Grand Cape Rijsttafel Fest on Sat 3 Nov 2018

 Heritage Grand Gourmet Food Event…

…bringing back the historic Cape-Indonesian Rijsttafel at Karoo Art Hotel, Barrydale, Klein Karoo


on SATURDAY, 3 NOVEMBER 2018 at 18h30 culinary history will be made at Karoo Art Hotel!


Rijsttafel (“rice table”) is a nearly unending parade of small plates, all filled with different spicy-sticky-sweet Indonesian cuisine.  All accompanied by rice, of course. The myriad of plates (typically in the dozens) are all laid out on the table at once in true feast fashion, and you simply help yourself to the selections as you wish.

The Indonesian rijsttafel (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈrɛisttaːfəl]), a Dutch word that literally translates to “rice table”, is an elaborate meal adapted by the Dutch following the hidang presentation of nasi Padang from the Padang region of West Sumatra. It consists of many (forty is not an unusual number) side dishes served in small portions, accompanied by rice prepared in several different ways. Popular side dishes include egg rolls, sambals, satay, fish, fruit, vegetables, pickles, and nuts. In most areas where it is served, such as the Netherlands, and other areas of heavy Dutch influence (such as parts of the West Indies), it is known under its Dutch name.

Although the dishes served are undoubtedly Indonesian, the rijsttafel’s origins were colonial. During their colonial domination in Indonesia, the Dutch introduced the rice table not only so they could enjoy a wide array of dishes at a single setting but also to impress visitors with the exotic abundance of their colony.

Rijsttafels strive to feature an array of not only flavors and colors and degrees of spiciness but also textures, an aspect that is not commonly discussed in Western food. Such textures may include crispy, chewy, slippery, soft, hard, velvety, gelatinous, and runny.


This historic feast from the colonial days in Nederlands-Indië (the Dutch East Indies, nowadays called Indonesia), became popular in the Netherlands and in Cape Town from 1949 with Indonesian independence and was last seen on the menus in restaurants in the Western Cape as long as 15 to 20 years ago.

We will be offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enjoy this grand culinary feast and the hospitality of our small platteland hotel. A very limited 13 bedrooms and 30 dinner seats are available at our authentic Cape Indonesian Rijsttafel …serving 60 small dishes!


Join us for a weekend of culinary delight!


Our extensive Rijsttafel menu of 60 individually prepared items and small dishes (download our hand-crafted gourmet menu) has been carefully curated by our top team of experts, consisting of:

  • Peter Veldsman, South African culinary doyen;
  • Alicia Giliomee, the Executive Chef (and General Manager) of Karoo Art Hotel (previously from the kitchens of Laborie/Vergelegen/The Plettenberg/Rhebokskloof /Toadburry Hall Country House and other 5 star fine dining kitchens);
  • Dylan van Eijkeren, food and travel journalist from Amsterdam, famed for his published epic comparative analysis of 15 Indonesian Rijsttafel restaurants in Amsterdam – read that on our hotel website- and who dined at the last Rijsttafel restaurant in Indonesia: Oasis, in Jakarta.


Programme for the Friday night:

  • Welcome drink on arrival
  • Grand sabrage ceremony: Toast our 2018 Diners Club Diamond Wine List Award, which was awarded to us in Sept 2018; and our culinary awards received.
  • Attend a pre-dinner informal discussion with our three experts on the history and heart of the Indonesian Rijsttafel and mingle with the chefs and other guests sharing the same appreciation for the Rijsttafel.
  • For dinner- a three course Klein Karoo speciality menu, showcasing the culinary skills of our Executive Chef and her kitchen team, will be served and is included in the price.
  • Dance after dinner in our bar – bring your own vinyl’s – or play ours!

Programme Saturday:

  • Day -free – enjoy the wide array of sightseeing and activities available in Barrydale and surrounds -see our Activities choices on our hotel website
  • Grand Indonesian Rijsttafel- from 6.30 pm to late



Please note that no online or telephone bookings can be done for this gourmet food event- only by email.

Discount weekend package

Book the weekend package immediately – Friday 2 (at a 30% discounted accommodation rate) and Saturday 3 November 2018 – 2 nights’ accommodation  with breakfast for 2 guests sharing, 3 course dinner on Friday night and Rijsttafel on Saturday night – from R5 144 per couple

Saturday night only package (Only available from dates set out below):

  • Accommodation for 2 guests sharing and Rijsttafel – from R3 420
  • Bookings for Saturday night only (including accommodation) will be waitlisted and only be allocated on Monday 29 October 2018 if not sold out before then.

Dinner only Bookings for the Rijsttafel (no hotel accommodation) will be waitlisted and only allocated on Wednesday 31 October, if not sold out before then): R850 pp.

(Some beers and teas served with some Rijsttafel dishes -all wine for own account)

Resident guests who are members of Chaine des Rộtisseurs or who hold a Dutch or Indonesian passport, will receive a free bottle of our Klein Karoo house wine with dinner on Friday night.

Click here to read the Dutch article “Mysterie uit de Oost” written by Dylan van Eijkeren.