Indomania Plays On Your Senses

n an unassuming side street in mid Miami Beach. It's truly a hidden gem, with a dining room of about 30 seats, crisp white linen, and plush leather banquettes. Soft jazz and lots of Sinatra plays in the background.

 

Owners/husband and wife team Pieter and Ineke Both opened the place in January 2007. They handle the front and back of house, respectively. While Pieter has the personality of an amicable host and good friend you never knew you had, Ineke is the executive chef and leads a team of four in the kitchen.

 

Ineke, who has a background cooking French and Italian cuisine, says the origin of Indonesian food in Amsterdam can be traced to the emigration of the 1950s. Her menu changes little, with the exception of some tinkering with ingredients here and there. And although there's plenty of spicy food, she insists it isn't as fiery as typical Indonesian cuisine, and that she uses less oil.

The Sumantra Rijsttafel menu in all its glory.
The Sumantra Rijsttafel menu in all its glory.
John Zur
A plate warmer for some dishes.
A plate warmer for some dishes.
John Zur
Chili sauce, eggplant stew, green beans, and vegetables in coconut milk.
Chili sauce, eggplant stew, green beans, and vegetables in coconut milk.
John Zur

Desserts including black rice pudding, pandan pancakes, and fried banana with a scoop of coconut ice cream.
Desserts including black rice pudding, pandan pancakes, and fried banana with a scoop of coconut ice cream.
John Zur

Pieter said that he and Ineke opened the restaurant in Miami, as opposed to retiring early in Holland, and purposely chose a location off the beaten path. They wanted to open a restaurant where two people could dine, with wine, for under $100. Says Pieter, "I've never worked so hard in my life, but it's fun."

 

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