Pondok Mutiara Restaurant

I just love trying out new restaurants, and with the company of close friends, the experience is made even better.

This time,

To try something new, Karen and I went to try out this quaint Indonesian restaurant (she knows I’ve been dying to try out something more exotic than the regular Chinese and Japanese fare) called Pondok Mutiara Restaurant located near the Chongshan High School MRT Station (just turn right after exit and walk for 5 minutes)

My basis for the choice? Taiwan fun which featured this place on its June issue. http://taiwanfun.com/north/taipei/dining/0608/0608Pondok.htm

Food

As recommended, we ordered the Gado-Gado, the Curry Fish Head and Ba-Dong Beef Dish, in addition to the yellow rice as our staple:

The Gado-Gado or Indonesian salad was tasty — local Indonesian chips, tofu, bean sprouts, and veggies mixed in sweet peanut sauce. It had the perfect combination of sweet and crunchy that the Pinoy in me loves so much. What’s more, it was a mere NT$120! Wohoo!

On the other hand, the Ba-Dong Beef Dish, another house specialty, served exactly four pieces of meat in dark brown curry sauce reminiscent of the dishes I’ve tried in Myanmar (though then it was way better). Not the best I’ve ever eaten, but not so bad either.

Meanwhile, the Curry Fish Head was okay though its price was slightly steep at NT$490 an order. And no surprise! The dish contained a huge piece of what else — fish head — along with its fatty trimmings, in addition to string bean, tomatoes, broccoli and other veggies.

The curry sauce was plentiful but was of thin consistency. The veggies were okay, but the fish, despite its size, didn’t really have a lot of meat on it. So Karen and I were left picking out bones and trying not to eat the fatty parts.

My advise?

Definitely order the Gado-Gado, while try the other dishes on the menu. There are tons and most are at reasonable prices to choose from.

Oh, and as for the 1,000-layer cake (NT$250 a box, NT$120 for 4 slices) touted by media and Taiwan Fun as a pretty good dessert, if it’s the dessert served with the weak Indonesian coffee I ordered, suggest to give it a pass and try something else. It’s good, but not THAT great.

Service

Service-wise though, the owners put a lot of heart into it as they themselves are the ones who take the order and serve the food.

Unfortunately, due to a lack of manpower, it takes them quite a while (actually, till after you leave) to clear most of the plates after you eat. So you’re eating dessert in a table full of empty, dirty plates. Yuck!

However, the owners take away your irritation with a smile. Listening to their heavily Indonesian-laced accents, you return their cheerful demeanor with a smile of your own and shrug their forgetfulness away.

Atmosphere / Ambience

Though not the perfect venue for first dates, the Pondok Mutiara Restaurant is an ideal restaurant for good friends wanting to try a wide variety of dishes not easily accessible around Taipei (and yes, Indonesian food is slightly different than Thai so don’t get the two mix up). Its decor shouts an Indonesian home-made feel, and though slightly old in interior, has a cozy feel special to this particular restaurant.

Bottomline is, it won’t impress, but it serves its purpose of communicating its being an authentic Indonesian restaurant right smack in Taipei.

Cost

The best thing about Pondok Mutiara is that it’s reasonably-priced. With all the dishes we ordered, the bill only came out to NT$1,150 or around NT$575 a head)!

Okay, so it’s not as cheap as Skylark or McDonald’s, but for bringing Indonesia to Taipei without boarding a plane, I still think it’s a sweet deal. And rest assured, I’d be coming back to try out their other dishes very soon!

Advertisements

About Bonita

I'm a forgetful person. But I think a lot. Every day, a lot of thoughts enter my head. That's why this blog came to be: first, to keep my memories alive through the years, and two, to actually see how I and my thoughts have changed. Please note that I seldom draft or edit my posts. Sometimes, if I'm not careful, I offend some of you, my readers. And while I apologize for making you feel uncomfortable, I am not sorry for being honest or for making well-intentioned mistakes. I will however be the first to admit if I change my mind. Hence, do read and proceed with caution. My life is as colorful and as boring as you make it. I complain many days, but offer some encouragement in others. Life is fluid, it changes. So keep the positives and throw away the negatives, and I do hope that at the end of the day, you will enjoy reading the blog and leaving comments here and there if my posts touches you. Happy reading!
This entry was posted in Food, Restaurant reviews. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s