Indonesian food, casual style
Nice enough location, but as we went in (on a Friday night no less), we noticed it was pretty empty. Not usually a great sign, but we'll give it the benefit of the doubt since it had only been recently opened. Place is big, decently decorated and clean. Some reason gives the impression of being just dark rather than romantic ;-). Overall not very memorable.
We were seated quite promptly, generally no problems with the service. My only real complaint is that there just is this overall lack of enthusiasm that permeates the entire place and all the employees. But oh well...
Now the food, we picked out one of their special "rice plates" which is just really s sampler of a bunch of things for a couple of diners. Maybe that was a mistake. Quantity was decent, maybe we weren't hungry, but we left full, with more to spare. But it really came with 2 "packs" of rice wrapped in banana leaves (nice tough), some deep fried tofu, chicken and tempe along with a side of plain boiled veggies (cabbage, carrots, cauliflower?) and a soup. Nothing wrong with the food, just that for the price ... geeze, either it should have incredibly large volume or done a lot better than this, which was distinctly homestyle and more or less resembled a large appy plate.
The place is okay, I can't really complain. However, for a real food "experience", I'll probably plonk my hard earned money elsewhere unless they can up their game. If memory recalls, I've had Indonesian food at a few places before and it should get better than this!
went for lunch with co-workers. lumpia ($4.5) was pretty good, the main dish was a spicy chicken and rice dish ($8) with mixed veggies on the side. it was ok, however, none of the food on the plate looked freshly made; neither were the dishes my co-workers ordered. for the price, it wasnt filling, but maybe it was because i was hungry.
the location was clean and over views broadway, but for a 15+ table restaurant, there was only 2 other parties when we went in, and only one other party came in when we left.
As I walked in, I looked around and there was only one table full in the large restaurant. Like clock-work, the hostess sat us beside them, which was also by the window (no surprise here). I didn't take off my jacket right away as it was a little chilly inside - I think the hostess overheard me saying to my wife that it was very cold. Within minutes the heat was on and I was more comfortable.
We ordered curry lamb, chicken and green beans with prawns and tofu and 2 sides of rice.
I must say that the food came fast, was hot and very tasty.
My first impressions were not so great, but after I ate, I was happy.
Would go again.
I would rate this place a 7/10
I should've put more trust in the reviews I read here prior to visiting the place.
I came on a Friday night around 9pm. The place is very big and yet it is EMPTY! for a weekend night?!
I had always wanted to try this place since I'm an Indonesian and I had a craving for some native dishes.
I ordered the Tempe, fried rice, and beef rendang.
Tempe: Too salty! I don't know how to cook but darn it, even I can cook better than that.
Fried rice: meh....
Beef rendang: the meat was tough! the taste was way off. If you don't believe me, go try the rendang at banana leaf and compare it yourself.
Service was prompt. No complaint. I was hoping to have a romantic dinner with my date, and to my surprise, the place turned out into a karaoke place after 10pm.
I'm sorry to say that as an Indonesian, I won't be back to this Indonesian restaurant.
I am more than surprised that this place got 3 stars when it fact it doesn't even deserve a star. My boyfriend and I just came home from going to this restaurant, and I just had to sign up for an account here so that I can warn you all of this place. So before I begin with my tirade of complaints, we went to this place because it had decent ratings on dinehere.ca. 3/5? why not! so we thought, alright, we'll give it a go and we also had coupons from the entertainment book so that was a plus.
So we go inside and we notice that nobody is in, it's a Sunday night around 7:00 pm when people should be having dinner, so I thought it was a little bit strange. My boyfriend ordered the Gulai Kambing (lamb stew in currie) and I ordered the Udang (tiger prawns sauteed in garlic and butter), it was 14$ for the gulai kambing and 18$ for my prawns. The gulai kambing was terrible according to my boyfriend (I don't eat lamb), and he could have made that himself. The tiger prawns was worse. It tasted like those frozen headless prawns that you get from a Chinese supermarket and stir fried with garlic and butter, there was absolutely nothing special about it. I'm not a cook, but I've made stuff better than that! I could not believe that was an "entree" and was worth $18, I could have had a better meal at the Richmond Public Market, paid less than 8$ for it, and ENJOY it. On top of that we had to pay for $4 for two bowls of rice, I don't usually complain if it's a good food, but if it's NOT good food, why should I pay $4 for rice!?
The ambiance looked nice, but nobody was there. They put reserve signs all over the table, but I highly doubt anybody will be coming. The service was ok, nothing was extraordinary, but the server was really pleasant, she was smiling the whole time. But I just can't bring myself to tip this restaurant well, it was terrible food, and I still feel a little bit of nausea just thinking about the food that we ate. I would rate this restaurant: eat at your own risk, and they'll rob you dry with the prices, even with an entertainment coupon.
I have been to Pondok a number of times, and have been consistently pleased with its food and value.
Recently, two friends and I opted to try Pondok rather than Banana Leaf on Broadway. Although the restaurant was quiet, we enjoyed ourselves immensely with Rice Plate 3 which included spring rolls, curry, shrimp and cabbage; all for $29.00. We accomopanied this with a Gado Gado ($10) and it was the perfect amount. Although one may assume that this venue is quiet, on weekends, after 9 PM it becomes a lively karaokee joint/bar where many enthusiastic vocalists provide entertaining performances - sometimes these can be quite delightful. However, please note that there is a ~$20 - 25 minimum purchase required per person on the weekends since it is so busy.
In summary, do not be fooled by the quiet and unassuming ambience of this venue on the weekdays. I prefer Pondok over Tropika and Banana Leaf, mainly because the food is better and prices are about 15% lower than both of the aforementioned eateries. Finally, I highly recommend Pondok as my favourite Indonesian restaurant. Try the Bami Goreng or Roti Canai.
Rice Plate 3: http://www.pondokindonesia.com/menu/menu.html