While Thai restaurants continue to proliferate
in Taipei, Indonesian food is a little harder to find.
But one family has been serving up authentic Indonesian
cuisine for 25 years.
Pondok Mutiara is the second restaurant opened
by the family of Clement Chang, who moved to Taiwan
from Indonesia when he was five. His mother, Diana
Lu, and brother set up the first one back in 1977.
Thirteen years ago they moved to their current
location on FuHsing North Road, near the Chungshan
Middle School MRT station. Chang now runs the place
with his mother. She used to do all the cooking, but
has trained four local chefs, and makes sure they
keep up high standards.
If you¡¦ve ever been to Indonesia, you¡¦ll
find all the dishes you liked there on the menu here.
The main courses are spicy, and reasonably priced.
Chicken dishes include Ayam Goreng (sweet and spicy
chicken, NT$150) and Opor Santen Ayam (spicy coconut
chicken, NT$150). There¡¦s also Lamb Curry (NT$230).
Chang recommends the Ikan Pecek Bawal
(deep fried pomfret and chili sauce, NT$330)
and Pepesan Udang (roast spicy shrimp with chili
in lotus leaf packet, NT$260). He also says
one of the most popular dishes at the moment
is the Kari Kepala Ikan (Singaporean curry fish
head, NT$490), which is served in a similar
way to hot pot.
For dessert, try Pisang Goreng (fried
banana cake, NT$120), or one of the wide selection
of sweet drinks, including Es Campur (tropical
fruit punch, NT$70).
If you¡¦re driving past Pondok Mutiara, you
could miss it for all the trees and shrubs growing
outside. Inside the mood is relaxed, and the friendly,
English-speaking staff are always happy to help you
decide which dishes to choose.