Dinner for our second night in Amsterdam, which was a Sunday, the French restaurant that my partner wanted to go was shut. So, was a few other restaurants. In the end, he was asking me what I would like to eat. I told him, “you would not want to know”. Because it would be Indonesian. He was not keen to come all the way to Europe to eat at an Asian restaurant, which was fair enough. But, we rarely go to an Indonesian restaurants in Australia. There is none in Hobart, and I have tried a couple small cafes in Melbourne. Surprisingly, the best Indonesian restaurant I have ever tried outside of Indonesia was in Napier, New Zealand.
I left the dinner arrangement with my partner. He googled and read other reviewers inTrip Advisor, and decided on “Indrapura”, an Indonesian restaurant to pleased me. Initially, that word sounds like an Indian word to me, which refers to Hindu gods. But, Indrapura is a place in Sumatra.
It was a very cold night in Amsterdam. Felt like 1 or 2 degree Celsius. We asked at the Front Desk how to get to the restaurant. The direction was not that clear. I was shivering and walking very fast. Both hands in my pocket. Jacket hood over my head. It took us twenty five minutes to find the place, at a square. We have not walked to this area before. The restaurant looks expensive and upmarket from the outside. I can trust my partner to choose such a place as I was paying the bill!
There are lots of other trendy restaurants and bars around the area. It looks a bit more stylish and upmarket from the other areas we have been in the last two days of walking. Later I found out that this was Rembrandtplein.
We entered the restaurant. There was a live pianist. It was lively. The mood of the restaurant was soft and comfortable. It was a big restaurant. The restaurant manager, whom I believe is part owner, offered us a table next to the piano, which was quite noisy and loud, or a quieter table at the back corner. We chose the later. After sitting down, I thought to myself the table next to us was an arrangement for 14 people. Hopefully, they will not arrive until we finish our meal.
The menu was big. There were four selection of tapas style dishes, “rice table” as they called it here in the restaurant, or the ala carte menu. I looked around the other tables. Most are having the rice table selection. We ordered one of the rice table selection, and start off with a glass of gin and tonic each, and order a bottle of red wine to accompany our dinner.
I seriously hope the food is going to be good. All I see around me were westerners. No Indonesian or Asian diners. My partner told me that the reviews in Trip Advisor were all good, and some even said this is the best Indonesian restaurant in Amsterdam.
The food came. First was a prawn fritter each. To be honest. Not a good start. It was greasy, and too much flour was used.
Next, fourteen small dishes arrived at the same time. I guess this is why it is called rice table. A communal table with dishes and rice to share, like eating at home in Asia. There were chicken and lamb satays, steamed rice, coconut rice, some curries and soy dishes, and vegetables.
I looked at them. Looked very simple. I believed all of them would have been prepared and cooked in bulk, and then reheated in tiny portion for the rice table. There was nothing special about the dishes. A bit plain and boring. The curries were mild. The meat was tough. The satay was not the best I have tasted. In my opinion, everything had been toned down to suit the westerners’ palate, probably the tourists.
My partner was more disappointed than me. But, he was not paying the bill. I was and was not happy. The bill came to €122.40. The waiter asked if I would like to give some tips! So, I rounded the bill to €126. I am not sure how the reviewers on Trip Advisor gave this place such a glowing pictures. when I got back, I logon to Trip Advisor and read some of the reviews myself. Thank goodness, there were others who agree with me that Indrapura can’t possibly be the best Indonesian restaurant in Amsterdam. Not only is it very expensive, but it is also not authentic to a true Indonesian taste and experience. Thankfully, the big table of 14 people arrived when we were about to pay the bill and leave. They were all Americans!
At that price that I have paid, we will stick to European cuisines for the remaining of our trip. I was still angry with myself for paying that ridiculous money at Indrapura when we have only paid €50 for a great dinner at a Dutch restaurant the night before.