Thursday, February 17, 2011

What's in the Toast Box?

I don't know if it was just me that I find it a little odd for the name Toast Box to be associated with Hainanese Chicken. Apparently it’s not the only thing on the menu! Oh how silly was I?!

The Hainanese Chicken was just the icing on top of the cake! They got lots of toasts, teas and coffees. Just by looking at the menu right there and then, I was sold. Toast Box for dinner it is.

Toast Box, under the BreadTalk Group, is from Singapore and has now expanded to this humble country of ours. If you are fond of visiting kopi tiams you may want to try Toast Box.

I was flabbergasted the first time I laid eyes on the interior of their shop. It was brilliant! The immaculately painted white walls give the restaurant a nice clean ambiance. Their chairs and tables are also cozy, just like a big version of a little tea party set.

Panoramic shot of the cafe

It is also a nice touch that they openly display how their TEH TARIK is made. Teh tarik literally means “pulled tea”. The pictures depict how the “pulling” of the tea is made. It's a little bit of showmanship and entertainment as you fall in line for your order.

Isn't she a star?

One thing we noticed about the cashier counter was that the staff there were coordinating orders in a foreign language. My best guess is they were talking in Bahasa Malaysia. It's a minor thing, but it added to the authenticity of the experience.

It’s a minor letdown that the positioning of the cashier counter is not conducive for the guests, due to the limited space. When you approach the counter, there will be instances that you are still undecided of what to order. Since the positioning of the menu board is in front of a small hallway where guests are queuing to order, looking at the menu may cause others to be irritated since you’ll blocking the hallway. A good suggestion is to handout separate handheld menus for guests to be able to decide before falling in line.

Now on to what we ordered:

We had whole Hainanese Chicken, which is good for 4-6 persons. Honestly, we’re a group of four and we were so full after we finished this meal. Hainanese Chicken is cooked by boiling the chicken in broth and ginger. It's a lot like our own chicken tinola but with almost no soup. It also comes with three types of sauces which are ginger, chili, and "rich" soy sauce.

What’s a good dish without rice right? Let me introduce the Hainanese Rice. This is a perfect example of the Filipino saying “Kanin palang ulam na!”

I also tried the Milo Dinosaur, which is basically an iced Milo with Milo powder on top. There is nothing special about this drink and you can easily try this at home.

JM tried the Kopi C: According to in-store literature, this is the product of a new way of brewing coffee, which adds sugar in the process to form a type of glaze. This supposedly reduces the bitterness and aids in releasing more antioxidants from the coffee beans than normal. True enough, Kopi C has a little less bitterness than normal brewed coffee, but is still strong and flavorful. It's certainly unique.

Milo Dinosaurs and Hot and Cold Kopi C

Price-wise I guess their toasts are a little more expensive compared to Kopi Roti, though it is still worth a try. We have yet to try their signature dishes (which they call the Treasures in the Box) especially the Peanut Thick Toast on our next visit!


  1. I've never heard of TOast Box until now. You made it really interesting :) I think we can prepare the Milo Dino in our homes. Is the chicken any good? I guess the rice is pretty darn good since "ulam na" siya at the same time :)

  2. @Chew On This:
    Thanks for the comment!

    The chicken is quite good. It's seasoned lightly, and I think it's deliberately done that way to go with the slightly oily, fragrant rice and so the chicken flavor isn't smothered. The three sauces are there for you to custom-tailor the taste of the chicken.

    MunchPunch reports they have another branch in the northern metro - Trinoma I think :D

    If you remember Horlicks from the 1980s, Toast Box also offers a "Horlicks Dinosaur" drink.

  3. Now I'm really curious to try Hainanese Chicken. A lot of blog posts about it say it's really delicious. Sana may Toast Box na rin dito sa Cebu. :)

  4. @RoSe:
    Thanks for the comment :)

    There are a number of Singapore-style chicken rice places popping up in the metro lately. We'll try to cover what we can. Who knows, it might be worth the trip going here to sample it :)

    In particular, Bon Chon in Ayala Triangle Gardens seems wildly popular.

  5. Thanks for sharing this info. :) I tried toast box before when my mom and I went to Singapore last year. I did not notice that they were also selling Hainanese chicken din pala, hehe.

    I was able to try the peanut thick toast. Ok naman ang taste pero medyo hindi ako comfortable kasi dumidikit yung peanut butter sa teeth ko. :S

    Btw, did you try the pulled tea? I did not have the chance to try so that so I was wondering what it tastes like. :)

    In Makati, there is also a restaurant serving SG style food. The name is 101 Hawker House near Makati Med.

  6. tried it in Singapore and their toasts are good :D i havent tried it in Manila though.

  7. My boss loves HCR and he swears by Toast Box as having the best version in Manila. Will have to swing by GB then! Love your blog!


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