This newly opened live seafood restaurant is set to serve an array of mouth-watering Indonesian and Asian dishes in an ultra-spacious, sumptuous setting.
The beautiful wooden panels at the entrance of this new restaurant in no way prepared us for what we were about to see as we stepped inside the sixth branch of Pondok Sari Wangi Restaurant. The layout and interior décor of this restaurant can only be described as superb! In fact, it felt almost like entering the dining area of a 5-star hotel. The family who own this restaurant have been in the food business in Brunei for over 25 years and are renowned for their authentic Indonesian cuisine from Java, Padang and Sulawesi.it is their in-depth understanding and knowledge of the local market that has given them the confidence to open this sensational new live seafood restaurant.
One of the owners, Ridwan Horas, who is also an avid food enthusiast has been managing all of the branches of this restaurant for the past six years. Ridwan is a very hands-on manager who trains his staff, supervises the running of the operations and pays meticulous attention to the details – especially of the food quality and presentation. He goes to great lengths to make sure that he is able to keep both his loyal and new customers as satisfied as possible. To be a successful restaurateur, Ridwan believes that you must have a clear concept and be able to implement it consistently; as well as this, you must have the determination to succeed and the flexibility to adapt to changing market conditions.
Ridwan explained, “We realised that there was room in the market for a top notch live seafood restaurant with a more spacious and serene ambiance. We wanted to provide an elegant setting where diners could relax and enjoy fresh, tasty Indonesian and Asian food at affordable prices. We have a large aquarium on-site stocked with a wide variety of fish like sea bass, red snapper, grouper as well as lobster, crabs, clams, and mussels, so customers can choose what they want and have it cooked to perfection by our two experienced chefs.”
Just to give you an idea of how spacious this restaurant in Jerudong is, we were told that it could comfortably accommodate as many as 200 customers. From large company functions and weddings to intimate family get-togethers – this venue is ideal for any event. The restaurant is cleverly divided into several ultra-spacious areas, each offering distinctive settings for any occasion. There’s an extensive main dining area; four luxurious rooms that are perfect for private dining; plus another large area for informal dining, ideal for those wanting to grab a croissant and coffee from the Bake Culture kiosk located in the restaurant. What’s more, every detail of the interior has been considered in order to make the dining experience at this Pondok Sari Wangi truly exceptional. The owners together with an interior designer have effectively used natural materials and designs to create a type of dining sanctuary which highlights their rich Indonesian heritage. The artistic combination of nature inspired artwork, wooden features, limestone wall plaques and distinctive lighting fixtures help to make this restaurant one-of-a-kind.
Mr. Horas, explained, “Our family is originally from Indonesia and it was my mother Mijamti Rahardja who started this business. It had humble beginnings as a takeaway counter at Plaza Athirah but has since expanded to six branches. My mother is very much involved in the business today and still firmly believes in cooking authentic Indonesian food – so we make sure that all of our dishes have the distinct flavours of home. Fifteen years ago, we were the ones who introduced the original Ayam Penyet recipe to Brunei at our Serusop branch. It’s since been our tradition to introduce a new dish each time we’ve opened a new branch, for instance at our branch in Gadong we introduced Iga Penyet and at Citis Square Duck Penyet and at Jerudong a Seafood Combo – similar to what’s available at the Holy Crab in Louisiana, but less messy!” laughed Ridwan. He mentioned that, “Soon our customers will also be able to have fun and enjoy putting selfies on their lattes!” Ridwan also reminded us that besides the delicious seafood dishes, customers can also sample the intense flavours of a variety of other Indonesian delights such as Soto Gentong, Udang Bakar Sari Wangi, Kepiting Bakar Sari Wangi, Ayam Bakar Wong Solo and Daging Sapi Sambal Bajak. At Pondok Sari Wangi the owners know that Bruneians really appreciate good food and unique dining experiences. So whether you’re a regular or a newcomer, you are sure to find the luxurious setting, delectable cuisine and of course, the reasonable prices – simply irresistible!
Pondok Sari Wangi Restaurant
Location: Jerudong Park Food Court