Hello, Toast Asian Kitchen and Tasting Room.
This new addition to the growing list of restaurants around the area charmed me in an instant. I was greeted by the friendly staff who ushered me to my seat as I admire the restaurant's picturesque interiors that would make you think of this Asian restaurant as a steak or tapas place.
The Thai Basil Chicken Poppers (PHP228) was hit. The mildy spiced bite-size chicken balls were absolutely addicting. Its nuoc mam and basil flavors were bold yet not cloying making it a great appetizer or bar chow.
I've never enjoyed tom yum as an appetizer. In fact, I don't like it at all as I always find it too spicy. However, Toast's Tom Yum Meatballs (PHP249) made me think twice about my not so good relationship with tom yum. This plate of three huge succulent meatballs smothered with tom yum sauce and melted cheddar cheese was fantastic. I love the blend of the thai spices and cheese with the meat. And the best part is that I didn't find it spicy at all.
One of Toast's bestsellers is its Twice-cooked Pork with Salted Egg Fried Rice (PHP475) and it's not hard to understand why. It was really good. Think of your usual pork chop but braised and seared in honey and garlic for that tender and flavorful end result. But what I loved most about it was the contrast and balance of sweet and salty flavors. (I might be a bit biased here though as I am a hardcore garlic lover.)
Toast's Blaksa (PHP355) was another favorite of mine during my visit. This Singaporean Laksa with squid ink gave its coconut broth a richer taste.
However, be careful with pouring too much squid ink as it might turn the broth a bit too salty.
In fact, R's parents preferred the bowl without the squid ink.
If you're inclined to sweet dishes, you'd surely like the Wagyu Beef with Chinese Broccoli (PHP665). Each bite of the tender wagyu cubes swimming in teriyaki sauce would tickle your sweet tooth. Make sure that each spoonful has some broccoli for that delectable crunch.
And what's an Asian restaurant without Filipino cuisine? Toast also offers Longganisa Pasta (PHP349) which is good for sharing. This bowl of fusilli pasta is topped with fried longganisa in tomato sauce and paired with focaccia bread. Though it was my least favorite among the mains, it was still pretty good. The pasta was al dente and the harmonious blend of sweet and tangy flavors would delight anyone who's fond of red sauce pasta.
If you're not fond of heavy meals, you could opt to try Toast's yakitori or skewers. We sampled its Chicken Wings (PHP59), Wagyu Cubes (PHP175) and Pork Belly (PHP65).
All skewers had teriyaki sauce but you may also opt to choose soy baste for your sticks.
If I were to choose my favorite among the three skewers, I'd go with wagyu. But the wings and pork belly came in very close.
For drinks, we had Raspberry Iced Tea (PHP68) and cocktails Jack Sparrow (PHP365) and Mr. Miyagi (price not on the menu).
I loved the Raspberry Iced Tea as it was not that sweet and served as a great thirst quencher.
Jack Sparrow was great too and would be loved by jack fruit lovers. It also has apple and lime juice, pandan syrup and egg whites. I let the crushed ice melt a bit before I took my first sip to avoid the strong alcohol taste.
Mr. Miyagi, a sake-based cocktail, was too strong for my liking. I only took a tiny sip and let R finish it. This one though would go so well with the meats.
To cap our meal, we had Dark Chocolate Mousse (PHP128) and Tapioca and Mango Trifle (PHP108).
The Dark Chocolate Mousse won me over with its bittersweet Batangas tablea. I love how dark it was which was beautifully enhanced and balanced by cream and chocnut powder.
The Tapioca and Mango Trifle was a bit too sweet for my liking but I liked it slight chewy texture.
Toast Asian Kitchen and Tasting Room is locaed at Ground Floor, Ayala Malls the 30th, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City. It is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 12 midnight.