Puji Puji made its name at the now-defunct Oriental City complex in Colindale. Its new location is a rather unlikely setting for a Malaysian restaurant; the redwood tree trunks, and decking for alfresco dining, are clearly visible from busy Balls Pond Road. Inside, the sparely decorated room, with brown tiled flooring and cut-price furnishings, is overshadowed by a hardwood satay bar. Batik fabrics and a crimson wall and lampshades inject much-needed colour. From the wide-ranging menu, we started with chicken satay, which was overcooked and dry, although the peanut sauce was well made. The same sauce helped to boost a tohu sumbat (beancurd loosely stuffed with sliced raw carrots and beansprouts). Flaky roti canai was much better, but the flavour of the beef rendang was muffled and somewhat anglicised. That most pungent fruit, durian, arrived as an exaggeratedly sweet and wan mousse, and the teh tarik (‘stretched tea’) was too watery for our taste. Service is well intentioned yet rather slow. ‘Puji’ means ‘praise’ in Malay, but there’s possibly too much self-praise here. Note that this is a cash-only venue, with a BYO policy.
|Venue name:||Puji Puji||Contact:|
122 Balls Pond Road
|Opening hours:||Dinner served 6.30-10.30pm daily.|
|Transport:||Tube: Canonbury or Dalston Kingsland rail|
|Price:||Main courses £3.50-£7. Set lunch £3.50-£5, 2 courses. Unlicensed. Corkage no charge.|
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