Saturday, July 08, 2017


One of the pleasures of visiting Den Haag ('s Gravenhage) is getting away from all the pot-smoking hippies who flock to Amsterdam. Of course you could just venture out of the narrow corridor in the centre of Amsterdam where the confused foreigners are -- even if not permanently stoned many of them couldn't find their way out of a tin cup; most tourists are usually so confused by a foreign city that they wander around permanently lost and asking where McDonalds is and how to get to Union Square -- but let us assume that you actually wanted to go to another part of the country.
There is more there than just Amsterdam.
A lot of things to see and enjoy.
Not only museums.

There are also the Indonesian Restaurants.
Den Haag has a large number of them.
Some of the best in the world.

Unfortunately, Tempat Senang is closed, so that is out of the question, and they had gone down considerably in any case. But there are plenty of others to choose from, most of them between the centre of the city and the Statenkwartier neighborhood in the northwest.

Among my many favourite dishes are lalab (raw or blanched vegetables with sambal), gulai ayam (mild and soupy chicken curry, like the Chinese Malay eatery on Stockton street makes), sate kambing (grilled skewered lamb, often with a dark sauce instead of peanut sauce), and soto ayam (a chicken soup that could be a meal by itself). But of course one shouldn't neglect other things on the menu, or forget the sambals and sides.
Plan to spend one to two hours over dinner.
Avoid beer, it doesn't add anything.
Neither do beer drinkers.

[Mie bakso (麵肉酥), mie goreng, mie ayam, and kwetiao (粿條) are also tasty Indonesian dishes, but are of Chinese (Hokkian) origin, although long native. One will find them on some restaurant menus, but they are considered more snack-type, rather than fine dining. Respectively: meatball noodle soup, fried noodles, chicken soup noodles, and thick riceflour noodles cooked with other ingredients and a little ketjap manis. In Malaysia and Singapore, char kwei tiao (炒粿條) is the more common version of the latter dish, most often fried up with prawns, tamarind, taugé (豆芽), soy sauce, chilies, and fish paste.]

Indirect lighting, hot plates, chilies, tablecloths, comfort.
But really, it's all about the food. Don't forget that.


Keraton Damai, Groot Hertoginnelaan 57, Den Haag.
Didong, 2e Sweelinckstraat 115, Den Haag.
Seleraku, Laan van Meerdervoort 7E, Den Haag.
Soeboer, Brouwersgracht 29, Den Haag.
Istana, Wagenstraat 71-73, Den Haag.
Bogor, Van Swietenstraat 2, Den Haag.
Srikandi, Grote Marktstraat 15, Den Haag.
Ratu Raja, Prinsestraat 30, Den Haag.
Si Des, Rabbijn Maarsenplein 7, Den Haag.

There are many others, as well as 'Chineesch-Indisch' food, which isn't really Indo but more of a lump-it-all category popular in the hinterlands.

[Restaurant Garoeda, beloved of politicians like Gert-Jan Segers (Christian Union), Wouter Koolmees (D66), Carola Schouten (Christian Union) and Alexander Pechtold (D66), et mult altres, is closed temporarily.]

Indonesian restaurants never really caught on in San Francisco, and though cooking Indonesian dishes at home is not hard, sometimes it can get a bit involved. Besides, there are moments when you just want to eat out.

By the way: Nasi Goreng Speciaal and Lumpia are almost the national dishes of the Netherlands. Don't let that bias you.

PS. If you click on the label underneath this post ('Indo food') a whole bunch of essays will show up, this one first. There's some interesting stuff there.

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