The Indonesian Table Review

The Indonesian Table Review
By The Cooking World, Editorial Staff
July 17, 2023

The Indonesian Table

Welcome to our culinary journey through the vibrant and flavorful world of Indonesian cuisine. In this week's cookbook review, we are thrilled to delve into the pages of The Indonesian Table cookbook by the talented chef Petti Pandean-Elliott.

Bursting with tantalizing aromas, bold spices, and an array of exotic ingredients, this cookbook invites both seasoned chefs and enthusiastic home cooks to explore the diverse culinary tapestry of Indonesia.

Indonesia, a country consisting of 17,000 islands, speaking over 700 languages, practicing six major religions, and encompassing three time zones, boasts a remarkably diverse food culture. Often referred to as The Spice Islands, Indonesia is renowned for its aromatic ingredients like nutmeg, mace, and cloves that infuse its cuisine with unique flavors.

The Indonesian Table explores the unique tapestry of culture, history, and biodiversity that makes up its rich food heritage.

The Indonesian Table

The Spice Islands

Petti Pandean-Elliott, a skilled chef and writer, has crafted a comprehensive and intimate cookbook that showcases 150 approachable recipes intertwined with her cherished culinary expeditions across Indonesia.

Her gastronomic voyage commences with nostalgic reflections on her childhood in the secluded region of Manado. Although currently residing in the UK, Petti dedicated several years to refining and adjusting these recipes, ensuring they are accessible to home cooks by utilizing readily available ingredients and straightforward cooking techniques.

Within the pages of The Indonesian TablePetti directs her focus toward the culinary traditions of eight prominent regions in Indonesia: Sulawesi, Java, Bali, Nusa Tenggara, Maluku Islands, Sumatra, Papua, and Kalimantan.

This captivating cookbook showcases an array of dishes representing these regions, including tantalizing coconut curries, delectable laksas, nourishing sotos, and refreshing salads like Gado Gado. Furthermore, it offers a wide range of sambal varieties, adding a flavorful kick to meals. The book also features traditional desserts such as Bubur Sumsum, a delightful coconut pudding accompanied by palm sugar syrup, as well as rejuvenating beverages like jamu, which are healthy herbal tonics.

The Indonesian Table
Sour Fish Soup. Photography by Yuki Sugiura (p. 95) Ikan Kuah Asam

An Evolving Culinary Landscape

Unlike other cookbooks focusing on Indonesian cuisine, The Indonesian Table sets itself apart by providing an authentic and contemporary approach tailored to modern Western kitchens.

What distinguishes this cookbook is its unique perspective, narrated by a native insider who has experienced life both within and outside Asia. Drawing upon her deep-rooted commitment to making her national cuisine more accessible, Petti has compiled a personal and diverse collection of genuine recipes.

One notable aspect of The Indonesian Table is its recognition of the increasing interest in vegan and vegetarian cooking. With a mindful consideration for dietary preferences, many of the featured dishes incorporate fresh produce and tempeh, offering plant-based options that cater to a broader audience.

This cookbook embraces the evolving culinary landscape, adapting traditional Indonesian staples to suit the needs and tastes of contemporary individuals seeking nourishing, plant-centric meals.

The Indonesian Table
Pork Satay with Chilli, Ginger and Lime. Photography by Yuki Sugiura (p. 117) Sate Babi Rica-Rica

Final Thoughts

The Indonesian Table is a remarkable culinary journey that goes beyond the familiar Indonesian dishes known to Western audiences. Readers can delve deep into the rich tapestry of Indonesian food culture through this cookbook, discovering the influences of Arabic, Indian, European, and Chinese cuisines interwoven with indigenous ingredients.

Petty's meticulous attention to detail shines through as she provides tantalizing recipes and thoughtful insights into the local culture, history, and influences that have shaped Indonesian cuisine. From the physical landscape to religion, trading, and migration, she paints a vivid picture of the diverse factors that contribute to the culinary heritage of Indonesia.

Whether you are a seasoned chef or a home cook eager to explore new flavors, this book offers a wealth of knowledge and inspiration. With its enticing recipes, captivating narratives, and captivating imagery, it is a valuable addition to any culinary library, inviting readers to embark on a flavorful journey through the heart of Indonesia.


The Indonesian Table is not just a cookbook but a gateway to understanding and appreciating the depth and complexity of Indonesian culinary traditions.









Are You Ready To Get Hungry?

Sign Up today to get into our cooking world. You will receive for free our best tips, reviews, recipes and much more...

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Check our other reviews
The British Cookbook

The British Cookbook Review

The Mexican Vegetarian Cookbook

The Mexican Vegetarian Cookbook Review

Portugal: The Cookbook

Portugal: The Cookbook Review

The Latin American Cookbook

The Latin American Cookbook Review