After a dramatic attempt to send the parcel (which arrived in Edmonton damaged due to very sketchy wrapping – our porcelain bowl from the English potter broke ), we finally boarded the 1045 am train to Amsterdam.
Train rides are for updating the budget spreadsheet and drinking instant coffee.
First thing one would ask when in Holland is … Where can I get the good stuff? *wink* *wink*
We spared no time scouring the Internet, looking up reviews and choosing the best place. It was certainly difficult picking a place cause there were so many to choose from. Each place had both good and bad reviews, some better than others of course. It also depends if they’re located in touristy areas or not. We wanted to avoid the touristy ones and so we ended up picking one that was not really in the tourist zone. There were mixed reviews about this place but we were eager to try it as we had never had it before.
We used Google maps to map our route and it was about a 40 minutes walk from our Airbnb. We were really excited cause we’ve heard from friends that it’s a must try in Amsterdam. A friend of mine spoke very highly of his experience and us, being very curious people decided that we must do it on our first day in Amsterdam. After all, it’s best to experience it when you’re hungry 😉 We found the place and it was quite busy. In fact, we had to share a table with another couple. They gave us a menu and it was so difficult to choose cause there were many choices. Adam wanted the one that had more varieties but I wasn’t sure if we could handle it. In the end, we picked the set that had a good amount and boy, it was incredible !
Alright, I’ll stop here. You’re probably thinking of the first thing to do when in Netherlands …. Heh, I’d love to say yes but, it was actually Indonesian food that we were looking forward to try. Indonesian food is very popular in Netherlands due to the history of Dutch colonialism of the Indochina region.
We went to Indonesisch Specialiteiten Restaurant Kartika for an early dinner. They have set menus that included a sampling of Indonesian dishes. We ordered the Ramayana set for 18.50 Euros per person.
We started with some Emping (on the left). Emping is a type of Indonesian chips, a bite-size snack cracker, made of melinjo or belinjo (Gnetum gnemon) nuts (which are actually seeds). We get that in Malaysia too, especially during Chinese New Year. Once you start, you can’t stop. On the right are fish crackers. Sauces from L-R : Sambal, Peanut sauce (Adam’s kryptonite), Sweet Chili Sauce.
Adam wanted the set that had more food but I’m glad his argument wasn’t persuasive enough cause this set was a lot of food!
I love Indonesian food! The flavours are very refined and so tasty, especially with rice! We devoured each bite with OOmmmph and MMMmmmph pretty much the whole hour.
We highly recommended this restaurant and advisable to book reservations. We were lucky to get seated without one and had to share the table with another couple. We didn’t mind it because we got onto some interesting conversations with them and exchanging stories about travels.
I swear they must put drugs in the food cause we left the restaurant all food comatose. I was walking like a zombie, eyes barely opened and brain dead. Effects of overeating I supposed 😆 We stumbled upon a travel store and Adam got some travel shirts. You know, the ones with tons of pockets to confuse the odd pickpockets. Then, we kind of wandered around the city to get a feel for it. It was quite challenging navigating through the streets and sidewalks because there are separate lanes for bicycles, vehicles and pedestrians. We had several close calls from getting rammed by cyclists. They are everywhere ! Funny enough, I like that about Amsterdam. It’s such a bicycle friendly city, feels clean and safe.
Before calling it a night, we decided to stop by a pub around a pretty street corner. Tried some Dutch beers. Normally, I don’t really drink beer but I actually liked the Amstel Light. It was refreshing and doesn’t have a strong malty flavour.
Or maybe after the visit at the Beer Musuem in Bruges, I have a better appreciation of beer …. nah, I don’t think so 😆
Next up – Why I decided to pierce my nose (again) ….