Although its location in Cilandak is not quite in plain sight – only a nondescript signboard by the roadside the only clue to its whereabouts – Padzzi Pondok Ulam might surprise you in more ways than one. I’ve passed by this area plenty of times, yet this was my first stab at the place. Housed in a two-storey building, you have to walk about a hundred metres from the side of the road to reach it.
Founded by nutritionist Dra. Emma S. Wirakusumah MSc. in 1993, she authored a number of books consisting of healthy recipes that she has put to use into setting up her own restaurant. Specialising in wholesome food that are packed with nutrition, she named the joint Padzzi, which is short for Padat Zat Gizi or “packed with nutrition” in the English language.
A homely ambience courtesy of wooden chairs and soothing background music greeted me once I entered the place. Spacious with a capacity of approximately 100 people, it is equipped with private rooms that are separated by partitions. Padzzi can also function as a venue for weddings, birthdays, meetings, and gatherings. At the back is a small garden with swings for children to play on while waiting for their food to be prepared. The joint also offers cooking classes under Permata Institutie of Culinary Art (PICA) for both young and old.
My appetite became almost uncontrollable after looking at the food pictures on its menu; everything looked so delicious, I was thrown by the options available. In the end, I opted to have its Telur Rembulan Isi Udang (prawn omelette) – those who are not fond of prawn can choose to have it filled with chicken – and Udang Penyet (battered prawn).
Not long after, my order was placed in front of me. I first had a go at the Telur Rembulan, which taste reminded me of Fuyunghai (Chinese omelette). However, while a Fuyunghai is shaped like a very wide fried egg, this one is round like a tennis ball. Savoury and tender, its slightly watery tomato gravy with added peas is also similar to the sauce used for Fuyunghai. My favourite out of the two dishes, though, was its Udang Penyet. Cooked with Sambal Ulek (pestled sambal), its spiciness level was just perfect.
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Jl.Cilandak Raya KKO No.101, Ragunan,
Ps. Minggu, South Jakarta
T: 021 780 5835
Open daily from 11am-9pm
Rp.75,000/$5,60 per person