A Balinese Rijstaffel is surprisingly not that popular in Indonesia. I know, how can Indonesian food not be popular in the country where it comes from. The truth is that it is considered too ostentatious as well as expensive for people to eat like this, so it is rarely if ever done. Not to mention after independence in 1945, Indonesians wanted to reject the ideas and traditions on their colonial oppressors.
Who did do it then? Why, the Dutch of course. In fact the entire idea around this meal comes from the Dutch colonizers who would bring back Indonesian recipes during their travels and have large feasts to show how worldly they were.
Indonesia was a colony of The Netherlands for over 300 years so it makes sense that there would be some cultural fusions. While the idea of rijstaffel originated in Java, the most populous island in Indonesia, the one I’m going to talk about is a traditional Balinese rijstaffel. What’s the difference? Well, other than the pork products which are not popular in the Muslim centric Java, the fact that the restaurant I got this from said it is Balinese style.
Rijstaffel, which means rice table, is a collection of small dishes of food meant to give the eater a wide variety of flavors and textures. It is not dissimilar to the Scandinavian ‘smorgasbord’. Sometimes there can be 50 different dishes (or more!) in a traditional Balinese Rijstaffel, although that would be for large groups or a celebration.
The Balinese Rijstaffel
This Balinese Rijsfaffel was actually mine and Alona’s (from Jet Set Together) Christmas dinner. We figured when in Bali, why not have a feast of Indonesian food instead of trying to find some ritzy hotel that would serve a turkey or something Western. The restaurant where we got this dish is called Warung Nia, and it is located in North Seminyak (Exact address at the bottom of this article).
I highly recommend this restaurant as they have great service and food quality. While it is a bit touristy, which means higher prices, it still is fairly priced overall which made this restaurant a good choice for our Christmas dinner. We ordered the Balinese Rijstaffel Type B, which included pork ribs, satays, curries, and more. The full list of everything we got is:
Bali Sate Lilit Recipe Here
Opor Ayam Recipe Here
Sayur Urab Recipe Here
All that for less than $20 is a pretty fair deal in my book. We were both definitely full walking back after that feast.
Warung Nia Location
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Cooking To Entertain