04 April 2011

Pondok Selera ~ Indonesian - Dixon House Food Court - Chinatown

We hit upon a perfect combo of Indo dishes at Pondok Selera in Dixon House Food Court - sweet sate sticks, spicy bbq fish in banana leaves and a cleansing, refreshing oxtail soup.


We are big fans of Pondok Selera, they do cheap, excellent Indonesian street food, with a few Malaysian numbers thrown in for good measure. Every dish we have tried so far has been a winner, and there seems to be plenty of Indonesian customers that agree. There's also a Pondok Selera stall in the Eating World food court, run by the same folks. The dishes do vary between the two stalls so it is worth trying both.

Indonesian oxtail soup - soto buntut - $10.50. A light broth with strong flavours of white pepper and garlic; plus a few chunks of tender beefy meat that you can suck straight off on the bone. If oxtail sounds icky to you, don't worry, it's just like beef.

Satay chicken with rice roll - lontong sate ayam - $9.50. It's great to see sate served with chunky rice cakes as we have had in Indonesia, it turns a snack into a meal. The chook is cut into medium sized hunks (though I do prefer the Mamak \ Kampong Boy slithers) and smothered in a thick sweet sate sauce, delicious mopped up with the rice cakes.

Sliced bbq fish wrapped in banana leaves - ikan pepes - $12. We're suckers for anything wrapped in banana leaves or aluminum foil, this dish has both.

The fish is quite spicy with strong notes of tumeric and coconut and has a fair whack of chili heat. Not super hot, just right. This is a must-try.

The three dishes turn out to be a perfect combo: hot, sweet and savoury. Unlike our fiery feast at Chat Thai the other night which was a combo of hot, hot and hot. We think that ordering is almost as much of an art as cooking.


Nasi campur - $8. Three dishes on rice from the excellent bainmarie-of-love at the front. We go for some ayam goreng (fried chicken), some spicy beans and tofu puffs, and some refreshing English spinach. With the traditional splash of curry sauce on top. Awesome.

Indonesian is one of the world's most underrated cuisines in our bloated opinion. I've eaten my way from Bali to Sumatra and had as many 'wow' eating moments as anywhere in Asia, possibly more. With the world's fourth largest population spread over hundreds of islands there are regional specialties galore. We are so lucky to have a swag of excellent Indonesian street food joints in Sydney, most of them are super cheap. Get into it folks, it's bloody bagus.

[Back again June 2014]

Can't beat the three choices on rice, now $9.30, or $11.30 for four choices. Chili green beans, chicken curry, curry veggies and good old ikan bilis with potato.

Pondok Selera on Urbanspoon


  1. Loving these Dixon food court posts; makes me want to go right now! :-)

  2. Hey Shawn and Alison!
    Just want to ask you guys, ever heard of "1945" ?
    Its an Indonesian restaurant up in pyrmont

  3. Ah yes - 1945 is on our "to eat" list, it sounds wonderful :-)

  4. I so love Indonesian food, it is like Malaysian food so packed with flavour. I love all the crispy fried shallots on everything too.

  5. One of my favourites in Dixon House too, this is one of the stalwarts it seems, whilst other stalls come and go Pondok Selera and a couple of others have been open for yonks (well since at least the early 2000s, as long as i've been going there).

    On a side note, how long has there been a food court at Dixon House and has it always been Chinese/Asian?

    1. We believe it has been going since the early 1980's when Dixon St and the current location of Chinatown was really established in Sydney. We are keen to know more, perhaps some detective work is in order. If only they had blogs in the 80's...

  6. I have been going here since 2004...I was a uni student and this was my go to place as it was the closest to Sri Lankan cusine..the last time i had gone there I think was in 2018 ( or 2017) and was so happy...returned back a few days ago but it had been shut..and my heart( and stomach) skipped a few beats out of sadness

  7. He still has his other stall in Eating World as of last week.


Thanks for your comment joy - please keep your musings happy - if you want to complain about a restaurant please do it on a restaurant review site (or your own blog) - we're all about celebrating cultural diversity and the great eats that come along with it :-)

Our ethics: We pay for all our own meals and travel (though sometimes Mum shouts us).