Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Newly Revived Pondok Kaki Lima in Duarte

Pondok Kaki Lima in Duarte Inn was close to being a mecca of Indonesian food - then it got shut down by the local authorities. After negotiation with the city, they finally managed to get back up on their feet and reopened in January 2009.

The Indonesian food fair is held behind the Duarte Inn every Saturday afternoon.

A bit of background, Pondok Kaki Lima literally means Five Feet Hut (Pondok=hut, kaki=feet, lima=five), but don't let that confuse you. Pondok kaki lima is the phrase we use to call street food vendors.

So, as you can expect here, tents of street vendors occupy the lot in Duarte Inn, sellling food items from satays, rendang, to drinks and desserts.

I've been wanting to hit this place again since its reopening and finally had my chance when Wandering Chopsticks said that she was free. Off we go!

Right in the same complex there is an Indonesian restaurant also an Indonesian grocery store - so in case you found yourself there when the PKL is not operating, you can still get your indonesian fix. The Indonesian restaurant is a bit misleadingly named Chicky BBQ & Grill. I have yet to try it but it is apparently one of LA&OC Foodie's favorite lunch spots.

The more common options here involve getting a rice plate with three or so items. We got a plate of nasi kuning (literally, 'yellow rice') which is turmeric rice, with rendang (slow cooked beef in coconut milk and spices), tendons, and sayur lodeh (vegetables in coconut milk curry).
As you see, almost everything involves coconut milk (aka kentan). We love our coconut milk!
The rendang here is pretty good. Rendang is supposed to be slow-cooked and thus should be very tender. Many places are lazy and just cook it with spices or ready-made seasoning that results in tough beef cubes. Not here. The rendang was tender and spicy.

The turmeric rice was fragrant. I liked the lodeh, although WC did not. Maybe it's an acquired taste? I thought it was a pretty good, albeit milder, rendition of Indonesian lodeh.

We also got some pork satays from "Sate Babi Heidi" (pork satay Heidi), served with some lontong in peanut sauce. Lontong is rice cake made with tightly packed rice cooked in banana leaves and most commonly eaten with peanut sauce. When you eat sate (satays), the lontong accompaniment is a must.
The sate was tender and sweet like the chinese chashu - delicious! The lontong however, while it would otherwise be very good, was cold. Lontong is never meant to be served hot or warm - but I do believe it should be room temperature. I think they need to sit them out and defrost them a bit more :<

Duarte Inn
1200 Huntington Dr
Duarte, CA 91010
Saturdays, 10am- 2 pm

5 comments:

Kung Food Panda

The food looks great! In fact, it looks like Malaysian food I used to eat with my roommates. I think I need to check this place out one day....wanna host?? *hint hint*

Pinkfoodie

Thanks for sharing this find. The food looks delicious. I will definitely have to check it out.

mbot565

O gosh, I heard that PKL closed for a while, and since your post is pretty recent, it gives me hope.

So, is PKL really still open now??

burumun

mbot565: Yep, you heard that right! PKL has reopened (sometime around chinese new year) so you can go back there :)

Indonesia Eats

After reading the post and leave a comment on WC, my guess was right. It's totally twist, nasi padang with Javanese influence. Instead of adding gulai kapau and using white rice , it was added by lodeh and nasi kuning. Really wish that there is an Indonesian restaurant here :D

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