As far as I know, there is only one Indonesian restaurant in Orange County and having said that, Warung Pojok is more a take out/fast food joint rather than a restaurant. I first encountered this place a few years ago when they opened and was really excited about trying the food. I was sick of making Indonesian food at home due to the amount of time it takes to prep and cook it and wanted to be able to buy something when a craving hit without having to slave over a stove for hours.
Needless to say, back then I ended up preferring my own cooking over their’s but recently, an Indonesian friend told me that she had been enjoying some of the dishes she was feeling home sick for at Warung Pojok. This led me to drag a few of my friends down to give them another whirl.
With Priscilla and Selene in tow, we were able to ordered a bunch of things from the steam table as well as a la carte.
The steam table consists of 8-10 items which changes daily. Rendang (coconut beef stew) is always on the menu but I find it needs a few more hours of simmering to reach the tenderness required of a good rendang. The beef chunks were still very hard to bite into. This is one of those dishes I haven’t found any place worthy of and end up having to prep and cook for about 5-6 hours to get it the way I like.
Gule tahu telur udang is fried tofu, egg and shrimp in a coconut sauce, so simple and very appetizing over rice with a bit of sambal terasi (shrimp paste chili sauce) which they will give you if you ask. There are three hot sauces to choose from, sweet, medium and hot. I like the one with the most heat!
Steam table choices come in the form of 1 item ($4.99), 2 items ($5.99) and 3 items ($6.99) and there is a choice of steamed rice or Bihun (stir fried rice vermicelli with vegetables) as a side — or you can have a little of both. I love the vermicelli especially after I’ve put some hot sambal terasi in it.
Overall, I like the variety of what the steam table has to offer and not having to make my own Indo food. I have my favorites including the braised eggplants with onions and peppers which had a lovely acidity to it.
And the baked chicken which is again coconut based, served dry and with a sprinkling of fried shallots.
From the a la carte menu, we chose Satay Ayam (chicken satay) which comes on a plate with lontong (coconut rice cake cubes), pickled vegetables and peanut sauce drizzled all over. I love lontong because I grew up eating it, but Priscilla didn’t care for it much. It wasn’t the best I’ve had because it was a little firmer than what I like but it wasn’t bad either (Chomp Chomp Nation serves lontong as well).
Gado Gado, a salad with peanut dressing uses the same sauce as the satay which I didn’t care for. It was thicker and sweeter than what I am used to and lacked the peanut taste I was looking for. Traditionally, cabbage, bean sprouts and long beans are used along with boiled egg and shrimp chips. Here, they added some kale which was a nice touch, but not authentic.
Mi Ayam Warung Pojok ($6) is a a bowl of noodles often enjoyed as ‘street food’ in Indonesia. The noodles are served dry, traditionally topped with some chicken and mushrooms. Here, chicken and greens are used.
A bowl of piping hot broth is served alongside with Bakso, or beef balls. You can eat it separately, but I like to douse a little broth onto my dry noodles to make a little sauce before eating.
Regardless, I still like the variety they have and when I’m craving and don’t feel like cooking, this is a good place to satiate that hankering. If you’ve never had Indonesian food, this is the best way to try it — it’s cheap, and very satisfying.
13113 Harbor Blvd
Garden Grove, CA 92843