As everyone knows, June 16th is the day we reserve for restaurant reviews on even numbered years. So here it is: Satay Sarinah, in Alexandria Virginia.
Saturday night the lumberkid organized a Rijsttafel father's day dinner and it was great.
I had rijsttafel in Amsterdam as a kid and have been on the lookout for it ever since. I found it in one of the Dutch Caribbean islands but I never expected to find it in America. Then, last month, an idle search turned it up; and just a half hour away. Why, I could have rijsttafel every night.
Rijsttafel is like an Indonesian sampler with up to 40 dishes being brought out in courses. Some of it is spicy, but the Satay Sarinah version wasn't overly so. The spice-fire seems to be calibrated for an American audience.
My memory and taste buds have probably changed over the years but some of the dishes I remembered from Amsterdam were so hot that my face left this plane of existence. In fact, well over 40 years later, I'll still feel an occasional taste bud coming back online; having finally recovered from my culinary abuse. Still, next time I visit Satay Sarinah if I'm not part of a large party I may ask for more fire... just a bit.
Satay Sarinah is just inside the beltway in Alexandria. If you're in DC for a visit, you should give them a try. The dress is casual, paper napkins, but clean and comfortable. My favorite was the spicy beef but everything was good. (the link above has the rijsttafel menu)
One note: keep your knife for dessert. You won't need it for eating, but the fried banana is so good you may need it to defend your portion from your table-mates.