Popolamama claims to be the first fresh pasta and Napoli pizza chain in Indonesia. The name Popolamama came from Italian words popolare and mama which I think means popular mom’s cookings. It was first establised in Japan in 1995 and has recently opened a few branches in Indonesia. Three are already operating, the first one in Sudirman Plaza / Indofood Tower, then Mall Taman Anggrek and the latest is at Grand Indonesia Shopping Town.
I was going to meet my friends in Grand Indonesia last week, so we decided to meet at Popolamama for lunch. The fully non smoking restaurant (Yay!) is nicely designed, with casual and cozy look. It was not too full when we arrived since this was in Ramadhan month and not yet lunch hour. We easily got a table and the waiter handed us the menu. Just like what Popolamama claimed, they serve fresh homemade pasta (not the supermarket-bought dried ones). I noticed that they only offered spaghetti. However, they are many sauces to select from. You can pick tomato based sauce, aglio olio, pesto, carbonara, wafu and bolognese. There are also many selections of savory and sweet pizza.
As usual, we decided to choose several dishes to share. We picked bolognese potato gratin 30K, peperoncino basil pasta with potato and chicken sausage 55K, yokubari aglio olio 72K, wafu soy sauce based pasta with smoked Beef, spinach & rucola 50K, three japanese mushroom pizza 65K and apple cinnamon pizza 55K for dessert.
Honestly, I’d have to say that all of the dishes at Popolamama were just OK. The pasta sauce was tasty, well seasoned, but I couldn’t help notice that the pasta we ordered were slightly overcooked. I felt like I’m eating Chinese noodles instead of Italian “al dente” fresh pasta. I think for fresh pasta, I still prefer Bruschetta at Hotel Borobudur. The mushroom pizza tasted good, but the apple cinnamon pizza was quite disappointing. First, the apple they used lacked crispness and sweetness. Second, they added a huge dollop of whipped cream instead of ice cream. Overall, it reminds me of Pasta de Waraku, just another pizza / pasta chain with a Japanese twist. Some might like it, but it’s not for me.
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