on November 17, 2005
There are few things that make this writer smile broader than Chauncey Billups throwing a cross-court alley-oop pass to Rasheed Wallace for the slam; plate after plate after plate of vegetarian goodness, however, comes damn close.I first experienced the pleasure of an Indonesian rijstafel—basically a ten- to fifteen-course meal, depending on where you go and how hungry you are—on my first visit to the ‘Dam. Little bowls of curried vegetables, spicy soy, coconut rice, and a variety of other palate-pleasing concoctions are the name of the rijstafel game, and Tujuh Maret certainly gets the green light to pass Go and collect $200.Located on Utrechtsestraat near the Get Lucky! Guesthouse, this cozy little resto puts a Minahasa twist on their Tibetan and Indonesian cuisine, punching the already flavorful Indonesian fare up with even more exotic spices and seasonings. The dining area isn’t anything special; in fact, at first we weren’t sure whether we’d picked a winner for this, Trixie’s first rijstafel. Yellow walls are largely barren save for a few native sculptures here and there, though the long, thin lighting fixtures hung from the ceiling helped create a pleasant ambience with the aid of tabletop candles. Our fears soon subsided, however, when our pleasant host arrived with a smile, two glasses of cold water, and clear, concise explanations of our two-person vegetarian feast.Most rijstafels require a heated stand on the table to keep the food warm as you work your way along the row of tiny dishes, and Tujuh Maret does indeed bring one out. Groupings of four of five dishes were brought in increments, each one seemingly tastier (and spicier) than its predecessors. Everything was amazing, especially this crunchy, soy-based topping that was so delicious we polished it off well before getting a chance to use it as garnish. Rice is, of course, served as well.Tujuh Maret’s vegetarian rijstafel is reasonably priced at 19,50 euro per person, a bargain considering the chef’s careful attention spent on each dish. There’s no shortage of truly indulgent experiences in the ‘Dam, and feasting on an Indonesian rijstafel is one of the best of all.For opening hours, reservations, and a full menu, please visit the Tujuh Maret website.
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