Cebu Secret Chows: Chez Toztar -- FIRST and ONLY Organic Hydroponic Garden-Themed Resto in Cebu!

          I read from Hydroponics and Organics blog about the first and only hydroponic-themed resto in Cebu and I couldn't wait to check it out. I was so excited I didn't bother acquainting myself well enough with the given map of the blog post or even the name of the resto! But Cebu's small enough to get around anyway. A little adventure wouldn't hurt. 

          I had my trusty foodie partner, Luis, join me for the adventure. We both just walked around the corner of Joven's Grill at Capitol and he figured it would most likely be located at Orchid St., the breeding ground of home restaurants at Capitol. And he was right! We found it across Yayoy's Grill with the affirmation of the hydrogarden tarp on the gate. A waitress was also stationed outside to welcome customers.
the organic hydrogarden 

             This resto is owned by Chef Willester Yap. It uses the fresh organic produce of its garden in its menu so you're assured of fresh, quality organic herbs in your dishes and you can even buy some potted herbs here! This is also like a sub-outlet of Ms. Ulyssa Torbiso, the young passionate entrepreneur and pioneer of hydroponic gardening in Cebu. You can contact her through her blog: Hydroponics and Organics. She is an inspiration to me and coincidentally goes to the same university (University of San Carlos) as I do. She developed her own hydroponic garden at home and worked for its success until she introduced it to the market through her blog and business fairs in the university.  

basic black and white-themed interiors

          The interiors of the home restaurant have a simple theme of basic hues -- black, white and grey -- and the place also looked clean. I liked the plates because blue is my fave color. The place was really small, seating only approximately 30-35 people. It was not so cool inside because the air conditioner was on low setting aided by an electric fan. In consideration, there were just two tables of customers (including us). 

from the Babe's perspective :)

               The menu was quite extensive, offering international and local fusion cuisine. Since the resto claims to be a 'House of Roasts', I wanted to try their roasted dishes but I yielded to Luis' preference of the cheesy deep fried pork belly in teriyaki sauce. He was intrigued by the pairing of cheese and teriyaki sauce. I also wanted to try the Seafood Thermidor and Beef Kansi (a hybrid of pochero and sinigang -- something I've tried in Bacolod once) but we only wanted a light lunch. We added the exotic green tea salad to our order since we wanted to try something from the garden. 

            From the menu, I discovered that the resto offered unique and interesting items. They were particularly proud of their home-made flavored sodas which they showed in a table illustration has less calories and sugar than regular sodas in the market. I got the lemon strawberry green tea flavor and Luis just had cola. 

             Indeed, it was less sweeter than regular soda. I was also surprised by the big serving and the unusual use of a carafe as the glass. Felt like drinking from a vase. Haha.  

their home-made flavored sodas: lemon strawberry green tea (mine) and cola (Luis) - 50 php each

Exotic Green Tea Salad    140 php
             hand-picked organic green tea leaves, organic lettuce, carrots, apples, fish flakes with yogurt dressing

             This was a suggestion by the waitress. It was my first time to try eating fresh green tea leaves and it was interesting. The leaves had a distinct, mildly spicy/minty flavor to them and it also had a slightly rough texture like fresh oregano. The combination of flavors and texture were pretty odd to me. I found the carrots too thick as well. It was an interesting experience but I don't think I'd order this again.

Cheesy Deep Fried Belly in Teriyaki Sauce     148 php
       fried pork belly with a splash of teriyaki sauce and grated cheese

           I'd usually prefer grilled pork belly than a deep fried one. According to Luis, it was like pork belly in hawaiian sauce. The teriyaki sauce was not the usual Japanese flavor I expected. It was sweet and fruity, and the consistency and strength was lovely on rice. To my disappointment, the pork belly was tough and dry. I think the estimation of cooking time with the employment of at least 2 cooking methods was the cause of failure. 

           Though I was not completely satisfied by the dishes we ordered, I am still curious about the rest of the menu that I left undiscovered, especially the roasts. The prices are also surprisingly affordable for an organic resto; everything for 200 below! They may not offer a full blown organic menu but it's worth a try. 

          Customers also receive free ballers (those rubber bands made popular by Nike before) in black and white as souvenirs. That's a first for any restaurant I've been to so far. Their contact details are conveniently found on these which I must say is ingenious marketing. 
free ballers
What we had:
Exotic Green Tea Salad - 140 php
Cheesy Deep Fried Pork Belly in Teriyaki Sauce - 148 php
2 Home-made Flavored Sodas - 50 php each

Chez Toztar House of Roasts
0392 Orchid St., Capitol Site
Cebu City 6000

(032) 412 6452
+63 932 7806 176

Operating Hours:
Mon - Sun   10:30 AM - 2 PM
                   5:30 PM - 9:30 PM

Price range: 98 - 225 php

click to enlarge
Like them on Facebook for updates or reservations. 

To know Cebu, eat Cebu! :D

oink oink,

Babe for Food
- your BFF in Cebu dining! :)


  1. Ooohhh nice find! Thanks for sharing! I'm going to bring my date here! :-)

    1. My pleasure! Go ahead, enjoy! :D

  2. Been reading about hydrophonics for a few days now and I guess I need to bring tons of moolah when I come by. Do you need to call for reservations?

    1. I think 200-300 is enough if you wanna enjoy a good meal there and I think that's worth it. But if you're planning to buy some herbs then yeah, maybe you'll need a bit more moolah. Haha. You can call for reservations or just drop by randomly (of course within operating hours). I don't think they get packed... yet. :D

  3. Please do try the follow:
    -beef kansi
    -seafood thermidor
    -Organic Roasted Pandan Chicken
    -beef shank in c3 sauce
    -grilled prok belly
    -thai beef salad..
    -chicken cordon bleu.!
    And a lot more...they are our best sellers that customers wanna cme and have some again.. Thanks.

  4. Will do, Sir! Thanks for the suggestions! I'd love to go back and try them. :)

  5. Oh my gosh! This is a really interesting and healthy place to dine. I'll drop by the place soon. Thanks for the post! :)

    1. Yup, wouldn't hurt to try this place at all. Enjoy! Thanks for dropping by! :D

  6. It is very helpful tips for me. I defiantly use your tips in my work. Thank you for nice tips.

    1. Glad it is of some help to you! Thanks for dropping by! :)

  7. Are they still open?