For decades, this has been a safe and elegant—albeit somewhat cramped—place to indulge in that spicy smorgasbord of the gods, the Indonesian rice table. Stay alert when the waitstaff points out the hotness of the dishes; otherwise you might wind up having to down several gallons of antidotal witbier, the sweet local wheat beer. It can get rushed here so it's best to book for a weeknight—though even then, you may still need to wait (a handy time to study the endless menu) for a seat to open up.
Jun 5, 2010
Very good indonesian food, prepared in the old way. I went with locals who go there regularly and received an excellent service. To go for the food and experience, not the decor.
Jan 12, 2008
I hardly ever felt so ripped off. I know the restaurant is highly regarded, and we were eager to go. The food is nothing special, and way overpriced. Our experience at Tempo doeloe almost spoiled our otherwise great time in Amsterdam. Here is what happened to us. We asked to share two appetizers and one order of rijstafel, priced at 29 euros (we ordered no wine, just water). When it came it seemed abundant but halfway through the course my wife
spotted two long black hairs. The waitress seemed horrified and took the dish away. We were not too happy and thought we had had enough, so when she said that she wanted another portion prepared for us we told her not to bother and asked for the check. At the entrance there is a sign saying ‘we do not accept Espresso credit cards’. We have Mastercards so we did not worry. The check had two shocking surprises: we were billed two, not one, orders of rijstafel, for a total of 81.30 (I went home hungry, which is not bad for such a considerable amount). And out of nowhere along with the check a note materialized warning that they did not accept Espresso or Mastercard. I went to talk to the manager. He was adamant that they had brought two servings of rice (the issue was what we had ordered, not what they brought, which we could not tell anyway given the unusual display of saucers and bowls), and that he preferred cash--he would not give a reason why Mastercard was not acceptable. I paid with the last two 50 euro bills and it did not even cross his mind to, say, give me 20 back or bill us one order of that dish: he proceeded to count all the coins up to 18.70 while I looked at him in silent amazament. We have been back a week and I am still outraged.