First of all, for the sake of convenience reason I will now spell it as HEMA instead of the one with too many periods. Okay now we can get to the party! So, HEMA has always been everybody’s favorite when it comes to Dutch food. Since Indonesia used to be colonized by that puny country, plenty of Dutch culinary heritages can be found all over Indonesia. Notably perhaps the hampers such as kaastengels or nastaar. In this case, any Western dishes a la Holland, already Indonesianized or not, which are usually already in tune with our tastebuds.
HEMA can be easily found everywhere but the one I deem quite comfortable (except for the smoking section) and European-like is arguably the one at TIS Square, Tebet, Jakarta. The place is spacious and suitable for families. It was a hot sunny afternoon, we felt like having a solid Dutch cuisine and ends it with a good chilly dessert.
Without further due, we were presented with the menu and there we found many new vocabularies but with good explanations. It’s a good thing however, for restaurants with different international genre to supply the pictures of the dishes. Even for more popular dishes like Japanese, many popular restaurants provide pictures that will prove very useful. As for myself, I don’t mind, just look for the specialties and pick it. It’s that simple. If they can’t provide the best even from their signature dishes, then what’s the use coming again for further prove?
The menu was quite extensive by the way. I suggested to all of us to really pick only the dishes that most ‘resemble’ Dutch cuisine. We don’t really know much about Dutch cuisine except for some vocabularies used in which diminishing at an alarming rate due to the also diminishing elder generation aside from some hampers originated from Holland. It’s not like Italian dishes where one can simply remember about ‘spaghetti‘, ‘pasta‘, or ‘fettuccine‘. Japanese like ‘sushi‘ or ‘yakiniku‘. But Dutch? Jeez.. What do we really know about their food aside from the so-called ‘rijstaffel’ and again, the hampers. So I immediately picked Huzaren Sla (IDR 19,000) for our appetizer.
This particular appetizer reminds me of my colleague’s lunch box back then and it was a good treat. It’s a rich appetizer filled with eggs, potatoes, beans, pineapples, apples, and beets all diced. Poured by homemade Holland mayonnaise dressing. It’s tender, thick, but somehow refreshing. A wondrous combination where all the richness blends in and melts in your mouth. Fits for appetizer indeed!
The main dishes arrived not long after that and in timely manner. I thought that only fine dining restaurants could really get ahold of such standard. Sheer luck? Perhaps so but it’s a good luck for them because we started out nicely. My soon-to-be my mom-in-law picked Sirloin Steak (IDR 41,000) in which I still, at this moment, couldn’t stand a chance for asking her to take a sip from her meal just to test the decency of it. But it turned out that in the end she finishes her meal gracefully and my girlfriend who happened to take a sip on my behalf said that the dish was okay. That’s a good sign then!
Anyway, we both picked the original dishes that go with Dutch names as well. Pretty strange but the one I had was Stamppot Met Worst (IDR 33,000). Basically just a mashed potato ‘planted’ with sausages but somehow beautifully decorated with liquid tomato sauce with diced vegetables and dressed up with cherry potato sliced into a flower. Reminds me of the same garnish from a dish at Sakana. It was good. The sauce was spicy, the sausage size was considerable and the mashed potato was okay but still lacking if compared with the all-time best Chili’s!
My girlfriend’s dish was different and strangely named as well. It was Hutspot Met Klapstuk (IDR 33,000). Basically still using the similar design with my dish but the sausage was replaced by shredded beef and using the cream sauce. It’s quite a heavy dish where you’ll feel the goodness of it at first but due to the lack of variation in it, you’ll find it a bit boring in the end. It’ll even be a disaster if they serve it improperly. Let’s say that they serve it too big, you’ll get the extreme boredom, a serious tediousness of your tongue and stomach. It was a decent dish actually but it’s just not colorful.
The ending was beautiful, nevertheless. Though it may not be the best I’ve ever had but Poffertjes Met Icing Sugar and Vanilla Ice Cream (IDR 15,000) surely brings back the memory. All three of us ravaging in delight of these tiny cakes layered with caster sugar and vanilla ice cream with a touch of red cherry. It was a delightful lunch where all of us felt the joy and togetherness, thanks to the good food no matter where the lacking was, but we know that in the near future, we’ll be family forever and after. God bless! ^^
- TIS Square. Jl. MT Haryono Kav. 9 – Tebet, Jakarta. Ph: 021 – 829 5548
- Jl. Kemang Pratama Raya Blok MM 19-20 – Bekasi. Ph: 021 – 8241 2761
- Jl. MH Thamrin – Lippo Cikarang. Ph: 021 – 8990 7912
- Jl. KH Ahmad Dahlan No. 18 – Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta. Ph: 021 – 739 3891
- Royal Netherlands Embassy. Jl. HR Rasuna Said Kav. S-3 – Kuningan, Jakarta. Ph: 021 – 524 1077
- Bekasi Square LG-170. Jl. Jend. Ahmad Yani – Bekasi. Ph: 021 – 8243 0546
- Menteng Huis. Jl. Cikini Raya No. 2 – Menteng, Jakarta. Ph: 021 – 3983 1883
- Paris Van Java Mall Unit GB-60. Jl. Sukajadi No. 137-139 – Bandung. Ph: 022 – 8206 3753