If you’re looking for a nice, quiet place to hangout for a while right off the Dam Square that won’t set you back a lot of guilders, visit Sukasari.

Located in the very first block heading east from the Dam Monument, Sukasari is on the right side of the street just past the Old Man Headshop. The place is nicely decorated, Indonesian style, and was an oasis for lunch on one of Amsterdam’s hottest summer days. The spinning ceiling fans kept us quite cool as we relaxed over a lengthy business lunch. A steady supply of kleine biertjes chilled us even further.

The food is traditional Indonesian, not hot and spicy like Thai food. The menu is extensive, and they offer daily lunch specials if you don’t have a clue as to what to order…

The appetizers range from the standard shrimp-flavored kropek crispies to soups (meatball, chicken, chicken-corn or vegetable) and loempias. They offer a variety of sate’s (chicken on skewers) with the usual peanut sauces, and traditional bami (noodle) and nasi (rice) dishes. (Prices range from f5.25 for an appetizer to f22.50 for the most expensive item on the menu.)

Sukasari will also make up a Rijstafel with a variety of eleven Indonesian dishes for you to sample. (Priced at f45 per person.)

Being reasonably priced is the main attraction here, with a lunch special geared to the wallets of travelers who want a quiet oasis near the Dam Square. Be sure to ask for some hot chili sauce for your dishes to spice things up!

Sukasari is open from noon until 11:30 in the evenings Tuesdays thru Saturdays. On Mondays they are open from 4:30 pm until 11:30 pm. Closed Sundays.

Aneka Rasa Indonesian Restaurant

The Aneka Rasa is an Indonesian restaurant on the Warmoesstraat in the heart of Amsterdam’s Red Light District. But don’t let that fact put you off your food, some of the best meals in Amsterdam are to be found in this area. Just two blocks from Centraal Station, or three from the Dam Square.

As there were two of us dining, we decided to order a rijstaffel “menu” and enjoyed it greatly for all it’s uniqueness, especially the variety of sauces in each of the many dishes.

We started off with their spring rolls, unusually and delightfully prepared with lime leaf and lemongrass, with bits of chicken and vegetables, they were deep fried to a nice crispiness without being drenched in oil. They were served with a delicious sate sauce.

As we sat in the dining room with our beers admiring the nice wood paneling, the main course arrived with two long heated metal trays down the middle of the table loaded with goodies to eat. There were at least a dozen dishes to choose from, the more memorable are listed below.

Hard boiled eggs, with a dark savoury sauce were in one dish. Another had skewers of chicken satay and a huge puddle of peanut sauce, quite nice and lots of it! There were large portions of rice, both coconut flavoured and stir-fried. A bowl held fresh green beans with a fine zesty sauce and other bits of vegetables and nuts stirred in with it. There was a portion of fried mackerel fish, swimming in it’s own sauce, but that was about the least favorite thing I had. The prawns were great however, with a red spicy pepper sauce, and when sprinkled with finely grated coconut, an amazing treat! A bowl of cabbage and carrots was swimming in some herbal sauce that left me cold, but it was in fact piping hot like all the rest of the dishes. Our most favorite that evening had to be the hot and spicy chicken pieces, with nice chunks of red peppers in its own unique sauce… so it was an evening of many sauces, all unique to say the least.

Afterwards our menu meal featured a dessert with coffee or tea, and fried bananas covered with powdered sugar, a fine way to end the meal. And these weren’t ordinary bananas either, they were the fine red fig variety I love so much when I’m in the tropics, or Amsterdam, and lucky enough to find then in the local market.

Our bill, including four beers, was 61.50 euros. Not bad considering we left the table filled with pleasure!

So, my hats off to the Aneka Rasa, with its great service, fine food, and convenient location.