Organic Central Java

3 Feb

As a disclaimer I am not a food critic nor do I normally use my blog as a vehicle for promotion however it is very rare that I find a place that is deserving of such praise.

When my friend suggested we travel 100km each way from Salatiga to Yogyakarta for dinner at a restaurant she likes I was keen for a bit of an adventure however when she mentioned it was a vegetarian restaurant I was somewhat wary being a lover of all things which are considered meat products. However after a day of batik shopping in Solo and sampling Kopi Luwak the most expensive coffee in the world taken from the faeces of a Civet, I made the journey to Yogya and to the restaurant.

Milas or Mimpi Lama Sekali is not just a restaurant. It encompasses a community project, youth training centre and organic garden. In a country where food tends to be high in flavour and low in nutritional value offering fresh, organic produce is a feat in itself.

IMG_0757Arriving we took up position in a small bamboo hut surro unded by lush, tropical gardens and we decided to sample the menu of fresh juices while awaiting our other friend’s arrival from Jakarta. It made me wonder why in such an agriculturally focused nation, there is not more of a focus on fresh, unflavoured vegetables. For example when I ordered a mango juice, something I have been drinking a few times a week at cafes in Salatiga, I was informed that mangos aren’t currently in season and left me curious as to where all this mango juice was coming from.

The time came to order food and we started with what would be one of the best bruchettas I have ever eaten. It may have been the fact that I have only had sugar rich bread or have been craving cheese for three weeks but the idea of a baguette, fresh tomato and organic basil and cheese was a godsend. For the main I decided to try the guacamole taco and while it more resembled a curry puff than your stereotypical Mexican snack, it featured fresh tomato and avocado. The fact that it had avocado in it’s natural form as opposed to in juice mixed with chocolate restored my faith in Indonesian cuisine a little bit. Other items included pasta with pesto and brown rice forming just a glimpse of the extensive menu which is offered at Milas. All items are free of preservatives as the focus truly is on organic produce.

After eating we browsed the giftshop which offered a selection of handicrafts and organic products made by students at the youth program. We ended up spending more money here than on food investing in items such as fisherman’s pants and organic soaps. Very content with the experience that was Milas we all had a nap in the long taxi ride back to Salatiga. IMG_0758

Milas represents a concept which would be of great benefit to not just Indonesia but many Western nations. With obesity and poor nutrition plaguing a great deal of the world, the idea of providing good, healthy food at a reasonable price while at the same time putting back into the community is genius. I believe that Milas is taking a bold step to break into an untapped market in the Indonesian culinary world and hope they are able to turn this into a truly successful venture.

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