4

At Bali Cafe, a Delicious Six-Course Indonesian Meal Costs $17

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

Start with the salad, a brilliant mixture of tofu, mango, and greens sloshed in an orange-sesame dressing. Chase it with the shrimp dumplings, tiny bulbs coated in spicy peanut sauce. Go ahead! Try the lumpia, deep-fried rolls crammed with chicken, cabbage, and carrots. Thirsty? Slurp that bowl of steaming miso soup.

With that, you've just finished a third of Bali Café's rijsttafel -- an elaborate Indonesian meal.

The feast originated in colonial Indonesia, sometime around the late 19th Century, when the Dutch created a banquet of traditional dishes. Today, the meal embraces a dizzying display of flavors and textures: nuts, pickles, salads, fish, meats, and rice.

And at this downtown cash-only hideaway, it costs $17.45.

Bali Café's rijsttafel begins with appetizers and culminates with six small plates, all arranged neatly in white bowls. There are crackers called emping, tender chunks of coriander-spiced beef rendang, and por ayam -- chicken legs slowly braised in rich coconut milk. Stir-fried vegetables, fried fish, and white rice ride alongside.

The restaurant's greatest feat is its sambal goreng teri kacang, a flavor-bomb of peanuts, anchovies, and chili sauce. Sure, you might find a tiny fish head or two in there. But nothing tastes better than pairing salty fish with spice.

Rijsttafel also pops up at Indomania, a South Beach spot with fancier digs and costlier bills. That restaurant's meal starts at $24. Bali Café's is not only more affordable but also simply one of the best deals in town.

Follow Emily on Twitter @EmilyCodik.

Follow Short Order on Facebook, on Twitter @Short_Order, and Instagram @ShortOrder.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.