There are dozens of excellent Indonesian restaurants throughout Amsterdam – high-end establishments, low-key canteens and local take-away joints. Discover the best with this handy guide.
Thanks to a shared history of colonial interaction between the two countries, Indonesian food occupies a special place within Dutch culture, with classic items like rijsttafel (Dutch for ‘rice table’),a traditional multi-course Indonesian meal, Loempia (spring rolls) and bakmi (noodles) ranking among the most popular dishes in the Netherlands.
Restaurant, Indonesian, Vegetarian, $$$
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Are you looking to chow down on an elaborate rijsttafel while in Amsterdam? Indrapura, on Rembrandtplein, offers different types of rijsttafel that centre around specific culinary preferences and dietary requirements. There’s even a full-blown vegetarian spread available at the restaurant for €33 (£30) per person that features many tasty Indonesian delicacies that have been slightly modified for vegetarians.
Near Spuiplein, Kantjil & de Tijger is divided into two separate areas – one that serves delicious takeout rice and noodle bowls, and another for full-service, sit-down meals. The former option ranks among the most popular lunch spots in Amsterdam and allows customers to design their own meals by combining several Indonesian staples. Dinner here revolves around small, tasty dishes that are perfect for sharing and is served inside a stunning Art Deco-style dining room.
This charming eatery is located just beyond the western limits of Amsterdam’s historic canal belt and lies within walking distance of several important landmarks, such as the Anne Frank House, Westerkerk and Vondelpark. Jun serves classic Indonesian dishes, including several less well-known – but very authentic – options such as soto telor puyuh or ayam rica bersantan, which are difficult to find elsewhere in the Netherlands. Foodies after a comprehensive dining experience should commit to a visit when in town.
Mama Makan Indonesian Kitchen's dishes are inspired by classic Indonesian cooking | Courtesy of Mama Makan Indonesian Kitchen
Aside from serving incredible Indonesian meals, Mama Makan also has one of the most stunning dining rooms in Amsterdam, characterised by wide open spaces and long rows of comfy sofas. The restaurant’s menu includes many superb dishes inspired by classic Indonesian cooking, and features an entire section dedicated to rijsttafel.
Mixing together traditional Indonesian cooking with super-stylish aesthetics and top-notch service, Café AMOI’s menu features pretty much every well-known Indonesian dish, including classics like grilled saté kebabs, fresh spring rolls and perfectly balanced gado-gado salads. A range of awesome cocktails are also available at Café AMOI’s bar, which pair wonderfully with the restaurant’s menu.
This homey restaurant serves an impressive range of Indonesian specialities and divides its menu into several categories that revolve around meat, fish, saté and bakmi noodles. Tujuh Maret also offers catering services and will gladly help clients organise incredible feasts inside their homes or at other venues around the city.
Restaurant Blauw lies around 100 metres away from Vondelpark‘s southern entrance on a bustling street called Amstelveenseweg, which is famed for its eclectic culinary scene. The restaurant serves an impressive array of classic Indonesian staples and bases its menu around rijsttafel; should you wish to substitute one dish for another here, the wait staff will happily oblige. Given that the portion sizes are quite generous, it may be best to visit on an empty stomach.
Blue Pepper offers modern takes on Indonesian classics | Courtesy of Blue Pepper
There are several intricately prepared set menus available at this classy restaurant on Nassaukade, which include many traditional Indonesian dishes that have been adapted to be prepared using modern cooking techniques. The restaurant also organises candlelit boat cruises where guests can enjoy delicious food whilst marvelling at Amsterdam’s waterways.
At Long Pura, wait staff dressed in traditional Indonesian attire cater to guests in a low-lit, intimate setting. The venue can cater for anywhere between 15 and 130 people, with group menus featuring an expansive rijsttafel offering. A good choice if the prospect of trying Indonesian cuisine in its full, spicy glory is a little intimidating, as they’ll even let you choose the level of heat in your dish.
Given that this centrally located restaurant is open for dinner service only, advance booking is recommended should you wish to grab a table on a particular evening during your time in Amsterdam. While MAX serves modern European cuisine, its home-cooked Indonesian dishes are the stars of the menu. There is, of course, the possibility of creating your own international menu with a combination of Indonesian and European fare, and pairing each course with something from MAX’s extensive wine list, which includes natural and biodynamic wines.