To my Dutch-Indonesian father a meal without rice and rawit wasn’t a proper meal. He used to eat a piece of these extremely spicy small peppers after each little bit of rice. By the time I was eight years old, I was able to eat rawit without crying out loud. By the time I was a teenager, I begged my mother for more of these red and green devils. So if I say something is suicidal spicy, it really is. The place to find something this spicy is Lalla Rookh. This restaurant and takeaway is a Mecca for lovers of Surinamese food. To me Lalla’s IT-dish is telo terie: fried pieces of cassava with a sauce of tomato, terie (small dried fishes), garlic and red or yellow peppers. Lalla’s version is mild for four seconds, but then ‘fire hits the fan’. Need help? Scream for rice, chill for three minutes and dare to try again. Notice how crispy the fishes are and how well they mingle with the powerful sauce. Sit back again and order Lalla’s famous dawet. Most Surinamese restaurants serve this coconut drink with ‘flakes’ of cornflour. Here you’ll find pieces of coconut meat instead. And that’s definitely a plus.
Telo terie, one portion, €3.50
Wijttenbachstraat 290, East (Dapperbuurt)
+31 (0) 20 776 40 48
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday noon-10pm