The entrance of Toast
Most of us are always on the hunt for something new, from restaurants to clothes and cosmetics, because we want something, well, new. Time and again a new restaurant will open, build up the hype, but only end up disappointing us because they offer something we’ve had before.
This is not what we’ve experienced at Toast Asian Kitchen & Tasting Room
, simply called Toast. Toast is an Asian fusion restaurant that serves innovative dishes inspired by different Asian cuisine and flavors. They also pride themselves in serving various beers sourced from different parts of the globe. Earlier this month, our team visited them at Ayala Malls The 30th
to conduct an anonymous review.
We asked for GCs so we can dine anonymously.
To make the review as unbiased as possible, we deviated from our usual restaurant feature format, where a representative from the establishment entertains us and gives us free food. Instead, we asked for gift checks from Toast before our visit and used it to ‘pay’ for our food. This way, they won’t know that ShoppersGuide is already conducting a review until after we’ve paid, and we can experience their overall service just like a regular diner.
To give you a taste of what it’s like dining at Toast, here’s our honest review of the overall lunch service. Check out the highs and lows, and decide for yourself if they are worth a visit.
To be honest, when I heard that they serve Asian fusion cuisine, I expected an oriental feel in their interiors. But when we arrived, we discovered that Toast looks more like an upscale Irish pub decorated with a mix of rustic design and traces of art deco. The pendant lightings, the brick walls, and wooden ceiling give the restaurant a masculine vibe which is balanced by the plush sofas.
A display of Toast’s offering of international drinks
Inside, you’ll see that the restaurant seems to be designed for men. It features a long line of liquors displayed in various parts of the restaurant. There are also a couple of flat screen televisions airing NBA matches
and stereos blasting the most recent hip hop and R&B hits.
Although the background music is not fit for the vibe and the time of day, it was still a relaxing afternoon at Toast. The restaurant’s soft lighting gives a nice ambiance, and there are also ample seating options for diners without cramping the space. The chairs per table are varied, thus taking a step away from the generic setup of other restaurants.
Toast’s Tasting Room
For serious alcohol aficionados, Toast also dedicated an area called the ‘Tasting Room’ to give drinkers a unique experience. This room is dedicated for sampling the wide variety of international drinks that diners can buy by the bottle and take home.
Toast serves Asian fusion cuisine that incorporates dishes from Japanese, Korean
, Chinese, and also Filipino origins.
For our order, we decided to mix and match by choosing bestsellers and not-so-famous dishes on the menu. To give you an idea about their offerings, here are some of the dishes that we ordered.
For starters we ordered one of Toast’s yakitori offerings, the Wagyu Cubes, and the Not-Your-Usual-Nachos or NYUN.
Wagyu cubes (PhP175)
We were excited to taste the Wagyu cubes because we read a lot of good reviews about it and we’re curious if all the good things said were true—and they were! The cubes were soft and succulent, it’s almost creamy. There is also the consistent, savory taste of beef in every bite. And although it was grilled, there was no hint of any burnt taste; each piece was nicely charred. Although we noticed that the cubes were not big, especially if you just look at photos without a frame of reference, overall it was a great starter for our lunch.
Not-Your-Usual-Nachos (Solo 295 / Family 495)
Their nachos were good as well. Although NYUN doesn’t differ from the usual nachos elsewhere, its winning point is the amount of serving. We only ordered the ‘solo’ size, but it was already more than enough for three people. The chips also stayed crunchy throughout our meal.
We ordered three of their offerings: Crispy Beef Japchae Noodles, Toast Pasta, and Twice-Cooked Pork with Salted Egg Fried Rice.
Crispy Beef Japchae Noodles (PhP399)
The Crispy Beef Japchae Noodles dish is, personally, unlike any other japchae (Korean stir-fried glass noodles) I’ve ever had. The glass noodles were very flavorful and the sesame flavor hit strong, leaving a subtle aftertaste. The real star of the dish was the overflowing crispy beef toppings. Each piece wasn’t oily, had a nice crunch similar to a chicharon (crispy pork rinds), and tasted like breakfast beef tapa. The only downer was that the serving was a bit small for the price. This item might also work better as a side dish, as it was perfect paired with rice, instead of being a standalone main dish.
Toast Pasta (PhP365)
Since we also wanted to taste their pasta offerings, we got the Toast Pasta. It consisted of linguini pasta, tomato laksa sauce, shrimp and squid, and a side of focaccia bread. The sauce was thick and creamy, with a seafood flavor evident in every bite, and it tasted like there was a hint of alige (crab fat) in it. The other elements were also on point. The linguini was al dente, and the shrimp and squid were not only perfectly cooked but also abundant in the plate. The focaccia bread was a good addition as it helped clean the palate from the pasta’s spicy sauce.
Twice-Cooked Pork with Salted Egg Fried Rice (PhP475)
Our personal favorite was the Twice-Cooked Pork with Salted Egg Fried Rice, which is also one of Toast’s bestseller. The dish was big enough to share for two people and although it looked simple, it was packed with flavor without being too overpowering. The meat, which was tossed in honey and garlic, was tender and soft; it was seared just right to achieve a perfect golden brown color. The honey was well-balanced, giving the pork a hint of sweetness, and the garlic taste was present but not that intense. The crispy fried molo (wonton wrapper) strips on top of the meat were also a nice addition, as they gave the rice a nice crunch.
Finally, we get to the desserts. Toast only serves four types of dessert, and we ordered Salted Egg Crème Brulee and Tapioca and Mango Trifle.
Salted Egg Crème Brulee (PhP125)
We tried the Salted Egg Crème Brulee first. When it was served, we immediately fell in love with the plating. The dish came atop a wooden block, and the presentation made for a great picture moment for our team. Those who do not have a sweet tooth will enjoy this dessert. The caramelized sugar on top cracked nicely and gave the dish a nice texture, and it was also the only source of sweetness in the dessert. The rest of the custard is soft, creamy, and a bit grainy due to the salted egg. It wasn’t sweet like the usual custards and was actually a bit bland.
Tapioca and Mango Trifle (PhP108)
The last one on our table was the Tapioca and Mango Trifle. Another beautifully plated dish, it was served on top of a black painted slab of round wood. The dish is the perfect way to end the meal, as it washed away the savory meals that we’ve eaten. The broas (ladyfingers) on top gave the dessert a slight crunch. Meanwhile, the mango balanced out the dessert by cutting the umay (fed up) factor brought by the sweet condensed milk. The dish was a tad too sweet, but was still a winner overall.
Taking everything into account, we enjoyed our lunch at Toast. The dishes were all good for sharing and were served fast and hot. Although we didn’t get to order any of the drinks, the servers were more than happy to provide us with cold water.
Overall, the dishes were smartly crafted and were able to successfully fusion cuisines in every dish. Toast added menu items you won’t usually find in a typical Asian restaurant and succeeded in still making it Asian. It gives diners the excitement of trying new food and not just a different version of the usual dishes you find in other Asian restaurants.
When it comes to the menu, Toast was concise. It is direct to the point in giving you options based on your preference of meat (chicken, pork, beef, or fish), but is not overflowing with unnecessary menu items. It has various sections (starters, yakitori, mains, etc.) that come with diverse offerings without being overwhelming.
Aside from the regular offerings, the menu also has a kid’s section if a youngster is looking for a familiar taste. Lunch bowls are also offered from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM, perfect for people on the go who are looking for a filling but great-tasting lunch. The only negative thing we noticed about the menu is the lack of options for vegan diners.
The wide variety of drinks offered at Toast’s
Although we weren’t able to try their drinks, we did notice that they have a lot of choices on their menu. They serve wine, hard drinks, and plenty of beer that range from craft beers, to drafts and ales. We also noticed a coffee station in their al fresco dining area for caffeine lovers.
One of the staff members at Toast explaining their rewards program to one of the diners
Toast’s line of staff was amazing. Even before we entered their premises, one of the staff members in front of their restaurant was very proactive in inviting diners to try their offerings. The waiter assigned to us was smart and he took the initiative in suggesting dishes like their bestsellers and must-tries. Although our team already knew about the dishes we’re going to order beforehand, we checked to see if our waiter knew a lot about each, and he was able to answer all our questions.
Another great thing was that there was always a server on standby. Regardless if someone was ordering or not, there were dedicated servers just observing the dining area in case a customer might need help. Before our meal ended, our waiter introduced their rewards program so we could take advantage of their promos and use it the next time we dine at Toast.
We think the prices for the menu items are reasonable and apt considering the overall experience we got. Although some of the items are a bit pricey, the serving size compensates for it since most of dishes are good for sharing. The nice ambience and the amazing staff also make it worth it.
Toast, which is located at Ayala Malls The 30th, is easy to visit since it’s inside a mall. Diners can also take advantage of the mall’s parking area so there’s no need to worry about bringing a car.
The restaurant is located at the ground floor near the outdoor garden, so the al fresco dining area is a nice setting for those who want to enjoy fresh air while eating.
Writer's Rating: TOTAL AVERAGE:
There were many highs during our time at Toast. The impressive menu, the amazing dishes, and the prompt staff make it a worthy stopover!
Although it didn’t bother us that much, the choice of music could be improved. It was lunch time when we visited and the hip hop background is more appropriate if it were played during night time. Dining options for vegans can be improved as well.
Overall, Toast is a great restaurant if you’re looking for something new. They don’t offer the usual dishes you find in other Asian restaurants, and they really stepped up the conceptualization of their menu. You’ll find unique dishes that will make your visit worthwhile because you’re sure to taste something new.
If you’re willing to splurge a little and want to introduce new flavors to your palate, Toast Asian Kitchen & Tasting Room is a good place to try.
Location: Ground Floor, Ayala Malls The 30th, Meralco Ave, Pasig, Metro Manila
Contact Number: (02) 622 4312, 0917 320 3338; firstname.lastname@example.org
Type of Cuisine: Asian fusion
Operating Hours: Mondays through Sundays, 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM and 5:00 PM to 12:30 AM
Payment Type: Cash and card accepted