Chef Sonja Pereira grew up in an enchanted circle of royal weddings and hunting lodge parties in Bandung, Indonesia even as the curtain was falling on the colonial era and the world was besieged by the anxieties of empire.
She emigrated to the Netherlands in 1985. As the home dinner party of her early years receded into folk memory and traditional Indonesian restaurants in the Netherlands seemed, well, too traditional, she set up a boutique restaurant called Blue Pepper to revive the splendour of festive Indonesian cooking.
Blue Pepper brings back to life what a royal Indonesian feast tasted like. Avoiding an extensive menu as well as ‘’simple’’ home cooking, Sonja focusses on a small selection of obsessively prepared dishes that change seasonally.
Her rijsttafel takes you from mellow hints of spice to wickedly complex, rich dishes where spices remain an obsession but using them properly is revealed as an art form.
Assisted by her talented team, Sonja also celebrates the beautiful produce that is available in Dutch markets – from local fish and seafood to game – pairing them with the staggering array of Indonesian sauces to create unusual dishes bursting with flavour but letting the ingredients express their delicate and distinctive tastes.
We urge you to try light and fragrant scallops, coconut-marinated bison and cinnamon-flavoured goose, among other ‘’evolved’’ dishes from the a la carte offerings.