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ristafal (sp?)

Peter Feliz Aug 30, 1997 08:53 AM

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

  1. j
    Jim Leff Sep 3, 1997 11:51 AM

    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...

    1. a
      allan evans Aug 31, 1997 08:05 AM

      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
        JenniferR Sep 5, 1997 04:02 PM

        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
          Jim Leff Sep 14, 1997 02:01 AM

          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
            Pete Feliz Sep 17, 1997 06:02 PM

            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
              Alan Divack Nov 26, 1997 03:35 PM

              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!

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