An American expression, going on a ‘Dutch’ date means that each person pays their own bill. This often works well when people are on a first date as it helps keep expectations lower and no one feels obligated in one way or the other.
So when I decided to go to The Dutch restaurant and bar I planned to go on a Dutch date with myself (you do the math) and give the new place a try. As it turns out a friend did join me later, but we paid our separate bills in keeping with the Dutch theme. Even though after 27 years of friendship and pubs, it was hardly our first encounter.
Our first stop was the lengthy bar, with too many waiters for my liking, no waitresses at all, in fact. As The Dutch just opened they don’t have all their draft beers in yet, but if the taps in place on their brauhaus bridge are anything to go by they will have a good selection eventually. We ordered cold pints of local Heineken and Carlsberg. My friend came to find out his beer was two for the price of one during happy hour, but I had no such luck with my Carlsberg, so it pays to ask what’s on promo when ordering. (I’m usually much better at that!)
The bar was busy with people coming in just after work at the nearby stock exchange so we moved to a table and began the serious issue of deciding what to eat. There were a lot of choices, especially in the sausage, chicken and pork world. I ordered the chorizo sausage and my friend the rijstaffel, a combination of several Indonesian dishes with a Dutch twist.
My chorizo was not the skin snapping, fat spitting kind that I like and some hot mustard would have helped. But the split pea soup with sausage and pretzel bread with smoked butter I followed up with was really quite tasty and filling. On the other side of the table the rijstaffel must have been good, judging by the alacrity with which it was consumed. A few more cold beers rounded out the meal quite nicely as well.
I will go back and try some of the other dishes on the extensive menu. I’m told the pork collar is excellent, if a bit pricey for my budget at the time, and the meatballs are another favorite. The braised lamb in baked puff pastry is definitely on my list as is the spiced pork belly. I saw several plates of ‘rookwurst’ sausage go by that looked really good. When the table next to me ordered a second portion I almost invited myself over. Yes, I’ll go Dutch again soon, perhaps with my own mustard, and I’ll check the happy hour deals.
The Dutch SCBD 18 Parc Place Tower P: (+62-21) 515 2828
Dinner reservations recommended.