I’ve long heard wonderful things about Blue Toba in Ashland and am so glad I finally made it.
This tiny Indonesian restaurant has a short but diverse menu that includes an abundance of amazing vegan dishes. On this visit I was able to sample three items, all delicious.
My favorite (I think) was the opor, a beautiful and mild “candlenut curry” made with shallots, garlic, and other lovely Indonesian spices. Candlenut is described on the menu as most similar to the macadamia nut, and I found this to be very true: it is mild, rich, and buttery. This dish would be perfect if you want to try a classic Indonesian dish but don’t want a lot of spice.
I also loved sampling the urap, a mix of organic spinach, green beans, cabbage, and sprouts in a traditional Balinese sauce. The sauce contains candlenut, ginger, turmeric, and coconut milk — and it, too, is mild to the taste, though a bit spicier than the opor. (If you like spicy, just ask for the condiments, and you can add as much as you want.) Both this dish and the opor were served with a beautiful tumeric, coconut, and lime-leaf rice.
Finally, the mie goreng: This dish is typically very spicy but can be ordered mild. It’s a fantastic medley of fried noodles with myriad vegetables in an Indonesian sauce made to order with as much (or as little) heat as you’d like.
The restaurant is small, with only three tables — the entire place seats no more than 12 people at a time — but takeout is available, and probably half of the people visiting on the day we were there were getting their meals to go.
The owners are friendly, helpful, and lovely; they clearly take great pride in their food and in being able to accommodate whatever dietary preferences you may have. I can’t wait to return and would highly recommend this place, especially for vegetarians and vegans and anyone who loves trying new and exotic dishes.
For more information, visit the Blue Toba website, though there’s much more information available on the restaurant’s Facebook page. You can find the menu here, but note that some dishes (like urap) are new and don’t appear on this menu.