Oct 7, 2010

Amsterdam in a brief

It's hard to describe a city in just one post. But as I have been getting busy in my other (day) job, weeks have been passing by without any individual post here. 

In a nutshell, Amsterdam was very special to me. Other than all the crazy stuff I heard before going (all the cafes, Red Light District and some more = they pride themselves for the big tolerance), I saw a different gorgeous city (friends had warned me that a sunny weather makes complete difference on the experience). That was the first city we visited while on this trip to Europe. Weather was gorgeous, sunny, not too cold, comfortable. People were so friendly and they all spoke English.

My Dutch is extremely limited, I learned two or three words while being there (ingang, sortie...). My Amsterdam highlights (you are definitely welcome to share yours) were the channels, the architecture, the tulips (that I will have to come back to check), beer & fries (actually they were Belgium stuff, not Dutch), fresh mint tea, Indonesian food (super unexpected), walking around the city, Van Gogh museum. It's on my "coming back" list of cities to visit again.

For those who like fashion and would like to grab a bite around downtown Amsterdam, we stopped by the Caffe Esprit. Esprit is a clothing store based in the Netherlands and they have a flagship store in Amsterdam. Other than cool European clothes (I might have a separate post about European fashion), they have a cafe. We sat outside got the Dutch Heineken and the Belgium Duvel + pasta & burger. Both were delicious - we were starving. It was a good stop if you are right by there and hungry. Don't miss the beers (anywhere in Amsterdam). 

Last but not least, Indonesian cuisine had never been my strength. I know few Indonesians, they are great people, but the food was never my top. Amsterdam has many different Indonesian restaurants spread around the city, due to their colonial Dutch history. The Rijsttafel is the meal they used to serve to the Dutch families, is based on rice (as many other Asian cuisines) and combines many small dishes together. Usually one or two types of meat, vegetables, starches, a great use of spices and seasonings. 

We tried the Restaurant Indrapura, located on the Rembrandt Square and it was delicious. Despite the famous nightlife, Amsterdam restaurants close relatively early, around 10pm. We arrived there almost on closing time and were really well served. It's a family owned restaurant, the wife and "chef" is Indonesian and the husband and "server/waiter" is Dutch. The food was very fresh, meat was very tasty, spicy, but not overwhelming. We complimented the food to them and they respond: "the only thing we do differently is to always use fresh ingredients".  If you don't care for spicy food, let them aware of that. I love spicy, so for me was perfect. This experience changed the way I see this cuisine. I'm sure I will have good and bad ones in the future, but it was a great surprise. 

More info about the spots:

Restaurant Indrapura http://www.indrapura.nl/


π said...

Uia! Eu tinha te falado do café da Esprit ou você, que nem eu, achou no susto e foi?


Giselle said...

Pra falar a verdade, vc tinha comentado comigo de um cafe de uma loja suuuper legal. Mas eu cheguei la e nao me lembrava o nome... hehehe... pessima memoria minha! Obrigada pela dica anyway! beijo