Exotic Indonesian cuisine comes to town
The recently opened The Pawon dishes up Indonesian flavors with a refined twist. Jakarta native Edwin Senjaya has set out to put Indonesian dishes in the spotlight with mind-blowingly authentic flavors that evoke tropical sensations.
Senjaya and head chef Nugraha Adi Wardhana are passionate about exploring the extensive amount of regional flavors drawn from the Indonesian archipelago.
The restaurant, located in the basement of the Soho Gubei office building, is polished yet relaxing with an intimate ambience that seats 50.
The design is subtly sleek, leaving the focus on the scrumptious food and refreshing drinks.
The Pawon’s elaborate and extensive regional flavors feature tantalizing spicy blends.
The well-designed menu is inspired by the nation’s diverse cultural milieu, contributing to the cuisine’s exotic flavors.
Thanks to Senjaya’s recommendations, my culinary journey began with chicken satay flavored with savory peanut sauce, soto ayam (chicken noodle soup) and cap cay (stir-fried vegetables).
Cap cay is a popular Indonesian version of stir-fried vegetables originating from China’s Fujian Province, with a mixture of chicken and giblets, shrimp and fish balls.
Unlike Chinese chicken soup, the Indonesian version — soto ayam — is prepared with aromatic chicken broth topped off with fresh turmeric, lending a herbal note.
When generously ladled over vermicelli noodles, shredded chicken, boiled eggs and potato fritters, you have a delicious and comforting meal.
The journey continued with Rendang daging, which is spicy braised beef in coconut milk with aromatic spices. The dish was voted most delicious food by CNN viewers in 2017 and 2018 .
A recipe originally from West Sumatra, the rich and tender beef stew is very flavorful with a range of herbs and spices cooked for hours until the meat has absorbed all the liquid.
Another perfect meat dish is The Pawon’s slow-roasted lamb ribs, marinated with coriander, cumin, ginger, candle nut and coconut brown sugar for 24 hours and slow roasted for two hours.
Opening hours: 10am-10pm
Address: B1, Soho Gubei, 188 Hongbaoshi Rd
Average price: 130 yuan (US$18.53)