Pondok Mutiara Restaurant

--By Shanzi Chen Translated by Sho Huang

Lu Peng-Ying, better known as "Dinan Lu" to her regular customers, always greets guests with a smile. She's been running this restaurant for 28 years, drawing plenty of local customers as well as Taiwanese-based Indonesians with her authentic Indonesian cooking and warm atmosphere.

The main distinguishing characteristic of Indonesian food is a huge variety of spices, coconut milk and curry. Compared to Thai cuisine, Indonesian food is spicier and sweeter. The food is served with a fork and a spoon, which is used to scoop the vegetable and the sauces as well as cut meat.

Pondok Mutiara Restaurant provides common Indonesian dishes, such as Gado Gado (Indonesian-style salad), composed of lettuce, boiled eggs, bean sprouts and shrimp cakes, all topped off with peanut sauce. The results are spicy, crunchy and good. The Ba-Dong beef dish is another spicy item that features beef cooked in chillies, coconut milk, lemon grass and ginger. Curry Fish Head exudes a strong curry and sweet coconut fragrance that stimulates your nostrils as well as taste buds. All sorts of fresh vegetables and squid balls are also mixed in with this dish and its thick sauce is a delight with rice. Indonesian Sate is also very popular, with a peanut-based barbecue sauce for the meat and mild, sweetened sauce for seafood--both specially made by the restaurant.

One of Dinan Lu's best desserts is the Thousand-Layer Cake, which is created through a long process. It's a must-try for diners and and is also available for take-out (NT$260/box). As thousands of happy diners will attest over the past couple decades, a trip to Pondok Mutiara Restaurant is a good way to experience authentic Indonesian food and hospitality that you certainly won't regret.

Curry fish head(NT$490)
Gado Gado(NT$120)
Indonesian style salad Shrimp Sate ( 8 servings NT$260)

292, FuXing North Rd., 1F
(02) 2504-5791?2504-5793 FAX: (02) 2502-8697
Hours: 11 am-3 pm, 5-9 pm
Credit cards accepted. 10% service charge.