On Friday's FOOD TALK Schwartz said that there's no
ristafal (that Indonesian rice buffet that I can't spell
in NYC. Is there a good ristafal in the boroughs, Long
Island, or heck--the tri-state?
Thank you for any help possible.
it's actually spelled "rijsttafel".
NYC is cursed for Indonesian. You've got to go to
Holland (or else Indonesia!). The place Allan Evans
mentions is, as he says, horrible. And all the other
"Indonesian" places that crop up in town are either
fake (chinese or burmese, really) or bad (like the
odious Tamu, late of Soho).
problem is that so few indonesians live in NYC. Ethnic
restaurateurs are gradually coming to understand that
gringos like it real now, but it's a slow process. So
unless there accrues an Indonesian community to
generate their own restaurants in which we can
eaveseat, it's gonna be a LONG time...
There is (or was) a "Javanese" restaurant in Park
Slope on 7th Avenue at 16th Street serving this
dish. You receive a "Lazy Susan" with a mound of
rice in the middle, surrounded by metal
containers bearing varied dishes. While one goes
ape for the real thing, each entree tasted the
same. Wait until you get to Amsterdam or
Indonesia for the real thing!
re: allan evans
re: Jim Leff
re: Pete Feliz
Indonesian does not begin and end with rijstaafel (a
Netherlandicization of the slametan for Dutch colonials
in Jakarta hotel dining rooms).
For good Indonesian lunches, coutesy of Robert
Sietsema, I recommend the Indonesian Embassy to the
United Nations, at 325 East 38th, near 1st. Go between
12 and 1:30, and you will be scrutinized at the door by
camera (leave your freedom for East Timor T-shirt at
home that day) an be buzzed in. You leave ID at the
desk, and go downstairs for lunch.
The food is always good, and sometimes better than
that. You get soup, two dishes on a mound of rice,
shrimp chips (sometimes the good kind, sometimes the
colored crap), and desert, which is generally of the
slithery southeast asian variety.
It is not there for your benefit, but for that of the
people who work there, so you know you are getting the
real thing. For $6, it is a real treat!