You shall not judge a resto by only one visit. Words to live by.
To assent to myself, I rarely judge a resto by one visit. Returning to a resto after more than a year since my first and last visit, I'm more excited than skeptical about new items added in the menu and refurbishments if there be any.
Last month, I finally had the opportunity to retaste Chez Toztar, formerly a "House of Roasts" and the first resto with an organic hydroponic garden. This is a Cebu Secret Chow where I first tasted fresh green tea leaves in a salad. Read my old post to learn about my first experience there and what the place and menu were like back then.
But now, Chez Toztar bounces back with revenge, armed with a redefined menu and branding which I was invited to taste.
As I entered the gate of the resto, changes could easily be noticed, such as a painted tree without leaves on the garage wall and a fountain at the center of the garden. The tree is actually for customers to imprint their visit with a painted thumb mark to serve as leaves of the tree. Improvements can also be found in the resto interior, where framed pictures of dishes dot the walls and an innovative design of the resto name using stainless spoons and forks was imprinted on the staircase.
My excitement was brewing, awaiting the new items to unfold on our table. We were first served with beverages: coke float, homemade flavored sodas and a vanilla milkshake. Chez Toztar makes their own natural vanilla extract that they use for their vanilla milkshake and desserts.
We then began the meal with salads:
|Thai Beef Salad|
|Crunch Salad with Pan-Grilled Chicken|
The lettuce used for the salads were from the resto's organic garden so you are assured of its freshness.
And finally, I was able to try the Beef Kansi soup I've been curious about from this resto. Kansi is an Ilonggo soup that seems like a cross between pochero and sinigang. It has a yellowish-orange broth that is soured by a unique fruit called batuan only found in Negros. I first tasted Kansi at a family friend's house in Bacolod one summer and though I'm not a big fan of sinigang, I could never forget this soup.
Chez Toztar's wasn't exactly the same since they used sampaloc instead of batuan but the meat was fall-off-the-bone tender and supple. Good enough considering this is probably the only resto to have this soup.
As for the main course, all of the dishes were very amiable with my taste buds. I even found a favorite, the Tilapia in Hot Butter Basil. It was neatly filleted and cubed and arranged back on the body of the fish. I couldn't stop popping it into my mouth! Fresh basil really adds a more intense kick to this dish.
The Beef Shank in C3 sauce would have to come in second. The sauce was light yet full in flavor. The meat was again, pleasantly tender. Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of this. Sorry. :(
Favorites besides, the rest of the dishes were not half bad at all. I even played around with the combinations a bit, like dipping the cordon bleu into the seafood thermidor's cream sauce. :D
|Chicken Cordon Bleu in Caramel Sauce|
(surprisingly, the caramel sauce isn't too sweet)
|American Pork Steak|
|Mexican Chicken Mozzarella|
Of course, you always gotta leave room for dessert. Chez Toztar came up with a series of HOT, new desserts. It was a bonanza of fried desserts -- Deep Fried Ice Cream, Deep Fried Halo Halo, Deep Fried Bannananutters, and Deep Fried Oreos. They also had Mug Cakes in their customized mugs! And if you're feeling adventurous, you could try their Baileys Flamin Pear Glazed, a flaming and sizzling dessert sure to entertain you for a few seconds. ;)
|Mug Cakes: Nutella and Choco Caramel|
|Deep Fried Bannananutters|
|Deep Fried Halo Halo and Deep Fried Oreos|
[photos by Mary Angeli Bas of foodiecraft.com]
Since these desserts involve a clash of temperatures, you are advised to consume these immediately for the best quality.
Being well pleased by the main course, my memory of slight disappointment from Chez Toztar during my first visit was totally replaced by a fresh perspective on the menu. I could also see that the chef/owner is serious with his passion. He was accommodating to take the time to sit with us and explain the dishes and his plans for the resto.
Chez Toztar is not only a place to try new dishes but you can also purchase fresh and organic greens here! You don't also have to sweat your pockets because for a gastronomic adventure, each dish is less than P200 and good for two persons. :)
0392 Orchid St. Capitol Site,
Cebu City 6000
Contact: (032) 412 6452
+63 932 7806 176
"To know Cebu, eat Cebu! :D"
Babe for Food
-your BFF in Cebu dining! :)