Restaurant review #24 – De lachende Javaan translates as ‘the laughing Javanese’, and is – obviously – an Indonesian restaurant in the city center of Haarlem (close to Amsterdam, the Netherlands).
We went dining at De lachende Javaan on a Sunday evening in June 2014. Being a Sunday evening, we really didn’t think a reservation would be necessary. Wrong! Whereas restaurants in Belgium are usually fully booked for lunch on Sundays and rather quiet on Sunday evening, it’s the other way around in the Netherlands. Many restaurants are not even open for lunch! So the waiter proposed us to come back in an hour or two, near 9PM.
Which we did. By that time we were starving (and cold!) and didn’t fancy having a look at the menucard. We just ordered a vegetarian rice table for the two of us (which is normally always available at Indonesian restaurants), checked whether they didn’t use dairy in any of the dishes (they normally don’t in Indonesian dishes), and asked for any items with egg to be left out. The waiter was friendly, promptly took our order and noted ‘lactose and egg free’.
This is what we got:
The food was really nice and varied, although we didn’t get as many seperate dishes, as we have been served in other Indonesian restaurants (see for example Bali in Wommelgem or Bunga Melati in Alphen). On the other hand, we were only charged 16,75€ per person, which is much cheaper than prices for rice tables we have paid in other restaurants (around 20-25€) . 16,75 is also the price for their vegetarian dishes mentioned on their menu card: Sarirasa and Nusantara)
We were served quickly and friendly, but everything was in kind of a rush! rush! atmosphere. Serve as many possible! Out you go! Next table please! Together with a rather loud atmosphere (bad room acoustics in a full house), it wasn’t really a relaxed dining experience, although we sure did enjoy the food.