Mark Law from That Dam Guide once asked me what is was like to grow up in a Dutch-Indonesian family. Well Mark, it’s damn tasty! Every day my mother used to make fabulous dishes by using home-made boemboes (pastes of spices). She sat on her knees with a mortar in front of her and used a pestle to crush exotic spices. The wok was her other ‘weapon’. She used it to fry noodles, prawn crackers or corn patties. I loved the scent in her kitchen, especially when she was preparing beef stews or dishes with coconut milk. As a kid I took everything for granted. Now I realize I should have appreciated her work more. I will never ever be able to cook as well as she did, but I know where to find the tastes and scent of my youth. To me takeaway Terang Boelang feels like I’m back in her kitchen again. Behind the corner you look straight into the kitchen of sweet Mr. Taufik Rachman and his wife. If you’re lucky, they are cooking. Inhale the scent and choose one of the highlights: ajam paniki, chicken in a mild coconut-lemongrass-ginger sauce.
Ajam paniki, 100 g, €2.75
Tweede Lindendwarsstraat 3, City Centre (Jordaan)
+31 (0) 20 620 99 74
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 3pm-9pm, Sunday 3.30pm-9pm
Let’s talk about a great cake: the lemon polenta cake of food shop extraordinaire Bilder & De Clercq. Try a piece of this homemade cake. Love at first bite guaranteed. The lemon taste is perfectly balanced: not too sweet, not too sour, very fresh and pure. The cornmeal (polenta) gives the cake a grainy texture and turns it into a ‘cake light’: eating piece after piece is, well, a piece of cake. And have I already told you that the cake has a lovely scent and is a bit moist? This cake is one of the few ready-to-eat things in the shop. Most of the other food is ‘do it yourself’. Each week you are treated to fourteen new recipes. Think: coq au vin, a tajine of cauliflower and noodles with salmon and a ginger bouillon. The ingredients you need are stored in the shop and come in exactly the right amounts. Bye bye buying a whole bundle of cilantro if you only need two leaves. Last time I visited the store, there was a BBQ going on outside: grilled sausages of Brandt & Levie, bread, sauerkraut. Can a food shop get any better?
Bilder & De Clercq
Lemon polenta cake, one piece, €3.50
De Clercqstraat 44, West (second branch by the end of 2013: Ceintuurbaan)
+31 (0) 20 760 76 40
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 8am-9.00pm, Saturday-Sunday 10am-8pm