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Oct 9, 2002 11:09 PM

Rijsttafel in NYC?

  • w

Anyone know of anywhere in NY region(heck, anywhere in the states) that serves Indonesian Rijsttafel?? Assortment of 15 or more tiny dishes very popular among the Dutch? Had it years ago in Amsterdam & St Maarten and developed a craving

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  1. A Rachel Ray fan perhaps? After seeing "$40 a day" tonight I craved this dish. I can't vouch for quality but a quick google search yields the following list of places:

    NL, the popular Dutch restaurant on Sullivan

    Bali Nusa Indah  [651 9th Ave, betw 45 and 46 Sts / 212-265-2200] 

    Eastanah at 212 Lafayette Street between Broome and Spring. 

    Please report back if you try it!


    5 Replies
    1. re: Iron frank

      I didn't like the food at w/Bali Nusa Indah...but i don't know Indonesian food at all.

      1. re: Jayask
        Michele Cindy

        Me either, and I loved it in Amsterdam.

      2. re: Iron frank

        My wife and I have eaten at Bali Nusah Indah. She spent her high school years in Indonesia (still speaks a bit of Bahasa) and was underwhelmed by the Rijstaffel.

        To be fair it was just once for lunch on a weekend. If you do find a good place, please post.

        1. re: Meia Lua

          FWIW, I was not too impressed by Bali Nusa Indah either. Was only there for lunch.

        2. re: Iron frank

          NL has been closed for maybe 8 years and never even had Rijsttafel. Eastanah- has anyone ever heard of this place? I don't think it is around either, but could be wrong.

        3. b

          Give these guys a call:

          Borobudur Cafe
          128 East 4th Street

          Indonesian Food, quite good and inexpensive

          1 Reply
          1. re: BigMoGreenberg

            Borobudor is quite nice, but they don't have a rijstaffel. I think NL has one, but it's a very expensive restaurant.

          2. mmm! one of my favourite dishes! i don't think you can find anything in nyc that compares to in amsterdam (sampurna is one of my musts in amsterdam!), but there is NL on sullivan street and eastanah lafayette between broome and spring. i also saw one on ninth ave around 36th during the food fair this summer, but i haven't eaten there yet.

            diary notes on it at


            1. i don't think they have a rijstafel, but has anyone eaten at the little shack under the 7 line on roosevelt in queens (around 48th?) that says it has indonesian food?

              7 Replies
              1. re: babar ganesh

                Because of an underrepresented local population, there are no good Indonesian restaurants in New York. This is a shame, as Indonesian food is one of the most extraordinary cuisines in the world. Sietsema has written of a place in Queens I have yet to try, but the ones in Manhattan just don't cut the mustard, or shall I say ketjap. Your best bet is the Indonesian mission to the UN or the Indonesian consulate. Visitors are welcome, though I haven't been there in quite some time. Entry etiquette can be derived from fearless leader Jim Leff's book. Regarding the praise for Amsterdam Indonesian..they're right, it's good, especially Tempo Doeloe on Utrechtstraat, but as any echte Nederlander knows, the best Indonesian is in Den Haag.

                1. re: Tolstyak
                  Caitlin McGrath

                  Don't try the Indonesian Consulate. They no longer serve lunch (at least not to the public), and they will be unhappy to see you - various reports here have confirmed this during the past year or so.

                  1. re: Tolstyak

                    Consulate no longer does public lunch, and the Indonesian UN Mission is LAME.

                    Also, Harlem has better Indonesian than Amsterdam.

                    1. re: Jim Leff

                      Having been out of the country for two year, it's sad to hear that the UN consulate is off limits and the mission sucks. The mission food, while never stellar, was great value considering a full plate of food was only 5 or 6 dollars. The lady who cooked at the consulate was always so friendly and matronly, and an immensely gifted chef. Though this is more suitable for the outer boroughs board, has anyone tried that Indonesian place in Queens reviewed by Sietsema and can it match the stuff in Holland? Also, to avoid confusion, and to risk insulting the intelligence of chowhounds, I believe Mr. Leff means that Haarlem has better Indonesian than Amsterdam, lest we all stop frequenting our favorite Indonesian in Morningside Heights and make the trek past 125th St.

                      1. re: Tolstyak

                        Woops, thanks for fixing my spelling! (gg)

                        sorry, to clarify, I have no reason believe the UN Mission food's gone downhill. It is, as you say, "great value considering a full plate of food was only 5 or 6 dollars." It is NOT, though, by any means, an opportunity to try serious Indonesian cooking. It's usually pretty Chinese-ish, in fact.

                        I believe the Sietsema pick you're referring to is Warteg Fortuna (51-24 Roosevelt. 898-2554), which I also wrote about ages ago in my "What I Had For Dinner" diary (if you can dig it up, there are some specific notes there). As I said elsewhere in this thread, it's fun, characterful, friendly, transportive...but not at all delicious

                    2. re: Tolstyak
                      Michele Cindy

                      Thanks so much for writing the name "Tempo Doeloe". I could never remember the name when I want to recommend the place to travellers. That's where I had my Rijsttafel in Amsterdam, it was great.

                      1. re: Michele Cindy

                        Tempo Doeloe on Utrechtstraat is still good. But the menu has much better things than the rijstafel.

                  2. There was a Rijstafel in Brooklyn in the Park slope area about 5 years ago. It wasn't very good although they had a mean sambal sauce. It might still be there.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Edward Aretz

                      The restaurant in Brooklyn is still there. It is called Java Indonesian Rijstafel at 455 7th Ave in the (very) south Slope around 20th Street. It's been a while since I've eaten there. I think the food was more than passable, but far from extraordinary. It's probably worth trying it first, rather than making a special trip to Maryland or Amsterdam.