Thursday, June 27, 2013

Pondok Djaja

There are many Padang food restaurants in the city, but Pondok Djaja stands out because it serves Padang food with a touch of Chinese cuisine.

The restaurant has opened its doors since 1969. In the past, it was located on Jl. Hayam Wuruk. It recently moved to a new premises on Jl. Hasyim Ashari because the Jakarta administration issued a regulation that banned parking along Jl. Hayam Wuruk.

How to get there: if you take TransJakarta bus like I did, hop off at Harmoni Central Busway and take the right turn to Duta Merlin upon exiting. Then walk towards Jl. Gajah Mada, but don't worry about walking too far, on the first intersection  you will find Jl. Hasyim Ashari on the left. Turn left and walk for several dozens meters. You will find Kantor Pajak Pratama Gambir on the right, and Pondok Djaja is just across the building.

I came a few minutes before 11 a.m. (the opening hour) and the restaurant was quite vacant until 15 minutes later.  Three customers asked an elderly man (perhaps the owner?) why they were not ready yet. He said that the persons in charge were stuck in a traffic jam nearby, adding that they live in Jl. Kemakmuran. When those people arrived with the food, customers lined up and ordered dozens of packages for take aways.

Enjoying the quiet moment at the restaurant before the chaos strike

The waiter serves the foods in small bowls and it will be very hard to choose just one. They all look delicious! However, I've checked the Internet prior to my visit and many bloggers recommend rendang (beef stew) and ayam kampung goreng (fried free-range chicken), and so I picked those.

The rendang is sweet and tender with black sauce, it's very different from the usual rendang at the Padang food vendor near my office, but it may be what makes this eatery survives for decades. The chicken is quite small but the flavor makes up the size. I forgot to ask the prices of each food, but for a plate of rice, one piece of rendang, one piece of chicken and a glass of orange juice I paid Rp 56,000. It's a bit out of the budget for me, but we don't celebrate Jakarta's anniversary every day :).

This is the last post on Jakarta's surviving restaurants. Perhaps I'll make another round next year :).

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