The Satebar is a restaurant with four locations in Rotterdam, and one location coming soon in Amsterdam. It was voted best Indonesian restaurant of 2015 in Rotterdam on the famous Dutch food critic website Iens (you could call this site the Dutch equivalent of Yelp).
But why exactly review this restaurant, there’s plenty of restaurants with good reviews right? What’s special about this restaurant is the student-friendly prices. You can get a full meal of satay, rice and pickled vegetables from €7,75. Another reason to review this is the opening of another Satebar last year on campus, located in the Foodcourt.
Is this restaurant worth visiting? Well, I would say: yes, definitely. But why only take my word for it when there’s so many other individuals around. I asked two people about their opinion of the restaurant chain. One visited the location at the Foodcourt, the other person dined at the Karel Doormanstraat location (located near Schouwburgplein).
Thei Bongers, third year psychology student, has visited this restaurant twice now. He thinks the restaurant is clean and neat-looking. It also gives the most restaurant-y impression of all the food-places in the Foodcourt. A big asset for this customer is the fact that the food is prepared in an open kitchen, you can see exactly what happens with your food. I quote Thei: “then you’re sure nobody spat in your food.” There’s also a fast service, even when there’s dinner rush.
The menu is somewhat different from the menu at the other restaurants. For instance: a difference between this restaurant and the others is that you can choose between regular rice and fried rice, while at other restaurants the options are more diverse.
The satay is slightly spicy, but doable for someone who isn’t used to spicy food.
This restaurant is somewhat more expensive than other restaurants in the foodcourt, but not by much (give or take an average of €2,- more expensive).
Jonatan Felipez Queijo is a recently graduated software engineer and frequently visits this location of the sate bar. It’s a pretty small restaurant but they got a big terrace, so in the summer there’s lots of room for people to dine. During dinner rush this place is often packed and it might still be difficult to get a spot, even when the terrace is open. Still, even when it’s busy, the service is pretty quick and the waitresses are friendly. Here the food isn’t prepared in an open kitchen, but the restaurant itself give a clean impression.
You can order chicken, pork, lamb and shrimp satay at this location. Jonatan chose the pork (with peanut sauce), according to him it was juicy and tender. Here you can not only pick plain white rice and fried rice, but also lontong (compressed rice cake) and noodles.
There’s no difference in spiciness between both locations, although it’s possible to get different, spicier, dishes at this location (the ayam rica-rica made this author sweat, but it was delicious).
Compared to other restaurants in the centre of Rotterdam, this one has very nice prices. It won’t cost you much more than a menu at Burger King and it will give you a proper restaurant experience and a very nice satay.
The satebar is a good place to eat, independent of the location. For an evening meal at the uni after studying the Foodcourt location is great, but it might be a bit expensive to get your lunch (you could for instance go to the HAS for a cheaper lunch). If you have more time on your hands and would like a broader selection of dishes, then the Karel Doormanstraat is the right option for you. The guys and I would really recommend this restaurant chain to you!
By Mijntje Boon
Photo by Inessa Khemii