Friday, March 18, 2011

Singaporean cuisine at TOAST BOX

Ever since I tried the Hainanese chicken rice at the Marina Mandarin in Singapore with my friend, Edith, I have been looking for good, authentic Hainanese chicken rice here in Manila.. I can still remember the sauces that came with it ---the hot chili sauce, the thick soy sauce and the garlic/ginger sauce that went with the dish--- it was worth every pound I gained dining that night.

Yesterday, Iggy, my son told me that I should try out TOAST BOX at the Greenbelt 5... TOAST BOX is a franchise from Singapore and they had on their menu Hainanese chicken rice. According to Iggy, Toast Box is a sister chain of another favorite bakery of mine, Bread Talk. Toast Box is located on the third floor Greenbelt 5. We decided to meet before noon since the place gets easily filled up. 

As I entered Toast Box, I immediately liked the interiors of the place. The place is just right --- not too big or too small. The furniture was simple and functional, The walls were painted in white and the lighting was in soft yellow. Their menu was posted on the wall behind the cashier. 

Since it was my first time to go to TOAST BOX, I asked Iggy to do the ordering since he loves Malaysian food.

While waiting for our orders -- I was able to watch one of the girls preparing PULLED TEA. Do you know what is PULLED TEA?? It is a very popular drink in Malaysia. The reason why it is called pulled tea is because the drink is achieved by " pulling " the tea from a big container into another container until it is frothy and foamy.

Once the tea is mixed, one has to pour the tea, from as high as possible, and put into another glass. This is done a few times till you get the desired texture. Milk is always mixed with Malaysian tea. You must try Malaysian tea..... According to Iggy, the milk they use when they prepare tea is condensed milk. 

Here was what we ordered.

I had LIMON TEH PING ( Iced Lemon Tea ). My main dish was HAINANESE CHICKEN RICE. What I liked about their Hainanese Chicken Rice is their ginger/garlic sauce. It was the sauce I was looking for... I also noticed that their soy sauce was the thick soy sauce they call KICHAP. The chicken was not bad.... I would have enjoyed it more if they served brown meat instead of white meat.

Iggy ordered TEH-C PING ( Iced tea with skinny milk ). They called it skinny milk because they used evaporated milk instead of condensed milk. If you want your tea plain just say TEH- O. I was able to taste it and it was not as sweet as the one Cris ordered which had condensed milk mixed into her tea. Iggy had for his main dish NASI LEMAK. Nasi Lemak is Fried Chicken with a hint of turmeric served with steamed coconut-pandan flavored chicken rice, fried egg and a siding of sliced cucumbers, peanuts, dilis and sambal.

Cris ordered MILK TEH JELLY. I tried Cris' order.... it was not bad. Tasted like the coffee jelly you order at Starbucks mixed with condensed milk. Her main dish was NASI GORENG. Their Nasi Goreng ( or fried rice ) was rich in flavor and every ingredient put into that dish was perfect. Nasi Goreng is mixed fried rice with fried egg ( which I thought was overcooked ) on the side, as well as dilis and bagoong. I  wondered aloud if the bagoong or shrimp paste they used was Filipino or imported from Singapore. 

Overall, Iggy, Cris and I enjoyed our lunch at Toast Box and we will definitely come back to try out their other dishes...

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