A few years ago, I watched a very under rated movie called In Bruges. In the movie, two assassins are ordered to hide out in Bruges and await instructions for their next assignment. I enjoyed the movie because of its hilarious one liners and the witty banter between characters. And when we had the opportunity to check out Bruges, I was actually quite ecstatic. In the movie, Colin Farrell’s character finds Bruges to be boring and likens it to hell. I, on the other hand, found it quite charming.
I’ve always believed that food is a communal experience and there are definitely foods out there that require a few extra people for sharing. On this trip, Gloria and I were always opened to meeting new friends and I think there was no better time to do this than over rijsttafel.
As a former colony of the Netherlands, Indonesia has a huge presence in Amsterdam, none so than in the form of rijsttafel which is translated to “rice table”. The description is pretty true to the form – your table is covered with dishes. Many Indonesian restaurants pride themselves in offering a beautiful selection of Indonesia dishes and by virtue of ordering rijsttafel, anything pretty much goes.
After meeting another fellow Canadian, we decided to commemorate this new found friendship and spend our last night in Amsterdam in search of rijsttafel. Unfortunately, many restaurants require advance reservations and with us looking for dinner at 9pm, we weren’t finding much success. Luckily, one restaurant, Puri Mas, was still opened and lo and behold, they were serving rijsttafel!
Our set above included: Chicken brochette, Beef Rendang (stewed beef), Marinated Pork, Curried Chicken, Marinated Eggs in Balinese Sauce, Gado Gado (Vegetables with Peanut Sauce), Haricots, Marinated Potatoes, Fried Bananas and a variety of rice.
Rijsttafel is definitely communal eating at its finest.
Puri Mas – Lange Leidsedwarsstraat , 1017 NG Amsterdam
I didn’t know what to expect when it came to food in Amsterdam; to be honest, I didn’t do much research so I wasn’t sure what I should expect. I’ve learned that the best food does come with a little bit of exploring and Amsterdam was certainly a city that was easy to explore.
After a night at De Zotte, it was clear to me that I needed coffee. While in search of a coffee shop, we stumbled into Small Talk Eating House Restaurant. I’ll admit, the name intrigued me more than the food but the menu offered a decent selection of breakfast foods including pannekoeken, traditional dutch pancakes. Above: Savory Pannekoken with Ham. A few blocks away from major museums such as Van Gogh and Museumplein, Small Talk was visited by both tourists and locals alike.
Small Talk Eating House – Van Baerlestraat 52, Amsterdam
We explored Amsterdam’s beautiful canals through a boat tour which allowed us to get on and off as often as we liked throughout the city’s famous tourist hot spots. A word of warning though, these boats come whenever they feel like, so you may find yourself waiting for a ride for quite some time.
One of the spots we decided to visit was Amsterdam’s Dapper Market, which also happened to house one of the few windmills within the city that is opened to visitors. Upon walking through the market, we found a street vendor selling…
Stroopwafel! Warm sugar, cinnamon and syrup sandwiched between two thin waffles. The first few day we were in Amsterdam, Gloria kept talking about trying Stroopwafel, but all I heard was “street waffles”, and the whole time I was looking for people who sold waffles in food carts. It wasn’t until I saw this little cart at Dapper Market did I realize what she meant.
Stroopwafel can be found throughout Amsterdam, even pre-packaged as snacks in grocery stores and snack shops though it is best eaten right away when it’s warm. We loved these so much that we were so delighted to see miniature stroopwafels on our plane ride home.
Ah, European drinking. There’s really nothing like it is there? Our first night in Amsterdam, we met up with a friend of my travel buddy Gloria. As a local, our new tour guide showed us around central Amsterdam taking us to a popular, yet hidden bar named De Zoote, located in Leidseplein which served a selection of amazing local and Belgium beer.
Ah, it’s true. I love variety, and Amsterdam, you certainly offered a beautiful selection of beer.
De Zoote – Raamstraat 29, 1016 XL Amsterdam, Netherlands
I haven’t been updating as frequently as of late, simply because I have been off another euro adventure. Two years ago, I traveled through Spain, and my heart has been aching to go back to Europe since then. Seeing as I had some time off work, it was a good as time as any to pack my bags and go off on an adventure. This time, I was joined by a wonderful friend. Together, we toured, feasted and met some new friends along the way.
A forgotten post from Palm Springs.
When I’m travelling for business, I tend to not eat very well. Skipped or half eaten meals are typically the norm when there isn’t time to eat. Atlas, when the portions in America are huge in comparison to Canada, it subsequently helps a lot when you only have time to eat once a day.
When it comes to huge portions, Hog’s Breath is a prime example. In the middle of small, yet charming Old Town La Quinta, Hog’s main draw is being owned by Clint Eastwood. The restaurant offers a mid range selection of traditional meats and seafood dishes.
Above, duck breast and leg with butternut squash risotto, citrus glaze, braised red cabbage, port wine orange sauce. Not the best I’ve had, but definitely a satisfying first and last meal of the day.
Hog’s Breath Inn – 78065 Main St, La Quinta, CA
I love reading blogs and online magazines and I love[d] Google Reader. You can’t beat the convenience of checking your email and catching up on your reading all in one place. Sadly, Google Reader you are leaving us in a few short months and I, like many others are now scrambling to find a replacement.
If you follow this blog, or other blogs, here are some alternatives to migrate to:
Netvibes – Similar to Google Reader, it organizes your subscriptions into lists — Plus switching from Reader to Netvibes takes just a few seconds. Sign up for the free account and then export your subscription list from Google Takeout and uploading the subscriptions.xml file to Netvibes.
Newsblur – Same as Netvibes. After signing up, there’s a step by step guide on how to import from Google Reader. Be advise, Newsblur is experiencing a influx of Google Reader users trying to migrate over. Their servers are down at the time of this post.
If you prefer the magazine layout for your online reading, this article also features some resources.
If you’ve been using Google Reader to follow my blog, thank you — and even more thanks in advance for switching over to a new service.
Chawanmushi! The first time I had this Japanese custard dish, I was in Kyoto and instantly loved it. Now, whenever I go to a seemingly authentic Japanese restaurant, I’ll try to find it on the menu. Its silky smooth texture and belly warming broth are symbolic traits of comfort food for me. After a trip to Daiso and purchasing the chawanmushi cups on a whim, I realize it’s quite easy to make. I love it when I experiment and it works out.
Chawanmushi with shitake and enoki mushrooms, dashi broth, cilantro and prawns. I adopted my version from this online recipe.