Rijsttafel Pop Up - Indonesian Rice Table

I've been wanting to do a Rijsttafel pop-up for many years. I almost featured this banquet at a supperclub, but other events and activities have always meant the idea gets sent to the back burner again. Following our hugely successful Xmas Extravaganzo pop-up, I'm joining forces again with dessert-maker extraordinaire, Charlotte O'Toole (aka BakeOrama) to create a unique and elaborate Rijsttafel Night right here in Manchester. This Indonesian Banquet will feature over 25 vegan and vegetarian dishes, where guests can enjoy an intimate dinner or a celebratory supper with friends. This one-off event will be hosted at The Beagle in south Manchester, so you can be sure of some fabulous craft beer and Chorlton vibes for the evening. Buy your event tickets here.

When we reflected on our Xmas event, Charlotte and I knew that we had set ourselves up with impossible service, trying to serve so many people at once. So this time we have staggered the timings, so diners can join us at different times, allowing us plenty of time to serve up such a complex array of dishes. We have both sampled the Rijsttafel banquet in Holland, and I once came across it at a fancy hotel in Bali, but for the most part I have never seen this in the UK. So what exactly is Rijsttafel or to anglicise the spelling, Ristaffel?

A Dutch-Indo word meaning rice-table. The Rijsttafel was a colonial feast to celebrate the best array of Indonesian food. Although mostly now served in the Netherlands, this elaborate banqueting enjoyed centuries of popularity in the Indonesian archipelego when it was occupied as the Dutch East Indies.

Rijsttafels are seen to represent many things, from the abundance of produce to the multi-ethnic diversity of this string of South East Asian islands. The dishes feature an array of flavours, colour and degrees of spiciness, as well as a range of textures: crispy, crunchy, chewy, slippery, soft, hard, velvety, gelatinous and liquid. 

Like British-Indian food, there can sometimes be little resemblance to the original but the focus is about the flavours, textures and produce. Our aim is to showcase an array of the best ideas, flavours and produce from Indonesian food and across my favourite archipelago. I fell in love with Indonesia on my very first visit to Sumatra in 1994, and have since returned for two extended stays along the Nusa Tengarra (from Bali through to Flores). If I could pack a bag and go anywhere in the world tomorrow, I would fly to Sulawesi in a heartbeat. One day soon I hope!


10% of the profits from this pop-up event will be donated to the Priscilla Hall Memorial Foundation, an Australian-based charity supporting underprivileged children in Indonesia. Specifically, money raised from this event will help support the Days For Girls project providing 30-40 kits for girls in remote areas of West Timor (The Foundation for Mother & Child Health).



Sticky things & things on sticks

Cassava cakes, fried dumplings with fragrant herbs

Balinese satay skewers with smoky tofu & tempeh with peanut sauce

Sticky tamarind ‘chkn’ skewers

Tempeh bacem, twice cooked tempeh

Tahu Bakar, stuffed tofu pockets


Bowls of things

Daun ubi tumbuk, pounded cassava leaves

Macadamia sambal, nutty, hot & sticky

Padang-style little laksa, with mock fish & yellow noodles

Jungle curry, spicy & fragrant country-style veg

Jackfruit rendang, slow cooked with coconut, lemongrass & chilli

Assam-style curry, fiery broth with lotus root & cucumber


Rice & things

Nonya dumplings with oyster mushroom & purple pea flower

Banana leaf pocket, stuffed with fiercely spicy seitan mince

Rich coconut rice

Lontong, compressed rice cakes

Loaded cassava chips with sambal mayo & Indonesian salsa


Pickled things: cucumber & chilli - spiced pineapple - beetroot & thyme - fermented rainbow cabbage - turmeric ‘flower’ pickle - tie-dye mooli - fennel & anise

Chilli things: 5 sauce 'flight', including sambal terasi & sambal kecap

Sprinkly things: Toasted coconut and peanut – Caramelised spicy cashews - Deep fried chillies - Chilli peanuts



Peach & Indonesian long pepper sorbet

Mini doughnut with lemon thyme sugar, filled with lemongrass & kaffir lime custard

Rainbow fruit salad with sugar cane rum & anise

Pandan cake with ice-cream

Banana fritter with peanut caramel

  • Posted on March 15 2018

Javascript Disabled

You have Javascript disabled in your browser settings. This website requires Javascript to improve your experience.

Enable Javascript →

Outdated browser.

Please upgrade your browser to the latest version or download a different browser to improve your experience.

Download Upgrade / Browser →