Dear fellow tasters,
Several weeks ago, still in December 2011, I was invited to a bloggers’ food tasting event for Pandan Village, a casual Indonesian restaurant, nicely located on third floor of Plaza Indonesia. Despite the modern ambiance and furniture, the dining place offers a taste of home recipes, just like its tagline, with a menu of assorted Indonesian cuisines from around the archipelago.
The list for the food tasting comprised of items from their best sellers. To start, some snacks and appetizers were served for us. The risoles (deep-fried stuffed spring rolls) and tahu kipas udang laguna (deep-fried shrimp tofu) proved to be quite a hit. There was also a unique salad dish named salad borneo (banjar-style chicken salad) – with cucumber slices and yellow mayonnaise-like sauce, topped with shredded chicken and potato chips – and the East Javanese tahu telor pandan village (tofu omelet) although both tasted a bit ordinary.
Then for main course, we first tried out two soup dishes, the asem-asem iga sari kuring (beef ribs sour soup) and sop kikil pandan village (ox-feet soup). I liked the asem-asem iga with the tender beef ribs and the refreshingly sour tomato and chilli broth. Kikil is not really something I eat, so I only got a sip of the sop kikil’s broth and it tasted a bit similar to gulai or Indonesian curry. Then, there was the delicious gurami bakar nusa penida (grilled guramee), which the people at my side of the table seemed to enjoy very much. Strangely, the same dish at the middle part of table appeared to be untouched. It turned out the fish was not prepared properly that it still had a bit of muddy flavor.
Other main course dishes that we tasted were the sambal goreng tongkol manalagi (long-tail tuna cooked in red coconut milk) – quite spicy and delectable, the ayam bumbu rujak (Javanese-style chicken sautéed with red chili) – pretty nice although could be more spicy, and two satay or chicken skewer dishes, the sate ayam pandan wangi and sate ayam suroboyo. Both were quite enjoyable especially the sate ayam pandan wangi which had that distinctive fragrant flavor from the pandan leaves.
The restaurant also offers various Indonesian-themed desserts and drinks. I tried out the es kopyor (crumbling coconut ice) which were quite pleasant, although they could have been more generous with the kopyor. Overall, it was a wonderful food tasting event. I think Pandan Village could be a great addition to Indonesian restaurants, especially in Jakartan shopping malls which have been more dominated by Western and other Asian cuisines. Lastly, I would like to thank Pandan Village and Mr. Jefri for the kind invite.
The taster’s notes:
Favorite dish – asem-asem iga and sambel goreng tongkol
What to try next time – gurami pesmol and sate tulang