For seafood enthusiasts, the name Pondok Aroma Laut likely brings back memories of a popular restaurant in Cideng, Jakarta, during the early 2000s. However, this legendary establishment has undergone a rebranding and has now reopened in the Mega Kuningan district of Jakarta under the new name “From The Sea.”
A Fusion of Tradition and Innovation
From The Sea not only continues the tradition of offering exceptional seafood, a hallmark of Makassar cuisine from Pondok Aroma Laut, but also introduces innovative seafood dishes and other Indonesian culinary delights.
Located in the heart of the city and embraced as a new hangout spot by the younger generation, From The Sea’s prime location at One Satrio in South Jakarta makes it easily accessible and a top choice for both lunch and dinner.
Versatile Dining Spaces
The restaurant offers several dining options, including indoor and outdoor seating. It also provides private rooms accommodating 6-8 guests and a VVIP or semi-outdoor space for 12-15 guests.
Dining in the outdoor area at night offers a unique experience, with a backdrop of the illuminated Jakarta business district skyline, creating a serene ambiance. Our team had the opportunity to sample some of the new menu items offered by From The Sea during the evening.
Starting with appetizers, we enjoyed crispy mushrooms and salted chili tofu. The combination of fried oyster mushrooms coated in crispy batter provided a delightful crunch. Meanwhile, the salted chili tofu offered a contrasting texture of crispy exterior and tender interior, enhanced by its savory and spicy flavors, catering to spice enthusiasts.
Exploring a Seafood Extravaganza
Moving on to the main course, our team explored several dishes. First, the Hong Kong-style steamed grouper, featuring tender and flavorful fish with hints of saltiness, umami, sweetness, and the aromatic touch of Hong Kong-style sauce, which remained perfectly balanced and paired well with hot rice.
Next up was the spicy basil leaf fish, a delectable fusion of chili, ginger, basil, and the distinctive spices of Indonesian “rica” sauce, creating a delightful blend of spiciness and savory goodness. The seasoning on the deep-fried fts snapper (one of their signature fried dishes) permeated the fish, enhancing its flavor, and became even more satisfying when paired with the restaurant’s selection of sambal. It’s worth noting that From The Sea offers a chili station with a variety of sambal options for diners.
New Additions to the Menu
One of the new additions to From The Sea’s menu is the Singapore chili crab, a dish not previously found at Pondok Aroma Laut. Guests can choose the crab size to suit their preferences when visiting the restaurant.
Additionally, the grilled giant freshwater prawns at From The Sea are a must-try. These prawns boast juicy and flavorful meat, with a deliciously savory and well-absorbed marinade. On the soup front, there’s a new addition: pineapple fish soup. The fresh fish combined with the refreshing and savory pineapple-spiced broth offers a delightful burst of flavors.
Indonesian Culinary Treasures
Exploring the new Indonesian menu, we sampled the red fried rice and nasi campur dewata. The “red” in the red fried rice comes from the tomato sauce, providing a unique and delicious twist to the dish. The plecing kangkung (water spinach salad) in the nasi campur dewata was refreshingly crisp, and the plecing sambal added the perfect amount of heat. The sate lilit (Balinese-style minced seafood satay) offered a distinct and delightful flavor compared to traditional Balinese sate lilit.
To conclude our culinary journey, we indulged in es pisang ijo, a sweet and refreshing dessert. One of the highlights of this dessert is the tender and sweet mung bean porridge that complements the flavors beautifully.
From The Sea’s manager, Reza Nugroho, shared that the restaurant, which opened in June 2023, operates from 11:00 AM to 9:30 PM (WIB). Many former seafood lovers from Pondok Aroma Laut have returned to become regular patrons of From The Sea.
Accessible and Affordable
“It’s recommended to visit during the weekends as it’s not too crowded. Plus, the service is quicker. Weekends are perfect for family gatherings. However, weekdays, especially in the late afternoon leading into the evening, while enjoying the city view, are highly recommended,” Reza stated.
Guests can either make reservations or walk in at From The Sea. The cost of dining at From The Sea depends on the menu items chosen by customers.