Pondok Laguna is amongst of old restaurants that maintain their old style and manage to survive until today. My boss like to take me and my colleagues to have lunch there on special occassion. Including breakfasting before Eid Fitr holiday began.
There are many good reviews and naturally some are not really nice reviews. I think it depends how the situation you encountered there that would affected your judgment. But anyway, here goes...
If you are a rat mall like me, you probably not going to like this restaurant. First, is not easy to find this restaurant even if you have been here long in Jakarta and live in another region. Yes, I know Jakarta is a small province. But if you live all your life in southern Jakarta then you probably choose not to sightseeing around central Jakarta or west or east not to mention going far to the north. In short to go to the restaurant, you either use your own car with the help of GPS. Or with taxi and you better already know how to get there. And taxi will be better because you don't need to get dizzy about parking. Though, you might confuse how you are going to get another taxi on you way back.
Second, in the city with hot weather like here in Jakarta would you stand to dine out inside a place without air conditioner? Probably not. Yeah, this place has no air conditioner on the first floor. I heard they have this second floor with air con but haven't seen it myself.
BUT, if you like browsing to old Jakarta, old restaurants (I read this restaurant has been around for 20 years), then this is the right place for you. You will meet so many visitors who willing to take a line and yes a long queuing before getting a seat. Is it really that good? Depends. All the time I dine here, I never had any bad experience. Like the unhelpful waiter, or the not-so-polite waiter. They are not really friendly but at least they serve our meal...in time. In several cases that I read, it could take a while before you finally have your ordered meal due to many visitors.
This restaurant serves you Indonesian food, some even cooked ala Sundaneese style and of course fresh sea food. The price is higher than the same restaurant serve the same menu called D'cost. But D'cost main point of sells is the cheap price with quality of an expensive restaurant. Or so they said. Here, I think the owner simply sell the autheticity of their food and the-sort-of old style restaurant.
The most famous one is Flying Fried Fish or fried gurame (you can check it here at WIKIPEDIA). Personally, I prefer the way mom's cooking rather than this totally fried fish. What's there to eat? But according to my Sundaneese friend, this kind of cooking is to avoid the smell from the fish. And they like to eat it as dried as possible, like eating crunchy snacks. As you can see from the picture above the fish sort of flying over the plate.
The second one is fan-tofu or in Indonesian: Tahu Kipas. I have no idea why is called that way. Fried tofu is filled with shrimp and bean sprouts.
And now the others that was ordered that day :
Grilled grouper or in Indonesian: Ikan Kerapu Bakar. Have no idea what kind of fish is that? Look here again at Wikipedia then. I prefer to eat grilled fish (any kind of fish), added with soy sauce so it has this sweet taste. And there is something that I can chew and not crunchy.
Grilled Cuttle Fish
Again, with sweet soy sauce but not as many as the grilled grouper. But still very delicious and you can feel is still fresh but not chewing them very hard.
And last but not least because I was unable to take photos of the other meal is water spinach.
So, if you are looking for adventure then visit this restaurant. Make sure to call them at 21-3459991 because the have this sort of dining hours.
Here is the map:
Here is the map: