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A playful twist to Asian favorites

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Raise a glass to good vibes and good bites at Toast Asian Kitchen & Tasting Room—Ortigas newest dining hot spot

There’s nothing like a fun trip with a great group of friends, with dozens of Instagram stories and countless memories created.

For long-time friends Timothy Roxas-Chua, Sam Young, Jerene Tan, and their group of friends, it was their travels that gave them the idea to create their own restaurant: Toast Asian Kitchen & Tasting Room.

“We were traveling around Asia and noticed the trend for Asian cuisine. We decided on making a restaurant together with a tasting room — retail store for hard to find liquor — which will complement each other,” said Chua of BGC’s Relik Restaurant and Bar fame.

The Tasting Room is in a separate section, filled with liquor from floor to ceiling. The main restaurant area boasts of a chic yet rustic look, with warm lights and wooden barn tables. Some may find this look a bit intimidating, but that’s definitely not the case for this family-friendly establishment. It took the group a while to find the perfect location – inside the newly opened Ayala Malls at the 30th – but it was well worth the wait.

The selection

Traveling is mostly filled with fun and playful moments — an aspect they perfectly captured for the menu of Toast Asian Kitchen & Tasting Room. The menu is extensive but not overwhelming. Staying true to Asian favorites, the culinary team behind Toast Asian Kitchen was afforded creative freedom to craft Asian treats with their signature twist.

For their signature cocktails, they brought Jason Gray to the Philippines to create a line of cocktails to go with their “playful Asian cuisine.”

Chua suggests the Tokyo Fog Cutter (Monkey Shoulder combined with Umeshu Plum Wine, fresh green apple, passionfruit and citrus), Seoul Searcher (Moscow mule-styled drink with house-made capsicum and ginger tonic, mixed with Reyka Islandic vodka), and of course Jack Sparrow (Sailor jerry with jack fruit, apple & lime juice, pandan syrup, and egg whites).

When asked about his favorites from the menu, Chua answered, “My personal favorite is the Twice-cooked Pork Belly with Salted Egg Fried Rice, Blaksa (their take on the iconic Laksa with squid ink and coconut broth), [and] Gyozig (classic pork sisig wrapped in gyoza drizzled with zesty citrus mayo) — best paired [with] our Jack Sparrow cocktail.”

Here’s what else you should try at Toast Asian Kitchen & Tasting Room:

TOM YUM MEATBALLS

Perfectly seasoned, juicy meatballs smothered in that sweet and tangy Tom Yum sauce and topped with melted cheddar cheese. This is the definition of Asian indulgence. For Pinoys like me who cannot live without rice, they also serve the Tom Yum Rice Bowl — with your choice of rice.

LONGGANISA PASTA

This is probably what good memories taste like. The all-too-nostalgic taste of homemade longganisa (local sausage) filled with garlic and pepper and all that meaty goodness is enough to bring back memories of family breakfasts. The longganisa is tossed with al dente Fusilli pasta and creamy tomato sauce to create one of the best Pinoy-inspired pastas you’ll ever have the privilege of enjoying.

TWICE-COOKED PORK BELLY with SALTED EGG FRIED RICE

For this bestseller, the pork belly is braised then seared to make the fork-tender and oh-so-flavorful dish. Chopped up, it is then tossed in their signature honey-garlic sauce and served on top of the sublimely flavored Salted Egg Fried Rice.

WAGYU BEEF WITH CHINESE BROCCOLI

Hands down — my favorite dish from the entire menu (if forced to choose, with the Longganisa Pasta an extremely close second). The wagyu beef cubes melted in my mouth the moment it touched my tongue and the teriyaki sauce – oh, that teriyaki sauce is nothing like the others I’ve had in the past. It was sweet, peppery, spicy, and savory all at the same time. The sauce definitely made the tender wagyu shine in this dish.

YAKITORI

Since they serve hard-to-find drinks and signature cocktails, and yes, even artisanal beer, you’d be happy to know that they also serve the perfect Yakitori (skewered meat) options to accompany your favorite drink. We highly recommend the wagyu beef cubes (surprise!) and the lip-smacking shrimp.

TAPIOCO AND MANGO TRIFLE

With today’s trend leaning towards indescribably complicated desserts, it was refreshing to be served such a simple dish. The Tapioca and Mango Trifle is proof that simplicity still goes a long way. The tapioca cream pudding is not overwhelmingly sweet, which complements the slices of ripe mango and pieces of crunchy broas.

DARK CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

For hard-core chocoholics, they created this mousse from authentic Batangas tablea and cream, then topped it with chocnut powder.

Toast Asian Kitchen & Tasting Room is located at the ground floor of Ayala Malls at the 30th, Meralco Ave., Ortigas Center, Pasig City. For reservation and inquiries, call (02) 622-4312. Follow them on Facebook @toastkitchenp) and Instagram @toastkitchenph.

 

By CHING DEE

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