Pronunciation: [RRI-stah-fuhl; RIHS-tah-fuhl]
Dutch for "rice table," rijst-tafel is the Dutch version of an Indonesian meal consisting of hot rice accompanied by a profusion of small, well-seasoned side dishes such as steamed or fried seafoods and meats, vegetables, fruits, sauces, condiments, etc. The Dutch adopted this style of dining during their occupation of Indonesia in the 18th and 19th centuries.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.