Written by @Lan
Photos by curiostraveller.com
For its uniqueness, soulfully pleasing our palate, serving high quality; well-presented, tasty food and beverages, curiostraveller.com listed The Toast Co. in Malaysia Delicious 100 Food 2017-2018 thus making it one of the best 100 eateries in Malaysia.
Location (Google Maps): Click HERE
It serves delicious foods, soulfully. It has that soul that derived from its history and characters. Probably, Jia Shen’s philosophy has strengthened the core of his café business hence adding colors to the eatery’s soul. Eating here is not just about appreciating the plate’s presentation and taste of the foods.
Eating here is about understanding and embracing the café’s unique history and characters. This is The Toast Co. at Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur; founded and owned by Jia Shen. Serving comfort food, the café with its Rustic Heritage Concept, is a great soulful place for diners to please their palate.
The exterior, colors and vibrant murals allures passers-by. Most will venture inside where they will be greeted by some weathered tables, exposed raw bricks, relics of the olden days, to name a few. Little that they knew, this eatery has a story to tell, dated back to the period before Malaya gained her independence.
The word Toast embedded on its many signage, signals diners that they will be consuming Toasts and Toasts. It actually offers more than toasts, as Jia Shen and his team have included wider choice of foods in the menu. “This is just the beginning,” Jia Shen said. “More to come.” He added.
Curiostraveller.com team was privileged to experience the whole lot of The Toast Co. We’ve learned its history, embraced its unique characters, had meaningful conversation with Jia Shen and most importantly, indulged in delicious, honest foods of theirs.
We were able to sense its soul and eating here was somewhat different than in any other eateries. The experience deeply touched our inner-soul. It satisfied us, not only because we had full stomach but it did properly educate us to be more conscious towards the importance of embracing values and history.
Not that far from bustling Chinatown, The Selangor Grocers Guild where The Toast Co. is located on the ground floor, is one unique historical, heritage building that was built in 1927. Historically speaking, this was the base for the Kuomintang (KMT) where important meetings were held.
When they left, it is then owned and occupied by the Grocers Guild, commonly known as a trade association representing the interests of Chinese grocers, retail traders and sundry-shop owners in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. Up to this day, the association still owns the building but they opted to rent it.
While The Toast Co. occupies the ground floor, on the upper levels are of Grocer’s Inn, a backpacker’s homestay that belongs to Jia Shen’s father in law. Initially, it was The Front Door Café that eventually ceased operation. Jia Shen took over the business and changed the name to The Toast Co.
When asked for the reason to named it using the word Toast, Jia Shen said apart from the marketing strategy to attract the customers of previous brand, it’s the love towards this product that made him doing that.
Currently, The Toast Co. is in the midst of reforming as there is an increasing demand for rice and pasta. Such options does help the brand to survive up to this day as logically people don’t really eat toast or sandwiches everyday.
While genuine Asian type of dishes is not into Jia Shen’s thoughts, he is considering to highlight fusion dishes, kind of east meet west options. Popular toasts will still be in the menu though. In the future, Jia Shen hopes to expand the business to Taman Tun, the place where he currently resides.
At the corner is one unique bicycle, not of Malaysia but from Japan. It’s one of the many relics proudly owned by Jia Shen, a gentle reminder of how Japanese Postmen delivered items around as well as mobilizing the troops from Land of The Rising Sun, to conquer Malaya.
Such relics made us appreciate the fact that we are all fortunate to be living peacefully and harmoniously. It’s like being in a museum, understanding the past, learning mistakes and build a better future.
The graffiti grey-and-white wall was actually painted by a bunch of Australians, a nice feature that Jia Shen chose to preserve. It was during The Front Door cafe’s heyday that this graffiti existed and it still can be seen now, at The Toast Co. Another element that is well-kept by Jia Shen is the rustic look of this place. The unfinished look as shown by the exposed bricks is evident.
The design gives the idea to diners of how much this eatery chose to be unpretentious. There’s art of repurposing hence bringing the sense of practicality, while for some, might be mimicking the industrial looks. For us, it is a clever combination of being rustic and the same time highlighting the building with its heritage value which probably explains the Rustic Heritage concept.
Even at the outside, rustic concept is significant. Weathered furniture and even barrel was being re-purposed. Diners with the sharpest eyes and thoughts will spend hours at this place, appreciating the intended concept, the smaller details and the practicality of all elements at The Toast Co. Perhaps, this is the reason for us to regard the dining experience here as worthy, as there seems to be sentimental values that can be digested apart from foods! Such experience, ably to enrich one’s thought.
Our amazing dining experience started with this AppicKiwi, one of The Toast Co. in-house specials, made by them, for their customers. Appic Kiwi is made of Apple, Kiwi, Banana and Milk, blended with Ice. It’s like being in heaven, slurping this beverage, little by little as we want to cherish the taste, forever in our thoughts. Priced at RM13, this option is highly recommended if you need something milky but healthy.
Next was this equally refreshing Summer Cooler, a combination of Apple, lemon, mint leaves, ginger and blended with ice. Perfect during sunny days, it has pungent taste of ginger but well-balanced with sour-sweet that comes from Apple and Lemon. It’s indeed one healthy beverage that we highly recommend. It is priced at RM12, the taste however; priceless.
We were then served these two amazing servings from the Open Faced Toast option. First was; Smoked Salmon with Dill Cream Cheese. It is about that generous spread of homemade dill cream cheese, layers of smoked salmon topped with a sunny side up egg. Priced at RM22, it’s one kind of a toast that is not to be missed when placing orders. Another highly recommended toast is Pulled Beef (RM24); slow cooked beef brisket, caramelized onions, topped with melted mozzarella, cheddar cheese and topped with crispy beef bacon.
The TTC.Grilled Chicken Chop is amazingly delicious. Priced at RM22, this option gives you Boneless Chicken Thigh that is marinated and grilled to perfection. Same as the toast options, this dish comes with sides of Fresh Salad and Wedges. Chicken Chop fans, this option is something not be missed!
Pesto Pasta is indeed our favorite. This spaghetti with homemade basil pesto is priced at RM15 (as it is) and RM20 (with Chicken Slices). This has to be the best version of Pesto Pasta we have ever had. We love the Chicken Slices as well, as it enriched the already delicious pasta.
We conclude our dining experience with this delicious Homemade Carrot Walnut Cake which is priced at RM12 per slice. It’s incredibly moist, rich with carrot and walnut that even though we’re pretty full, we felt like having another slice!
Made with love by Jia Shen’s mom, it’s highly recommended and best to have with a serving of Matcha Latte, well, actually, anything goes with it. Check-out the other homemade cakes such as Green Tea Cheese Cake, Salted Caramel Cake, Peanut Butter Cake and many more.
The Toast Co. is indeed a café in its own class, in the sense that it offers amazingly delicious comfort food and at the same time taking customers deep into its rustic heritage concept, providing them valuable knowledge of the past thus enriching diners thoughts.
We’re deeply connected to the soul of this eatery, amazed with their yum delicious offerings. It did please our palate, soulfully. Perhaps, Jia Shen’s objective; ‘to take your taste buds on a roller coaster ride that you will never forget’ is true after all. We will never forget our dining experience at The Toast Co. It is forever embedded in our thoughts and soul.