Java Indonesian Rijstafel
- Eric R. May 6, 1999 08:14 PM
I keep seeing the ads for Java Indonesian Rijstafel in
the "Brooklyn Bridge" mag. Has anyone actually tried
it? This area could use a first rate Rijstafel.
It's a nice little place. Every time my girlfriend and I
go there they put together an excellent vegetarian
rijstafel for us. It's a very neighborhoody little
place. Decent prices too.
Having never eaten Indonesian anywhere else, I don't
have anything to compare it to, but I do like Java
quite a bit. For the most part, I find the food quite
good, although I have a friend who claims to have had
a bad experience there and won't go back. The lady
that runs the places is very friendly and almost
disturbingly modest. Once she gets to know you, free
food will start showing up on your table.
Unfortunately, it's no longer BYOB so you're stuck
with a rather limited range of beer and wine. It's
very small and cozy with a nice decor of Indonesian
artwork (which I think you can also buy if so
inclined), although there are a few too many flashing
lights in the windows for me. The batik in the
bathroom of a boy urinating is not to be missed.
We had a great meal here today for rijstafel, and wanted to give this place a shout-out. Had a great meal consisting of about a dozen little tastings of different Indonesian dishes, all of which were excellently prepared. Each dish had a different sauce, all of which were complex yet well-balanced in its seasoning. The only weakness was dessert (but I find that true with many Asian cuisines). The owner/server could not have been nicer. A very pleasant and exotic surprise in Park Slope.
re: Peter Cherches
Wow, I don't think I've been to Java since before this original thread was started. My ex-wife and I went there because it was one of the only places around back then. The thing I remember was the near-impossibilty of getting the check and the sleepy, sleepy music that they played in there. I think I might have almost fallen asleep waiting for the check with the hypnotic gamelon music playing. The food was mediocre as I remember it.
Fleur, I hear you!! I have known of two good ones in the U.S. - one in Georgetown and one in San Rafael, CA. The owner retired in San Rafael and the one in G-town sold out. I've been looking around for another one and there's a website called dutchinamerica.com that lists a few scattered across the country. The one that got my eye was one that just opened in the west village, called Satay Junction. I'm now living in western Mass., so I'm not sure when I will be in NYC again. I can't wait to see if this place is any good!
What exactly is the difference between rijsttafel and the dishes you can get at a Padang makasan? Does a rijsttafel involve only non-Sumatran dishes, or does it feature a mix across all islands? Do rijsttafel dishes have more clear Dutch influence? It's just something I had never heard of until looking at these boards today (certainly never saw this word in the parts of Indonesia I've visited, which admittedly is only Kalimantan and Sulawesi), and it was startling to see something with such an obviously Dutch name being such a high bar-setter for so many people!