Authentically Filipino using locally sourced artisan ingredients with a great element of contemporary surprise would best depict the kitchen of Jordy Navarra at Toyo Eatery, his restaurant in Makati City, Philippines. The young Filipino chef is a passionate pathfinder of the culinary heritage of the Philippines. After working in the kitchens of three Michelin-starred The Fat Duck in the UK and two Michelin-starred Bo Innovation in Hong Kong, Jordy went back to the Philippines taking with him the the knowledge he has attained through his experiences. He opened Toyo Eatery in 2016 with a quest to take out a cuisine that needed to be showcased in a modern key where he is free to redress something familiar.
Toyo Eatery lies along Chino Roces Avenue in the heart of Makati City. Its sprawling space gives its guests the possibility to choose dining outdoors on its veranda surrounded by plants, or indoors with its tasteful look with acacia wooden tables and concrete. Indoor dining is divided into two floors with the ground floor tables overlooking the large open kitchen.
His kitchen represents the unique characteristics of the Philippines with an emphasis on the selection of local artisan products like Asin Tibuok, the rare sea salt of Bohol made from filtering seawater through ashes of coconut husks. His raw materials are sourced throughout the archipelago based on their exceptional qualities like the tropical fruit tabon-tabon from Butuan, intensely sweet corn of Quezon, the scallops of Antique island, gamet seaweed of Ilocos, tublay lemons of Benguet, gooseberries of Bauko in the Mountain Province, blue crabs from Cebu, mud crab fat from Zamboanga and a host of other seafood from various islands. After all, the Philippines is composed of more than seven thousand islands which are rich in natural tropical resources.
The menu is an exciting list of dishes of popular classic Filipino dishes that are interpreted in innovative ways. There is a broad play on flavors and consistencies with underlined usage of well-sourced raw materials. There is a lot of research and a great mind behind every execution. The presentations are not your typical Filipino style. At Toyo, you see intricate dishes with focus on colors and visual impact and that’s just the beginning – before you get that bite with fully-charged exotic tastes that explode in your mouth.
As part of the starters, his ingenious translation of Puto Bumbong, the classic sweet sticky rice dessert, sends an unexpected saltiness from the grated egg yolk garnish and pork fat and a touch of acidity from the reduced coconut vinegar. There’s also the Siomai Rice served in a bamboo steamer made with fermented black rice, radish, spring onions and chili garlic. And the meeting point of crabs in one explosive bite brightened by the mud crab fat and blue crab meat from different islands.
Sabaw, the burned squash soup with sea urchin from Sorsogon island explores an impeccable concentration of flavors, while the Banana Catsup traverses the different textures and heights of tastes of aubergines and bananas under the classic Filipino favorite, tortang talong (aubergine omelette). A little wrapped bite of the Homemade Buro consisting of grilled dorado, fermented green mangoes, salted egg, fermented rice and crispy anchovies all wrapped inside a fresh oriental mustard. The sweets also get a surprising edge when the Dulce de Leche Chocolate Bonbons are given drops of fish sauce and the Leche Flan Ice Cream sprinkled with grated the smoky salt Asin Tibuok.
Uncovering the treasure trove of Philippine flavors is an unforgettable experience through Toyo’s 8-course tasting menu (€83 or ₱4900) with an option to heighten it with the Beverage Pairing at (€27 or ₱1600). Á la carte proposals are also available between €7 to €19 each dish. The original Craft Cocktails (€6 to €10) are also interesting to explore. You can also rely on the dining staff to complete an impeccable experience at Toyo Eatery.
In the year 2018, Toyo Eatery was given the Miele One To Watch Award and a year later, it was recognized as one of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants and still remained in the current list.
Address: 2316 The Alley at Karrivin Plaza, Chino Roces Extension, 1231 Makati City, Philippines
Tel: +63 9177208630
Opening Hours: Tuesdays to Saturdays, 18:00 to 22:00