Dutch Indonesians don’t think of breakfast as a culinary highlight. Lots of them barely eat or just skip it. At home my parents used to start their day with a Caballero cigarette and kopi tubruk, coffee with the coffee residue on the bottom. My mother made me eat a piece of bread with strawberry jam. She served it with her favourite ‘complaint’: ‘Adoe. In Holland draait alles om roti. Waarom, toch?’ (‘OMG. In Holland it’s all about bread. Why?’). No wonder that bread in the morning isn’t my idea of fun. But I try to start my day in a healthier way than my parents. Preferably with a salad composed by Dr ‘Feelgood’ Blend: organic kiwi, melon, apple, banana and goji berries and sweet-sour lactose-free coconut yogurt on top. What to drink with this vitamin c and anti-oxidants boost? A Dr Love, a mix of coconut milk, banana, honey and maca powder (powder of a Peruvian root), if you expect a smooth, Barry-White kind of a day. If it’s going to be just another rough day, call for a Dr Just Beet It instead: coconut milk, banana, pineapple, cauliflower, strawberry and bloody red beet.
Fruit salad with coconut yogurt, one portion, €6.50
Herenstraat 23, City Centre
+31 (0) 20 528 7920
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 7.30am-6pm, Saturday-Sunday 10am-6pm
As a proper Dutch Indonesian my mother made her own chili pastes. When she did that she sat on her knees, put an oelekan (mortar) on the floor and crushed the ingredients with a pestle. Same procedure when she had to squash the maize kernels to make perkedel jagung (corn patties). Her eyes wide open, completely focused on the ingredients, the pestle used as a sledgehammer. When a friend saw her doing that he looked at her in awe. His eyes said: ‘FREAKY’. I realized then this wasn’t common practice in Dutch households. My mother was different. Which meant that I was different too – the last thing you want to be as a seven year old. Right now I would love her to use the oelekan in front of the whole world. Especially to make me her superb corn patties. Unfortunately she’s too frail to do so. My alternative: the corn patties of Toko Muji. The owner of this Indonesian restaurant and takeaway was born in Surabaya (East Java) and cooks according to the recipes of his grandmother. His perkedel jagung is just one of the many examples of his culinary skills. Unlike cooks of other toko’s Muji does not hide the corn under a mountain of flour. One bite and you taste exactly what you want to taste: sweet corn, together with celery and a touch of garlic.
Toko Muji Perkedel jagung, one, €1.85
Eerste Oosterparkstraat 193, East
+31 (0) 20 465 01 71
Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday 11am-8pm