I thought we’d need a butterfly net to get him again.

However, the wait was worth it. I ordered a Besengek Daging, which was a spicy beef dish served with beans. My wife ordered chicken cooked with fresh turmeric and coconut milk. The meals were spicy, the meat tender and both servings were huge. One would have been sufficient.

After dinner there was time for a local beer in stylish ‘bruin’ up the road. ‘Bruin’ is apparently the Dutch term for these older pubs. The name derives from the Dutch word for brown on account of the wood panelling. One custom which we couldn’t get enough of was the way they scraped off the excess foam after pouring the beer, so the head was level with the rim. This particular bruin, Cafe Krom, is also notable for its juke box filled with old 45s. Sadly, I couldn’t get it to work. Anyway, after such a big meal it was time for bed.

The author uses two terms with the word ‘par’ – above par and on par. Par refers to a score in golf. If something is on par with something else, it is equal. If it is above par, it is better. Not surprisingly, we can also say subpar for something of lesser quality.

I’ve eaten a lot of Swiss style cheese in my life including imports from the Netherlands. What we got from the market the next day for lunch was on par with the better quality ones I’ve had. We had them with crispy rolls. As it was starting to rain, we thought it was the perfect time for a coffee, or in my case a wine at a nearby pub, then some more meandering along the canals like the 20-somethings we no longer are.

It must the height of culinary arrogance for Winkel to serve only one type of dessert. The full tables and long queues would suggest the pride is well-founded. The dessert is a traditional Dutch apple pie. Winkel’s version had a buttery golden crust, large chunks of slightly tart apples and a great mound of cream. After a piece each, we decided to leave dinner for much later.

A cuisine I’d long wanted to try was Surinamese food. Suriname, located in the north of South America, was a former Dutch colony. Its history of slavery and indentured work, along with connections to Dutch’s former trading empire, has created a culturally diverse society as expressed in its cuisine. Again the staff at our hotel was able recommend a place. The desk clerk wrote down her favourite Surinamese dish: broodje pom.

It turned out it was some type of sandwich. Broodje means bread roll in Dutch. Perhaps my incredulity was a little too obvious because the guy working at the shop asked me what I knew about Surinamese food, particularly the dish we were about to try.

Pom  he explained is both a dish and the name of a root. The root can fetch quite exorbitant prices and was brought to Suriname by Jewish settlers. The root was adopted by other communities to become a staple and later national dish. The dish is something like a mild chicken curry, but that comparison doesn’t do it justice. The best thing is to try it the next time you’re in Amsterdam.

A friend of mine once said the best chips she ever had were in Amsterdam. It was another thing I failed to check the first time I was there. Suffice to say, my friend was right. The chips here are something else. I’m not sure if it’s the potatoes or just perfecting the frying process but the chips we had for lunch on our final day were perfect and chunky, came out an even gold and were firm without being crispy. One bag was enough for the two us.

We’ll definitely be going back for more broodje pom, and that apple pie.

Ryan Scott – Sydney, Australia

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