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Blue Pepper, Amsterdam

Believe me, it is really hard to write about a restaurant which is described by the GQ magazine as the “best Indonesion food north of Bali”. Well, I am not an expert on indonesian food, but GQ probably does not exaggarete it. The Blue Pepper Restaurant is a centrally located restaurant in Amsterdam, which has been established in 2002.

When you enter this temple of Indonesian kitchen, you come across a couple of tables -maybe 6 or 7 of them- placed neatly. The waiter and service and the atmosphere is completely western, with blue walls and big mirrors, beautifully integrated with amazing food cooked by natives with nice touches of western taste, almost to be defined as fusion. The  Blue Pepper Restaurant is open only in the evenings.

This restaurant is designed on the sole idea to let guest to have an experience for evenings. Reservation recommended. The menu is based on set menus. This means that you choose a long menu, priced 50-70 EURs per person, which includes everything you could imagine. The classic menu consists of about nine to ten dishes in total with diverse flavors. Depending on your taste, the modern menu or the contemporary menu are other good choices.

In total, you get 3-4 starters, a main dish consisting of 2-3 different plates, and a perfect desert at the end. The amount of food served might be a little to much for some people. One thing is certain, you will not leave hungy. The service is excellent, and the dishes come after one another as you finish. The dishes are not only delightful, but also appeal visually with an exquisite presentation. The menus are not very focused though, sea food and red meat can be found in the same menu easily. For someone who is unfamiliar with the Indonesian culture like me, it feels like the “greatest hits” of the kitchen. No complaints. The total experience takes around two hours.

The prices and experience might sound too class, but the place is not under any circumstances. You can go with friends, or family, or for a business meeting and drink your beer with no problems. But if you really want to have an experience, a white cabernet-sauvignon (Stellenbosch from South Africa) would not let you down. Wine (bottle) prices typically range around 40 EURs.

It is no surprise that the Time Out Magazine rates the Blue Pepper as one of the best five, and the New York Times rates it as one of the best four “most interesting” restaurants in Amsterdam. The dishes are relatively light, and most probably satisfying. If you are looking for indoniesian food other than traditional restaurants, this is definitely the place. So if you ever go to Amsterdam and plan to have a memorable evening, keep the Blue Pepper Restaurant on the top of your list. You will not regret it.

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