Sunday, February 11, 2018

Dodee Paidang, The Next Level of Thai Noodle and Tom Yum Soup

Recently I felt like Jakarta citizens had been getting more creative and more opportunist at the same time, where people competed to bring in the food chains and restaurant brands which had been proven successful in other cities and even other countries. Tons of them could be called out and I would probably not be able to stop when I mentioned all the brands one by one. Dodee Paidang was just one of them, being carried all the way from Sydney to our beloved capital city. Having gotten the chance to try the original one right at the headquarter and fell in love with it at the first trial, you could imagine how my heart skipped a beat hearing it’s now available here! No more freezing queue in the middle of the cold and extremely windy spring days in Sydney (yep, that’s exactly my premiere experience stuck in the long queue in front of the outlet!). 

I was at first like ‘ohhh why West Jakarta, the area I wouldn’t touch except there’s something particular I was looking for, simply because I hated the traffic’. Nonetheless Dodee apparently gave me no option as they only had one outlet for now. I finally managed going to Puri to fulfill my long-unsatisfied craving.  

Looking at the outer appearance, it might look more like a Chinese than a Thai restaurant, with red-dominated theme and all the busy ornaments. Except if you recognized that the characters written on the walls were in Thai, you might not notice this was a Thai resto. My friend even initially misread the name as Padang and mistakenly thought it’s a restaurant from West Sumatera, before I finally told him it’s this infamous Dodee I’d been sharing earlier. 

The capacity’s just like typical restaurant in Puri Indah mall, and thus with the crowd due to both weekend and its recent opening, we had to expect quite long queue before being able to get vacant seats. Being into the struggle, I hoped it’s as good as I wished. 

Thai Milk Coffee (IDR 20k)

Quenching the thirst as well as melting the  irritation due to the waiting time, we started with the signature cold drinks, giving a try on both the coffee and the tea. Requesting the coffee to come with less ice, it’s surprisingly turned out too sweet. Fortunately the taste was okay, with medium-bodied beans, giving not too milky flavor. 

Red Thai Tea (IDR 20k)
The second was surely a better one, though I wouldn’t nominate it as the best of a kind. But at least, it came as a cure to the disappointment on the first one with right sweetness level. 

Actually it supposed to be still in promo period, where we could get free thai tea/coffee by following the IG account, posting photos and tag some friends. We expected this would be it, nevertheless the waitress mentioned that we couldn’t consider one of earlier orders as free one and had to order extra one as the free item. Well yeah, wouldn’t comment more. 

Keawza (IDR 48k)

Rather than falling too deep into the complaints, let’s enjoy the dish and get the tummy satisfied. Some might think this was appetizer while the rest got it as side dish. Describing it in easier way, it’s DoDee’s signature tom yum soup with flawlessly boiled wontons, an awesome choice if you opted for lighter dish, or you just wanted your main dish to have ‘merrier’ companions. The price might be similar to the main courses, but you needn’t worry as they’re quite generous in the portion. The fillings stuffed in the wontons were flavorful and the wontons skin was soft and literally melt in your mouth.

Crispy Pork with Prik Khing (IDR 59k)
This rice-based dish belonged to my friend who couldn't resist that glazing pork as shown in the picture put on the menu. Yes, those sinful yet indulging stir fried crispy pork belly, cooked together with green beans and chili in Thai dried red curry sauce called as Prik Khing. Some of you who might have the same perception as me, who previously saw this looked like sauteed green beans in X.O sauce. 

I had a spoon of the dish and for me the pork belly was well-executed as the bottom layer was juicy and tender, while the pork layer was deliciously crunchy; a combination that you would always demand for any stir fried pork belly. The sauce was scrumptious with pepper and chili flavors infused in it. If I could have the chance to give inputs, I would surely ask for softer and slightly mushier rice. 

Soft Boiled Rice with Combination of Pork (IDR 48k)

If the earlier rice-based dish was a dry one, this was the soupy one, with the rice and meat being soaked into the soup. Well, in the middle of cold rainy day this would be a perfect choice for sure. But as my visit time was a hot sunny day, that's why this order wasn't belong to me but my friend instead. However, as sharing is caring, I definitely tried this 'all-pork-in-one-bowl' dish as well. Yes, it literally mixed various components, which were all made of pork, including pork meatballs, minced pork, sliced  pork, and many more. If you're a hardcore pork lover, this bowl couldn't suit you better as you could have all you wish for, delivered in a single portion. You would have yourself spoiled by different taste and different texture, which you could enjoy in one chew. 

DoDee Lava (IDR 48k)
Woohoo! We’re now reaching the climax, DoDee’s most favorite selections, the first reason making me visit Dodee in Sydney and the top reason making me coming to the outlet in Jakarta, the Thai noodles!! If earlier I hadn’t explained much on the tom yum soup, yeah it’s basically the specialty of the house, which got the guests highly addicted. Despite that I still thought that the original one I tried earlier tasted better with richer spices and stronger flavor, this was surely not bad and was merit enough to fulfill my longing on this spicy and sour soup. For my palate it’s different to common tom yum as Dodee’s recipe had that extra kick with thicker flavor. It might hard for me to describe in words, so experiencing it yourself would be the best option; just one thing, trust me it's luscious till the very last drop.  

If you’re intolerant to spicy dishes, they did come in various levels and basically most of the variants called out on the menu were simply different levels of spiciness coming from the same base of tom-yum soup. My pick this time, the lava one, was a moderate version at level 3. I myself perceived this as the right level since I couldn’t hold the higher one, while lower version was quite too mild for my taste bud. Beware if at the first spoon you said it's not spicy as the more you ate, I thought the more you would feel the burnt on the tongue (for sure in a content way).

As for the noodles, the options given were quite various, starting from flat rice noodles, glass noodles, rice noodles, bee hoon, egg noodles, and instant noodles. My top pick would be flat rice noodles, kinda similar to kway teow but came in narrower shape, with soft and pleasantly chewy texture. Not stopping there, I was delighted by the fact that they're not niggard  in serving the toppings. I guessed from the picture you could also see that it's overflowing till you could barely spot the noodles :p. Last nice fact, it's not only the broth that's flavorful, but the toppings did enrich the overall taste of the dish. 

It's quite a pity that I had to tell you I had no chance to try the dynamic dessert duo of Dodee here, Fried Bread with Pandan Custard and Mango Sticky Rice as they were both sold out *deep deep deep frowned*!! I still could clearly remember my premiere visit to Dodee, where I could clearly see there's no single table having no Fried Bread. It seemed to be a mandatory finishing dish there and when I tried it, I could completely understand why. I'd already pictured in my mind having that golden brown bread with the sweet and moist pandan custard, yet I sadly had to finish my dining session with drinks only :(. Hopefully on my next visit I could get this heaven on earth :)

Taste: 7/10
Place: 6.5/10
Service: 6/10
Price: 7/10

Thanks for reading! :)

Address: Puri Indah Mall  GF #071, Jakarta
Phone: (+62 21) 582 2359
Operating Hours: Mon - Sun 10am - 10pm

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