Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Pondok Jawa Timur - Javanese Comfort Food

It was surprising to find an eatery in the heart of Wilkie Edge that is serving traditional Javanese fare, as the building is known to cater to a younger audience due to the education centers nearby.

Nevertheless, Pondok Jawa Timur serves as an example of good classic Javanese food in town, and makes a welcome change from the usual selection of hipster cafes that are nearby.

The owner's mum is the mastermind behind the dishes and she is more than determined to preserve the heritage behind her well guarded recipes.

For the most part, those who like Nasi Padang fare will find lots to enjoy here, and then some.

Sate Ayam

Having just been to Bali, I was craving for this variant of satay where there is a greater emphasis of peanut flavors in the thick gooey sauce. The chicken pieces were superbly marinated, and yes, the peanut sauce was just as how I remembered it in Bali.

Bags full of flavor, the sweetened gravy coated the satay tremendously well and what emerged was a satay that was fit for royalty. The chicken was appropriately tender and moist, and the luscious sauce just made everything that much better.

Ayam Penyet

Ayam Penyet, or smashed chicken is becoming increasingly popular here, but still, to find a decent one is not particularly easy. Thankfully, Pondok served up one of the best versions of this dish yet.

The entire dish was beautifully plated, and the chicken was beautifully cooked to a golden delicious color and texture. The little bits of fried batter was just nice to provide that extra crunch and coupled with the fiery sambal belachan, this was a more than potent dish for anyone.

Mee Goreng

Unlike our more reddish looking mee goreng, Pondok's version resembled more like a zhe char fried noodles dish, and indeed, it did taste like one too. Though slightly salty, it possessed loads of wok laded flavors that would please just almost any local here.

Looking and tasting more moist than usual, the inclusion of a hard boiled egg was a bit of an eye opener for me, but the combination of noodles, vegetables, eggs and shredded chicken was hard to resist.

Curry Fish Head

The curry fish head is another winning dish. Though it was quite standard in terms of the flavors, the freshness of the fish head stood out well and when coupled with some rice, this is comfort food at its very best. It may not be the best fish head around, but as a family dish, there is little to fault about this dish.

Comfortable Surroundings

For an eatery serving such classic food, it is really quite a cosy place to dine in. The service is quite straightforward and rather prompt, and the prices are pretty standard. Almost everything is made from scratch, and if you like chilli and sambal etc, this is the place to savor really good homemade sauces.

Besides the dishes mentioned, there are also a range of other traditional Javanese items from the menu, including Gado Gado, Tahu Telok etc. All of which are above average and should please Javanese food lovers.

If you have never savored Javanese cuisine before, than perhaps Pondok Jawa Timur is a good place to start.

Pondok Jawa Timur
8 Wilkie Road
#02-01 Wilkie Edge 

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