are you tired of Western cuisine? or Chinese cuisine? well, it's kinda struck me that I haven't had Indonesian food for quite a while.. so when my mom mentioned Pondol, I simply can't resist.. Pondol is actually abbreviation for Pondok Es Cendol, serving mainly Central Java cuisine.. the eatery was quite famous for the delicious and affordable food.. opening its first branch in Jl. Muwardi, Grogol area, Pondol has expanded its business to Tanah Abang and Megaria.. we visited the Tanah Abang branch for our Saturday lunch.. the menu was quite extensive with lots of rice options.. we decided to have nasi terik (Rp21,000), tahu gimbal udang (Rp17,000) and racikan selat solo (Rp24,000) accompanied with two cups of hot tea (Rp2,000 each)..
I don't know why but the hot tea was very good.. it smelled and tasted really good.. there's nothing better than a cup of hot, fragrant tea to accompany your meal.. now, nasi terik is plain white rice accompanied with lots of condiments, including stir-fried string beans, Indonesian sauteed grated coconut, caramelized tempeh, Indonesian omelette and terik daging sapi accompanied with cucumber slices and chili paste.. it's one fulfilling dish, really.. the star of the dish would definitely be terik daging sapi which was beef cooked in thick coconut milk, a special dish from Central Java.. the meat was quite huge but it was really tender and tasted very delicious.. other condiments were just fine..
tahu gimbal udang is my favorite dish in Pondol.. it's originated from Semarang and consisted of mainly fried tofu, raw cabbage, beansprouts and gimbal udang or deep-fried shrimp patty served with shrimp paste light gravy and topped with red chili.. I usually crush the chili to make the dish taste spicier.. it was really, really good.. the gravy was a bit sweet but not overpowering the whole taste.. the fried tofu and gimbal udang was crunchy and the whole dish just worked really well together.. I usually ask for more gravy since the usual portion won't be enough for me..
lastly, we had racikan selat solo which consisted of beef patties, fried potatoes, beans, carrots and lettuce drenched in a sweet soy sauce soup and sliced shallots, then topped with red chili and potato chips.. it was a very famous dish from Java which adapted from European beef steaks.. the soup tasted sweet, just like almost every Javanese dish but acceptable for my taste buds and somehow matched the western condiments.. quite weird but they do blend well in your mouth.. the soup was tasted similar to semur or Indonesian beef stew soup..
overall, I think Pondol offered a specific, yet various Central Javanese cuisine.. quite authentic in my opinion and in a very affordable price.. the place was just plain restaurant, with no fancy decorations but quite comfortable.. a good and cheaper option for Indonesia food, other than the famous Kafe Betawi or Sate Khas Senayan..
Jl. Tanah Abang II No. 109 C-D
Ph.: 6221 386 1382/7130 3058