Toast Asian Kitchen Serves up Regional Favorites with a Twist: Ish Eats Asian Fusion

One word: WAGYU.

I hate food trends. If I hear about another restaurant introducing a salted egg dish, I’m going to puke. However, one food trend that I’m not complaining about is the recent proliferation of places that offer Wagyu beef.

In a recent visit to TOAST ASIAN KITCHEN in Ayala Malls The 30th, I got to try not one, but three iterations of the beloved Japanese delicacy.

First up, we tried Wagyu cubes yakitori-style. This is a familiar way to serve this tender cut of beef. We had it basted in soy sauce as well as in teriyaki sauce. I liked the teriyaki sauce better this time, even though some would say that Wagyu only really needs a dash of salt and pepper.

I also enjoyed the pork belly skewers (butabara). However, sitting next to the Wagyu cubes, they paled in comparison hehe.

Yakitori 2-ways (soy and teriyaki baste): Top: Wagyu cubes Php175.00, Bottom right: Shrimps Php165, Bottom left: Pork Belly Php65.

After having our fill of  yakitori, we just had to keep going. Next on the table are the Wagyu Cubes with Chinese Broccoli. Adding some vegetables and turning it into a nice stir-fry dish is a nice variation. It’s still good but I’m always going to choose the taste of grilled meat over anything else. Also, I found this a bit pricey at Php665 vs. the Wagyu Yakitori at Php175 per stick (5 cubes).

Wagyu Beef with Chinese Broccoli Php665.00)

Moving on from all the Wagyu madness, let me tell you about the rest of the meal. For starters, we had the TOAST SALAD and some small plates.

The salad itself is fairly basic. It’s a mix of greens, onions, green mangoes and cilantro topped with crispy vermicelli noodles. The peanut and shrimp paste vinaigrette is tasty and light. If you’re eating it as a starter or a side, this is perfect. However, I am a fan of salads that can stand alone as a light lunch. Next time, I will try their Chicken and Pomelo Salad to see if it can suffice as a quick and healthy meal in itself.

Toast Salad Php188.00

Next up were the small plates. Our group shared some Tom Yum Meatballs, Quesong Puti Croquettes and Thai Basil Chicken Poppers. The chicken poppers were a big hit. Think of this: deep fried crispy chicken skin covered in a sweet, soy-based glaze. I know it’s supposed to be a Thai Basil glaze but it tasted very Korean to me. That is not a bad thing, I’m telling you. Who cares about what it’s called.

Thai Basil Chicken Poppers Php228.00
Tom Yum Meatballs Php249.00
Quesong Puti Croquettes Php299.00)

The Quesong Puti Croquettes were also very good but I would personally prefer a different dipping sauce. This one came with a tomato laksa sauce that didn’t really work for me. I ate the croquettes on their own and tartness of the local Kesong Puti was good enough without the tomato-laksa flavor. (Maybe a creamy garlic aioli would work well with this?)

Moving on to our mains, let me start with the Seared Salmon Linguini. Apart from being very critical about food trends,  another thing that I’m very particular about is my pasta. Luckily, even though this is an Asian restaurant, the linguini served here was perfectly al dente. The hefty chunk of salmon was cooked well and delicately flavored. However, the pasta could have used a bit more seasoning to complement the fish.

Seared Salmon Linguini Php449.00

After the pasta, we went all out and also tried a good noodle soup. Toast’s Blacksa is a version of the popular laksa found primarily in Malaysia and Singapore. This one is enhanced with black squid ink. Therefore…Blacksa. Get it? Get it?

The familiar laksa flavors were definitely there, just make sure to mix the dish before digging in since the spices tend to settle. If you stir it up, you won’t end up with a stronger soup towards the end of your meal.

Blacksa Php355.00

Since we were craving for more carbs, it was time for some Hainanese Chicken Rice. This is an Asian favorite and I’m glad that they didn’t really deconstruct it or change it up so much. When it comes to food, I am a firm believer of the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”philosophy. The serving is good enough for two girls with a petite appetite but if you’re famished and ready to eat construction-worker style, then by all means, don’t share.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Php459.00

Since we were a big group, we were lucky enough to sample more than one rice dish. Thank God we were eating family-style. My personal favorite (apart from the default Wagyu cubes) would have to be the Twice Cooked Pork with Salted Egg Fried Rice.

The pork melts in your mouth and the perfect ratio of meat against the fat was just divine. The richness of the pork worked well with the fried rice and I can see why this dish is one of  the best sellers.

Twice Cooked Pork with Salted Egg Fried Rice Php475.00

Now it’s finally time for dessert! We had a Dark Chocolate Mousse and a Tapioca Mango Trifle. I almost never choose the fruit dish over the chocolate dessert but this time, I think the Tapioca Mango Trifle was the better option. The dish highlights the sweet Philippine mango (the best in the world) and was the perfect Asian dessert to end the meal.

Mango trifle

As an added bonus, I was very pleased to discover the MIYAGI cocktail. A drink named after the Japanese side of my family! Yey!

Miyagi Cocktail

Toast also has a fully-stocked bar and they serve up some delicious and POTENT cocktails! The MIYAGI is a mix of Japanese sake and white tequila. I suggested a tweak by changing the tequila to a Japanese whiskey instead. While I liked the drink as it was, I felt that the taste of tequila (very Mexican) drew the attention away from the Japanese essence of the drink. I spoke to the bartender and he promised to consider my suggestion so let’s see.

Location: Ground Floor, Ayala Malls The 30th, Meralco Avenue, Ugong, Pasig City
Toast Asian Kitchen & Tasting Room Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato