If you like Indonesian food, you would’ve for sure heard about Pinos Warung in Camden Market. The humble stall has gained a lot of popularity for its homely and authentic Indonesian food, including bakso, rendang, gado-gado, etc. Following its success, Pino Edwards, founder of Pinos Warung, has opened up a sister restaurant called Toba in central London to bring Indonesian cuisine more into the spotlight.
Quietly tucked away at St Jame’s Market in Piccadilly Circus, Toba restaurant takes over the spot where Michelin-starred Ikoyi used to be and joins the other snazzy restaurant line-ups in the area. It’s an intimate space, with pastel-coloured walls adorned with traditional decor and warm dim lighting that really sets the mood. While Pinos Warung is a street food stall, Toba clearly aims for a different clientele and fits right into the trendy London dining hot spots.
Toba London: Traditional Halal Indonesian Food with a Modern Twist
The name “Toba” is a nod to Lake Toba, a beautiful lake located in North Sumatra of Indonesia, which is also where Pino’s originally from. Its menu is inspired by Pino’s late mother’s recipes, showcasing a variety of regional classics including Javanese, Balinese, Betawi, Minang, etc. They are all traditional Indonesian dishes, but elevated with a modern twist.
All meats served are halal at Toba Restaurant. No pork but alcohol is served at the restaurant.
The Food at Toba (what we ordered)
Date of visit: March 2023
- Sate Ayam (£11.50)
- Perkedel Kentang (£7)
- Rendang (£16.50)
- Rice (£4)
- Mie Tek Tek Jawa (£14)
- Dadar Gulung (£8)
- Jasmine Tea (£4.50)
Sate Ayam (£11.50)
Our meal started with a bang with these Indonesian chicken satay skewers. Each portion comes in four skewers, which are generously slathered with their homemade peanut sauce and topped with crispy fried shallots. The chicken skewers carried a robust chargrilled taste with a lightly sweet undertone. They were already incredibly delicious on their own but the real star was definitely the sauce. Featuring a mildly sweet flavour but packed with umami, the peanut sauce was an addictive one, to say the least.
Perkedel Kentang (£7)
Next, we had the Indonesian fried potato patties, which come in three pieces per portion. They’re lightly crispy on the outside and firmly packed with mashed potatoes on the inside. I felt that the patties were a little dry at the centre but that can be saved by the spicy sambal served on the side, which got a good kick of heat to perk up the flavours.
Beef rendang is one of the top dishes at Pinos Warung and it totally lived up to expectations here as well at Toba Restaurant. This iconic slow-cooked beef in aromatic spiced coconut featured some exceptionally rich & moreish flavours with a tingle of heat. It was fireworks on the palate and really hit the spot on every aspect. We had it with a big bowl of steamed rice (£4) on the side and it couldn’t get more satisfying than this.
Mie Tek Tek Jawa (£14)
Another main dish we got was the fried noodles Toba style with chicken & beef bakso meatballs. The humble-looking noodle stir-fry was no short of mesmerising flavours. It’s essentially like a Mi Goreng and has a tantalising kick of spice. The heat level was just right to get your palate going, give a good punch of oomph, and leave you to keep wanting more.
Dadar Gulung (£8)
For desserts, we were delighted to find that they have these classic Pandan coconut crepe rolls on the menu. The vibrantly green-coloured crepe rolls were generously stuffed with desiccated coconut & palm sugar filling. It’s not too sweet and carried a lot of texture at each bite. We washed it all down with a massive cup of hot Jasmine Tea (£4.50).
Restaurant Review Summary
It brings me absolute joy that there is an Indonesian restaurant breaking into the London dining scene. All in all, the food had been good at Toba Restaurant, though some of the portion sizes are on the smaller end. Standout dishes certainly include beef rendang and chicken satay skewers, which both are a great representation of Indonesian cuisine. The service throughout the evening had been friendly and attentive. Our water glasses were never empty throughout the entire evening and the staff were always happy to explain the menu to us and answer any questions. It’s been a great overall dining experience and I can’t wait to see Toba grow and establish popularity in town!
All meats served are halal at Toba.
Looking for more halal-friendly restaurants in the area? Check these out too:
Tel: 020 7839 8659
Nearest station: Picadilly Circus