Blue Pepper – Sophisticated Indonesian

Blue Pepper is a contemporary Indonesian restaurant that really stands out from the crowd. Its decor is stylish and yet it attracts an older more settled crowd. It serves rijsttafels (or rice tables), the most popular authentic Dutch/Indonesian dish, but served more elegantly as individual dishes rather than the usual family style. And it’s located near the center but distinctly removed from the tourist crowds.

Blue Pepper opened to much critical acclaim almost 10 years ago. A Michelin star past at restaurant Spandershoeve in the 90s, an Indonesian fusion menu and an über-cool blue decor have earned executive chef Sonja Pereira rave reviews from local critics such as Johannes van Dam and foreign food experts, including Mark Brittman of the New York Times. It’s lost some of its edge over the years but still serves great innovative food.

And indeed it’s blue! Inside, the walls and the ceiling are painted solid marine blue. There’s a blue awning above the window, blue decorations, blue business cards, and a blue website. The blue decor is further highlighted by the cold light from dozens of small halogen lamps and the small, tunnel-like space. We quite liked the cool vibe but can imagine that others may find it oppressive.

blue pepper amsterdam - blue inside

The food was great. Blue Pepper works with prix fixe menus ranging from The Sultan and I, which offers 20 individual dishes at €70, to a lighter and cheaper Summer Special at €44. The dishes are Indonesian with a modern twist as well as some unexpected Western ingredients. We loved the amuse-bouche of chicken won tons, with just the right crunchiness in the crust and lots of different flavors. Monkfish with lemon grass, shrimp with jackfruit and a spicy glass-noodle soup with a quail’s egg were other highlights. Blue Pepper is happy to substitute some red meat dishes and also offers a vegetarian menu upon request. The wine list is short but broad, including several New World options that go well with spicy food as well as expensive Bordeaux wines.

blue pepper amsterdam - chicken won tonblue pepper amsterdam - spicy soup with quail eggblue pepper amsterdam - main course

The service was somewhat sluggish as there was only one waitress serving all guests. But overall we enjoyed the slow pace as the individually served dishes of the menu kept us entertained. The option to pay by credit card, free tap water and air conditioning are other plusses that unfortunately are still not standard everywhere in Amsterdam.

In short, Blue Pepper is right for those looking for a sophisticated high-end dinner that stimulates the eye and excites the taste buds.
Nassaukade 366
1054 AB Amsterdam
Tel.: +31 (0)20 4897039
Open 6pm-10pm, closed on Tuesdays
Public Transport: Tram 7 or 10 to Raamplein, or 5 minute walk from Leidesplein
Cuisine: Indonesian
Neighborhood: West
Vibe: Sophisticated modern
Price: €60 to €100 per person

A slightly modified version of this article also appeared in the September edition of Amsterdam Magazine – Beyond Windmills, Wooden Shoes and Weed.

Amsterdam Restaurants Open on Sundays

One of the most frequent questions I get from readers is about suggestions for good restaurants that are open on Sundays. And for good reason, as many Amsterdam restaurants are closed on Sundays and Mondays. For example, of the restaurants on my Best Amsterdam Restaurants list, none is open on Sunday. And only Restaurant de Kas is open on Mondays.

So here are some suggestions for those who are looking for a great Sunday dinner in Amsterdam:

Restaurant As

Restaurant As is located in a former church in the south of Amsterdam. The decor is modern minimalist with raw concrete walls. The cuisine organic Mediterranean available as a three, four or five course prix-fixe menu.
Prinses Irenestraat 19
1077 WT Amsterdam
Tel.: +31 (0)20-6440100
Open daily except Monday
Public transport: Tram 5 to Prinses Irenestraat or metro to Amsterdam Zuid

restaurant as amsterdamrestaurant blauw amsterdam

Restaurant Blauw

Restaurant Blauw is a modern Indonesian just off the far end of Vondelpark. Rijsttafels (rice tables) and other traditional Indonesian dishes are served in a modern decor with lots of glass on multiple levels.
Amstelveenseweg 158-160
1075 XN Amsterdam
Tel.: +31 (0)20-6755000
Open daily
Public transport: Tram 2 to Amstelveenseweg or tram 1 to Overtoomsesluis

Restaurant Fyra

Restaurant Fyra serves French food in a sou-terrain of three typically narrow Dutch houses joined into one large dining room. Dishes are available à la carte or as a prix-fixe menu.
Noorderstraat 19-23
1017 TR Amsterdam
Tel.: +31 (0)20-4283632
Open daily except Tuesday
Public transport: Tram 4, 7, 10, 16, 24 or 25 to Weteringsschans

restaurant fyra amsterdamhotel de goudfazant amsterdam

Hotel de Goudfazant

Hotel de Goudfazant is a hip yet friendly restaurant on the other side of the IJ in northern Amsterdam. The look is industrial and modern, the cuisine very traditionally French, the dishes affordable.
Aambeeldstraat 10 H
1021 KB Amsterdam
Tel.: +31 (0)20-6365170
Open daily except Monday
Public transport: Bus 32 or 33 from Central Station to Johan van Hasseltweg