A friend of mine came back from Amsterdam and said he had something called rice taffel at a Thai restaurant (i think) there that he LOVED.
At the risk of sounding ignorant...does anyone know what this is and whether it can be found in manhatten?
Rijstaffel (rice table) is an indonesian traditional meal, composed of a central rich bowl served with a large number of tasting size dishes (mostly around 20). In Amsterdam you'll normally be able to choose those dishes according to the "heat index" and when they say something is very hot - they mean it!
As for manhattan, I've never been to an indonesian restaurant here and I don't know of anyone serving rijstaffel - seems to be one in brooklyn.
Bali Nusa Indah, 9th Avenue between 45th and 46th (west side) offers a reputable Rijstaffel. I also love the cumi cumi, the broiled bean curd on banana leaf (incendiary comfort food) and the nasi goreng. There is also a wonderful ginger cake for dessert--I never order dessert, and after repeated visits they brought it to me, on the house, perhaps in frustration. I am in their debt. The music is good, too.