I savored those days I got to go with my dad to the pasars. After listening to the music, we’d scout out the food stalls. He’d look at each stall, ask a question or made small talk with the vendors, and we’d move to the next one. I knew that it was just a matter of time before he’d buy something and we would sit, side by side, eating without saying a word. Sometimes he would tell me it tasted just like he remembered from his childhood, other times he’d wait for me to finish up so we could move to the next stall, without saying a word.
It was here that I first tried tjendol, a sweet milk beverage with tapioca tears and flavored with rose syrup. Where I once sank my teeth into fried frog legs, and where I ate so many satés that it almost made me sick. This is where, after a reprimand from my dad, I learned how to take small bites of my thin slice of spekkoek, honoring and respecting all the hard work that went into making this layered spice cake instead of devouring the delicacy in two big bites, like I used to do.
During the summer time, we will showcase various dishes to create your own rijsttafel, with as little or as many dishes as you like. Selamat makan!