My uncle Herbert (81) would fit in a fairy tale. This mini man has bright blue-grey eyes, some hair and a high voice. He always has three euro’s in his pocket – just in case he meets someone who needs money. This Dutch-Indonesian man loves to explain in detail how I should prepare a goat, create telor asin (extremely salty duck eggs) or make sambal tomaat, a mix of sambal oelek – ‘home-made, of course’ – and cherry tomatoes. This fresh chilli based paste is made to match with the martabak of Toko Bandung, an Indonesian takeaway (est. 1962) on the outskirts of Amsterdam. Some say the martabak was born in Yemen, others say this stuffed pancake originated in Saudi-Arabia. Anyway, after Arabia this snack conquered India and Southeast Asia, including Malaysia and Indonesia. There are sweet and savoury martabaks. Right now I’m talking about a perfect savoury one: an ultra thin ‘crêpe’ made of eggs filled with minced beef, onion, leak, egg and curry powder. Toko Bandung also sells lovely sweet snacks (banana-coconut pudding) and one of the most challenging dishes I know: a salty, bitter and bloody spicy combination of papaya leaves and tiny fishes.
Martabak, one, €1.35
Pieter Calandlaan 333-335, New West (Osdorp)
+31 (0) 20 619 91 03
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 9.30am-6.30pm, Saturday 9am-5pm