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Aug 30, 1997 08:53 AM

ristafal (sp?)

  • p

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.

Pete Feliz

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  1. 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!

    4 Replies
    1. re: allan evans

      Wait folks...I remember that a VERY recent issue of
      Time Out New York had a review of a NEW place in town
      that had rijstafel...if anybody out there has bad
      recycling habits and has the past few week's ishes
      lying around, couldja have a peek and post the info


      1. re: JenniferR

        hey, Jen

        I remember hearing something too, and immediately
        blocking it out, 'cause there was something really
        phony going on.

        If there's good Indonesian, we'll hear about it...


        1. re: Jim Leff

          Thanks all for all the recommendations--or de-recommendations.
          Still, if I get down to Brooklyn, I might try Java. Hey, I'm
          a rube from the Arizona desert--what can I tell you.


          1. 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!

    2. 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...