Thursday, November 24, 2005

Sama Sebo - Where the Indonesian Meet the Dutch

This year's Thanksgiving did not include turkey. No mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, jiggly cranberry sauce from a can, tryptophan comas... nothing. This year, I flew to Amsterdam, since I have to be leaving on Friday at the latest for work, and had Indonesian Rijsttafel with George and Josh.

Based upon where all of us were staying in Amsterdam, I picked Sama Sebo, which got good reviews, and allowed for charging per person, instead of just by couples. They also seemed to have a more extensive menu of items that they bring out. I was not disappointed. Located at a prime corner of PC Hoofstraat, one of the ritzier shopping districts, Sama Sebo is known to be overbooked, and impossible to get a table. We were initially turned away by the hostess, but when they heard we wanted rijsttafel, they seemed to make a concession. The dinner runs 26.50Euro a person, which translates to about $32 a person. What you get is 17 family style dishes, which include a big bowl of white jasmine rice, and nasi goreng, the Indonesian equivalent of fried rice. Each dish is a small portion, but with 17 of them, there isn't enough room in your stomach to complain. Each dish is uniquely flavored, though a wonderful rich peanut sauce showed up on 2 very different dishes (a chicken satay and a bean and bean sprout dish which was cold and slightly crunchy like a salad), and a couple beef dishes tasted similar. The other lovely thing about this, is if you run out of anything, it's filled again! I highly recommend that anyone who goes to Amsterdam tries Rijstafel. It's worth every moment and every penny.

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