I really didn’t know what to expect of food in Amsterdam. So it was all a mystery for me. That didn’t last as my partner and I started venturing out the streets of Amsterdam near our hotel, “Hotel Estherea”after we checked in and took a shower.
We have not eaten anything since we touched down at Amsterdam Schripol Airport. Both very hungry, so not too fuzz about where we eat as long as we get some food. We came across a cafe, which was quite busy. I could not see the name of the cafe.
The menu looks like any typical cafe food, offering breakfast and lunch. The lunch selection of different sandwiches are not expensive. My partner ordered a meat loaf sandwich. I ordered an organic chicken breast and organic bacon with lettuces, avocado and tomatoes sandwich. A glass of fresh orange juice and a flat white coffee. Total €17.
The two sandwiches were alright. Nothing special. Quite plain with not much flavours. And, not much greens eventhough it says in the menu that my organice chicken sandwich comes with lettuces, avocado and tomatoes. I expected to see some generous amount of vegetable, and chicken breast, not cold cuts. But, my partner’s sandwich was worse. No greens at all! Just meat loaf with no sauces. Anyway, the simple sandwich did the job of filling our stomach.
We were told there is a Saturday’s Farmers Market, “Noordermarkt”. So we made our way there and walked alongside the canal. I took some pictures along the way.
Arrived at the Farmers’ Market, I could smell fresh bread and cheese, fresh flowers, vegetables, meat and sausages. Cheese and bread lovers will find great delight and pleasure shopping at this market. Owners brought along their pet dogs, mum with baby pram, and a couple of street musicians added to the market atmosphere.
I came across a few cheese shops dotted across the city, and a specialised butcher shop selling everything to do with pig. That was my guess looking at the sign.
By this time, we had been walking for 3 hours. My partner was tired and need a rest so he headed back to the hotel while I continued with my exploration of the city. It was very busy and crowded in the old part of Amsterdam and Dam Square. My feet were killing me by then. I needed a rest and an afternoon snack. I saw a small Indonesian cafe, “Sie Joe” in one of the alley.
I heard from a fellow blogger and a friend in Hobart that the Indonesian food in Amsterdam is very good. I was thinking to myself. Is that for real? Here in Amsterdam? Little did I know that the Indonesians were the first mass migrants in the early twentieth century to settle in Amsterdam, after the independence of the Dutch East Indies. I had to try the Indonesian food to see if they were both right.
Sie Joe is small and quaint. It is a family run business. Friendly and very Indonesian. It offers a few selection of noodle and rice dishes. The customers were mostly Indonesians and spoke Indonesians. I ordered a traditional Indonesian noodle soup, Bihon Baso with Meat Balls for €8.50. It was very good. Delicious and authentic. Exactly how I remembered eating the street food in Jakarta.
After a nice afternoon noodle snack, it was time to go back to the hotel for a rest. I ended up taking a long nap and struggled to wake up. A bit of a jet lag, ten hours time difference, which means it was bed time in Australia, past midnight. My partner had to wake me up. It took me awhile to get out of bed. It was a good thing; otherwise, I will find it extremely hard to go to bed when I was supposed to.
Dinner was a choice of my partner. He did his homework. Googled for a Dutch restaurant, which happens to be nearby to the hotel. The restaurant, “Haesje Claes”, was jam packed with customers when we got there. It was a big restaurant. Interior decor was lined with wooden panels, wall and hanging lights, white candles on the tables, leather arm chairs and booth seatings, wall plates and some other nostalgic decorative stuffs. The menu was huge with either set courses or ala carte. We went for ala carte main after noticed the serving size was very large on the other tables.
I had the marrow peas with organic pork and bacon in port jus, and my partner ordered a duck leg with mashed potato. We had 3 glasses of red wine. The bill came to €44.65 which was very good and reasonable. The service was excellent and friendly. The atmosphere was relax and noisy.
My pork dish was very good. The pork was lightly browned and probably vacuum bagged and then baked. It was tender and moist. The peas were probably the best peas I have ever had. They were fresh and tender. The waitress told me that they were young peas, which explained the tenderness of the pea, bright and strong green flesh on the inside. I ate every single last bit of the pea from my plate. The port jus flavoured with bacon juice was delicious and not too heavy.
My partner’s duck leg was tender and juicy but we both agree that my pork was far more superior than the duck. It was unusual for us that the duck dish was served with so much mashed potato and no greens. We thought to ourself that Dutch food must be mostly meat with not much vegetables. Every dishes on the menu sounds meaty and heavy.