Andrew, Frank and I enjoyed a ‘rijsttafel’ (“rice table”) the other night at one of Rick’s recommended Indonesian restaurants here in Haarlem. A little history: Indonesia was a Dutch colony until World War II and the area was known for their spices (think ‘spice islands’). We’ve seen more than the usual amount of Indonesian places here so far in Holland.
A rijsttafel is designed for two or more diners and includes a large bowl of white rice and multiple additional dishes, all with unique flavors. I counted about 5 or 6 meat dishes (beef, chicken and pork), 4 or 5 vegetable dishes, a plate of puffed rice ‘crackers’, three hardboiled eggs in a tomato sauce and three ‘dumplings’ of some sort.
Rick advises you keep your rice ‘clean’ so you can use it with each different dish, or to cool your mouth (a few things were spicy). I’m glad I did! I think my favorite dish was the green beans cooked with red peppers (closest to the near end of the table in the first photo), as well as a few others Everything truly was great! We washed it all down with Indonesian beers.