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Filipino Flavours

June 06, 2016

Manila may enjoy a hot climate, but every time we check out the dining scene it just gets cooler! Toyo is the latest addition to the party, another off-the-beaten-track Makati eatery that is well worth hunting down. Launched in March 2016, it may be named after a humble condiment (soy sauce, no less), but this bold flavour-pusher promises to raise the game for Filipino food, pushing the limits of local cuisine.

Chef Jordy Navarra (formerly at Black Sheep) is back and on a gastronomic mission here, defying expectations with crowd-pleasers such as charcoal-grilled belly and loin of bangus (milkfish) on a bed of spinach, finished with fish sauce and charred chilli. Desserts include delicious dulce de leche bonbons. This informal affair aims to keep things simple, with local ingredients and a short menu of à la carte choices, plus a sharply edited tasting menu. Wet your whistle with cocktails masterminded by David Ong (The Curator).

Style fans will be licking their lips too, with low-key lighting and a graphic logo ensuring a savvy welcome. The minimal but accessible dining room, housed in a row of up-and-coming retail spaces dubbed The Alley, is all clean-lined, raw concrete surfaces and sleek wood chairs and tables, with industrial pendant lights. The open kitchen and lofty ceilings make this an inviting spot though, in keeping with the country’s spirit of hospitality. Just add toyo!

2316 Chino Roces Ave / Makati / +63 917 720 8630 / dinner Tue-Sat /