Toyo Eatery Has Been Proclaimed The “Miele One To Watch” By Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants
Toyo Eatery is where contemporary Filipino food is at today. And the organizers and panel of judges of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants have recognized what this restaurant hidden in Karrivin Plaza in Makati has accomplished in the two years since it opened. On March 27, Toyo Eatery’s chef-owner Jordy Navarra will formally accept the Miele One To Watch Award at the sixth Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, to be held in Macao. This award is presented every year to a restaurant not included in the Asia’s 50 Best list, but selected as a rising star in the region.
On why Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants chose Toyo Eatery for this award, Group Editor William Drew explains, “Toyo Eatery embodies the spirit of the Miele One To Watch Award. With a menu celebrating local culture and traditional dishes, chef-owner Jordy Navarra is a young talent who is advancing the cuisine with creative flair and a progressive approach, but also with precision and attention to detail.”
Mario Miranda, Regional Managing Director Asia at Miele and the sponsor of the award, adds, “Toyo Eatery impresses us by taking inspiration from everyday local ingredients and recipes and bringing them to the level of culinary excellence with passion, expertise and a progressive approach.” He further explains, “This same attitude involving constant improvement and innovation are part of Miele’s ‘Immer Besser’ brand philosophy.”
Chef Jordy Navarra
When it first opened in 2016, Toyo Eatery immediately impressed Manila’s dining crowd with Chef Jordy’s approach to cooking Filipino, where he tows a fine balance between the experimental and the traditional, but firmly roots the menu in its Philippine locale. Although he trained abroad, most notably at the legendary The Fat Duck in the United Kingdom and at Bo Innovation in Hong Kong, he has chosen the Philippines as his culinary “playground.” Calling itself an “eatery” belies its casual nature, but aligns itself with our local streetside food stalls, rather than with the more Euro-centric bistro or café. “Toyo” is soy sauce in Filipino, referencing this ubiquitous condiment (adopted from the Chinese) in our cooking. Toyo’s interiors, furnishings, dinnerware, accessories are all crafted by local designers and artists.
Open only for dinner, Toyo offers a choice between an multi-course tasting menu and a three-course set menu. Standout dishes include the buttery, porridge-like burnt kalabasa (squash) with sea urchin, as well as Chef Jordy’s superior take on traditional pork BBQ. Arguably his most celebrated dish is Garden Vegetables, referencing the traditional “Bahay Kubo” song of our childhood that lists 18 vegetables to plant in one’s garden. He prepares each vegetable in a different manner, served in a humble wooden bowl, buried under a layer of charred “soil.”
Upon learning about the award, Chef Jordy shares, “As Toyo Eatery approaches its second anniversary, this award is the gift we never saw coming. Being granted the Miele One To Watch Award by such a respected authority is an amazing honor. We are thankful to those who appreciate and acknowledge what we do. Toyo is still in its infancy and we still have much to do, but we’re inspired to learn from the chefs whose restaurants are included in the list of Asia’s 50 Best.”
The Miele One To Watch Award puts the spotlight on Toyo Eatery and on contemporary Filipino cooking. It proves that by embracing one’s culinary roots, one can shine even brighter on the global stage. And this award proclaims that Toyo Eatery could one day very well enter the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
The March 27 awards will be streamed live courtesy of the main sponsor, S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, via its content hub http://www.finedininglovers.com and on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Facebook page. For more information, visit www.theworlds50best.com/asia
Photos by Gary Nepomuceno for Metro Society June 2016