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Why We Love Rijsttafel, the Monthly Marathon Indonesian Feast at De Quay

Curries, gravlax rolls, and smoked sausages galore.

You never forget your first rijsttafel. David de Quay was about 10 years old, visiting family in Holland, when he ate the marathon Indonesian meal, which can run to 30 dishes or more. (The banquet—whose name means “rice table”—is an invention of 19th-century Dutch colonists.)

After celebrating the first anniversary of his namesake restaurant last year with a rijsttafel, the chef made a toned-down version of the spread a monthly offering at de Quay. With 12 dishes packed into three courses for $40, it’s as affordable as it is memorable. Scroll below to see a full annotation of the dishes.

A rijsttafel at de Quay
Photo: Jeff Marini

1. Fruit in fragrant kaffir lime syrup served with soft and sticky stroopwafels

2. Creamy seafood curry, chicken satay, basmati rice, sesame lamb lumpia, and green beans with curry butter

3. A trio of condiments—coriander sambal, pickled cucumbers, and toasted peanuts and coconut—to top the nasi goreng (and anything else)

4. Babi gulair, an Indonesian pork curry with rice noodles

5. Gravlax rolls, greens in a tangy kumquat vinaigrette, and a fried veal bitterballen (croquette) with Dutch smoked pork sausage

6. Nasi goreng (fried rice) flecked with tender beef

7. Crispy shrimp chips

De Quay, 2470 N. Lincoln Ave., 1st Mondays (except in July—rijsttafel will be July 10)

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