Located along Currie Street, Pondok Daun is a modest little restaurant that serves Indonesian cuisine. During our visit, we chose to order the chicken satay, smashed chicken in spicy chilli sauce (Ayam Penyet), nasi uduk with sweet and spicy beef, gado-gado and spicy fried tofu.
The chicken in the chicken satay was cooked just right, but it lacked the char-grilled flavour that makes satay delicious. However, the peanut sauce helped to round out the flavour of the satay, with a hint of sweetness from the kecap manis. Kecap manis is a thicker and sweeter version of soy sauce, the sweetness coming from the palm sugar used in its production. You can choose to have this dish accompanied with either steamed rice or the rice cakes known as Ketupat that typically accompany satay.
Pondok Daun offers a wide range of grilled and fried dishes, all served with a mound of rice, sambal and soup. One of those dishes is 'Ayam Penyet', which consists of smashed fried chicken topped with a spicy chilli sauce. The coating of the chicken was crisp with tender meat from the smashing process. The chilli sauce on the chicken also gave it a spicy zing without overpowering the flavour of the chicken.
Nasi uduk, translated as coconut rice, can be seen as the Indonesian version of the Malaysian dish nasi lemak. Much like nasi lemak, you can choose from a selection of meat dishes to accompany coconut rice, fried anchovies, peanuts and sambal. The sweet and spicy beef we ordered was cooked perfectly with the spicy sauce coating the beef rounding out its flavour. If you prefer, you can also choose fried chicken, fried whole tilapia fish or salted fish instead of the beef.
The steamed vegetables in the gado-gado had the right amount of bite to them, complemented wonderfully by the peanut dressing. Their spicy fried tofu featured crispy pieces of tofu nicely contrasted with the slightly sweet sauce poured over them.
Although small, the restaurant did not feel cramped due to the tables being a good distance apart from each other. Food also came out relatively quickly, meaning you do not have to wait long for your meal.