MANILA – Here’s another reason to visit the recently opened Ayala Malls the 30th along Meralco Avenue.
The new mall is the home of Toast Asian Kitchen & Tasting Room, a restaurant that is all about playful combinations. Some examples: Gyozig or dumplings stuffed with sisig; and Blaksa, or the spicy noodle soup laksa with squid ink.
The mash-ups work quite well, and the dishes are surprisingly affordable considering the quality and portion size. Only a few dishes go beyond the P400 mark, with the rest in the P250 to P400 range.
Accompanying the dishes are cocktails carefully crafted by renowned Singaporean mixologist Jason Gray, each using imported liquor bases and exotic mixers.
“Toast is more than just dining and drinking, it’s about giving you an amazing day and an awesome night,” said Timo Roxas-Chua, one of the owners of Toast.
“We serve the food and beverage you’re looking for, but we definitely aim to give you so much more.”
Here are some of the must-try dishes at Toast, as sampled by ABS-CBN News during the restaurant’s media launch:
1. Wagyu Beef with Chinese Broccoli
The Chinese restaurant mainstay Beef with Broccoli gets a fancy upgrade at Toast, with beef strips replaced with melt-in-your-mouth Wagyu cubes. Expect to order an extra cup of rice – or two – with this tasty teriyaki-flavored dish.
Toast also offers plain Wagyu cubes by the skewer, in case you want to skip the broccoli.
2. Seared Salmon Linguine
The name of this dish sounds ordinary compared to the other items on the menu, but it more than makes up in terms of flavor. The crispy pan-seared salmon is a nice contrast to the nori cream sauce-coated pasta, and the combo makes for a rich and filling main meal.
If you want the flavors of laksa but could not stand the heat, the Blaksa is for you. Squid ink is added not just to tone down the spice level, but also give the broth a brinier flavor.
4. Thai Basil Chicken Poppers
This dish is a great way to start your meal at Toast, with the nuoc mam sauce giving bite-size chicken pieces a sweet and savory finish.
5. Quesong Puti Croquettas
Local white cheese from carabao’s milk is breaded, deep-fried and served with a tomato laksa sauce, resulting in another interesting combination.