Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Pondok Laguna, Jakarta

We're on our way to our next eating destination and I thought it'll be rather refreshing to mention abit about Jakarta. Jakarta traffic is quite insane (and I've been to Bangkok, China, KL etc). There aren't many traffic lights as well partly due to costs and I think the authorities also know that no one obeys them anyway. So the solution to most traffic problems are solved with roundabouts. There are so many of them in Jakarta and in the centre of each roundabout is always some sort of statue. Since there are so many roundabouts inevitably there are a lot of statues as well haha. Some of these are really huge and most of them aren't even related to any local themes. This one above is quite famous and is known to the International School students (such as those from JIS) as the "Flaming Pizza Man". Pizza.... hmmm...

Over the yonder we saw this huge fish in the sky. Pondok Laguna is another essential eatery to visit when in Jakarta.

They have the image of this fish on their name card as well and this is basically their signature fish. This "Gurame" fish is cooked in a few styles here.

How fresh is the fish here? They rear the fish in these ponds scattered throughout the restaurant. It's that fresh, period.

Since it was a rather warm day, I started my meal with dessert first just to cool off abit. This cendol was indeed quite refreshing. I thought the coconut cream wasn't quite thick or rich enough though but that could have caused by the dilution from the ice.

As I was still feeling quite warm, I ordered a coconut as well. Just thought it was quite interesting that they created a hole through the cover on top so the straw could stick out.

We ordered the tidbit of emping with sambal to start off the meal. Freshly fried emping with freshy grounded sambal, the fiery taste of the sambal is washed off with the cooling coconut juice enabling you to go back for more again and again.

Soup buntut (Indonesian oxtail soup) isn't really the specialty here but it sure does beats most Indonesian restaurants outside Indonesian handsdown. The flesh of the oxtail was boiled just right, soft enough to fall off the bone but not too soft that it's mushy.

This appetizer of deepfried prawn and beancurd balls were excellent.

The light crisp batter perforated to reveal juicy and crunchy prawns. Seasoned lightly with some spices (I tasted curry leaf), it provided just the right balance in flavor without overpowering the natural sweetness of the prawns.

Gurame fishead in curry. This curry tasted really good and is unlike the Indian fishead curries we have here. It tasted as though there was assam in it but unlike most assam curries, this had a rich coconut cream taste as well. Stirring the gravy into hot steamed white rice is almost a luxury by itself.

The star of the show. This deepfried gurame fish is so crunchy that you can even crunch down most of the bones. It's cooked by suspending it with wires into a pot of boiling oil hence creating this upright shape. This goes very well with the sambal.

The obligatory vegetable dish of stir-fried morning glory was a really tasty way to eat healthy. Piping hot from the wok, the wok hei effect stood proud in this dish. With such a great start to an eating holiday in Jakarta, I could only look forward to my next meal!



Unknown said...

D, that fish looks fabulous, I love it when i can eat the bones as well, haha.

D said...

angie: I know! Saves you the effort of removing the bones, just chomp them down =D

meiliana said...

Hi , I came across your blog when I am browsing. I miss all the food.. The karedok in Laguna also good.. Can't wait to go back home :)