Saturday May 15, 2010
Indonesian fare gets the nod among food lovers
By KEVIN KAM
KUANTAN: Yang Siau Mei, better known as May, has always dreamed of getting into the food business.
Her dream finally came true in February when she pooled resources with her friend Haniesah Lai to establish Pondok Laguna, specialising in Sundanese fare.
"I brought a group of Malaysian friends to Medan, Indonesia and they really loved the food there.
"So I thought an Indonesian restaurant here would be well-received. True enough, we have been working non-stop since we opened!" said Yang, 40, who originates from Jakarta.
Gado-gado: Comes with creamy peanut sauce.
The kitchen of Pondok Laguna is headed by Yono Suryono, 40, who has worked in various international hotels and cruise ships.
He explained that generally, Padang food was very spicy while Sunda food was a lot more varied.
"Our menu is designed to cater to a variety of diners. Families can take their time to enjoy a slow and hearty meal while office workers on the go can grab a quick meal of Nasi Goreng Timbel.
"Some items may be a little spicy while others can be a little sweet. We try to adjust to local tastebuds as much as we can," said the Indonesian chef from Bandung Bogor.
"Do try the gado-gado or Keredok Laguna - a salad that comes with creamy peanut sauce and herbs.
Nasi timbel: Perfect for those looking for a quick meal.
"One must not miss the Sup Ikan Pedas which has chunks of fish in a hot delicious soup that goes really well with rice," Yang suggested.
Other fish favourites include Gulai Kepala Ikan, Pepes Ikan Siakap and Ikan Bakar Laguna.
Those looking for a simple dish can order the Nasi Timbel Laguna which is rice wrapped in banana leaf and served with fried chicken, ulam (raw vegetables) and soup. Dip the vegetables in the restaurant's special belacan to spice up the salad.
"A meal with rice is incomplete without Ayam Penyet, which is marinated chicken fried and topped with a special chili sauce.
"The Soto Betawi is a broth rich in tomato and beef (or chicken) and served with noodles of your choice."
Mee bakao: Good to the last slurp.
At the end of the savoury meal, diners can order the Pondok Laguna pudding served with ice-cream.
Yang said more Indonesian desserts, such as Pisang Goreng Kipas would be added to the menu soon.
Located in Chinatown, near East Coast Mall, Pondok Laguna is decorated with Indonesian wood carvings and scenic photographs from Indonesia.
Soothingly illuminated, the restaurant that seats at least 50 people offers a cosy and relaxing dining experience.
There is a choice of air-conditioned and alfresco dining areas.
PONDOK LAGUNA, 47- 47a, Jalan Putra Square 3, Putra Square, Kuantan. For details, contact Yang (Tel: 09-517 3537 or 012-928 8986.
http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?f ... southneast
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