KOFFIE KRAFT, a Dutch boutique cafe in Bangsar South, Kuala Lumpur, is a reminder that food has a way of bridging cultures.
While introducing its menu, cafe owner Antonius Catherina Jacobus Maria van Gevelt revealed that the Netherlands and Indonesia have a common traditional dish in rijsttafel (pronounced reej ta fel).
Similar to a nasi campur buffet, the cafe’s version features fragrant rice with side dishes of grilled fish in Hollandaise sauce, oven baked chicken with black pepper sauce, grilled prawns and quail eggs.
Sambal oelek and a vegetable acar add kick and spice.
In Dutch menus, it is not unusual to have traditional dishes like hutspot met klapstuk (carrot, onions, and potatoes mashed with beef) and huzarensalade (traditional Dutch salad), featured alongside Indonesian dishes like oxtail soup, bakso and nasi goreng.
This is due to its historical affiliation with Indonesia from the early part of the 19th century.
Inspired by this culinary cross cultural landscape, the cafe has come up with Waffle Lemak, which has been mixed with desiccated coconut and toasted to a golden crisp.
An oven roasted chicken marinated in cajun spices comes as a side dish with half a boiled egg, peanuts, anchovies, sambal and cucumber.
Otherwise, diners can look forward to breakfast offerings like Egg Hollandaise.
This is a waffle topped with roasted chicken, oven roasted tomatoes, capsicums and two sunny side up eggs smothered with Hollandaise sauce. To garnish, there is dill and roasted pine nuts.
The Gouda Cheese Sandwich, filled with roasted tomato and capsicum between two slices of white bread, is another one of their signature dishes. The Gouda used in this cafe is no less than three years old and tastes like butterscotch.
Those with a sweet tooth should check out the Dutch Baby, a pancake bowl baked in a hot cast iron, filled with ice cream and lashings of preserved fruit jam.
Other sweet treats include the Bossche Bol, a choux pastry ball filled with custard and topped with either dark or white chocolate. There is also vlaai which is apple pie that reminds one of a strudel.
But if you’re a Dutch and happen to be feeling homesick, take heart that they have stroopwafel, which is basically two thin layers of baked dough with a caramel syrup filling in the middle.
Hailed as a popular Dutch street food, they are made fresh here daily.
KOFFIE KRAFT, 1, Unit UG-2, The Sphere, 1, Avenue, 8, Jalan Kerinchi, Bangsar South, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-5033 2135. Business hours: 8.30am-10pm. Pork-free.
This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.