Mini-Review: Pondok Indonesia

Pondok Indonesia is one of the many hole in the wall ethnic eateries which we are blessed with in Vancouver.

It's a small, unpretentious room decorated with Indonesian knick knacks at the north west corner of Commercial and 12th, serving flavourful, honest food at inexpensive prices. Like the late lamented Surat Sweet, the ambiance in this restaurant is soothing and relaxing and even on a Friday night it's not crowded!

Barb and I have been there twice. Both times the bill was approximately $40 including tax and tip without alcohol and both times we were full!

The first time we had the village style Ricetable Special #6 for $30; the second time we tried Ricetable Special #2 for $24 and had a side order of Tempe Bacem (marinated deep fried soy bean cake which Barb loves but which I can only eat lots of with hot sauce).

With Ricetable #2, we had beef rendang which was very good. Lots of flavours. We also had lightly marinated fish, stuffed tofu (which was absolutely delicious) and seasonal vegetables cooked in garlic. And the entire meal was accompanied by a yummy, spicy peanut sauce. Like all rice tables at this restaurant, this is served on a beautiful platter with the rice heaped in a cone in the centre.

A word on the spicing: unlike lots of other restaurants which make you specify how hot you want it, this restaurant serves the dishes the way that the chef wants them to be (don't worry none of the dishes are overly hot but they are delicously flavoured). I am a hot sauce fiend and usually end up dunking my food in it to compensate for the lack of flavour, but the dishes here are so tasty that this not needed.

Both times, Barb has enjoyed a cup of ginger tea flavoured with palm sugar (and without any tea). Very flavourful and gingery. Highly recommended for a post prandial drink! We haven't tried any of the desserts but there's always a next time!

Pondok Indonesia, 2781 Commericial Drive, 604 872-8718