A reader wrote to us asking if we knew where one could find rijstafel in the city. Sure -- we love a challenge! But first, we actually had to find out what it was. Wikipedia was able to shed some light on the subject:
An Indonesian rice table (in Dutch, rijsttafel) consists of rice accompanied by several, often spicy side dishes served buffet-style. Popular side dishes include egg rolls, sambals, satay, fish, fruit, vegetables, pickles, and nuts. It is a Dutch colonial adaptation of the Indonesian makan besar, and popular in both Indonesia and the Netherlands.
Aha! Armed with that important bit of knowledge, we began our search. There aren't a huge number of Indonesian restaurants in the city, so our choices were fairly narrow, but we had one direct hit: Java Indonesian Rijsttafel in Brooklyn, which serves a rijstafel comprised of sixteen dishes, according to Gayot.com. Bali Nusa Indah also serves one, as we confirmed from their menu.
Although we came across other Indonesian restaurants, we couldn't confirm that any of them served rijstaffel. We'd love to know if you've spotted it on a menu (or better yet, tasted it) somewhere in the five boroughs.
We also managed to find a DIY rijstafel with recipes, in case you don't feel like making a special pilgrimage.
Java Indonesian Rijsttafel455 Seventh Ave. (16th St.) Brooklyn, NY 11215 718-832-4583
Bali Nusa Indah
651 9th Ave.
New York, NY 10036