Visiting Toast Box in Bangkok wasn’t planned, I promise. We were in the Asok area of Sukhumvit, hoping to satisfy a breakfast craving for anything hot, baked and caffeinated, and ended up in the Caribbean-themed basement of Terminal 21. Being an infrequent (at best) patron of Toast Box in Singapore, it was an impromptu decision to visit an overseas outlet. Call me boring, but I actually quite like the predictability of cross-border franchises. Subtle differences in taste, atmosphere, price and service all help to sharpen the senses. Right…?!
Whilst the service was perfunctory at best, the range of breads and buns on offer is comparable to Singapore. The prices are very reasonable, especially when compared to the trendy new cafes more commonly associated with the shopping malls of Sukhumvit. The whitewashed wooden decor is tasteful, if rather messily arranged. It is what it is: predictable, clean and an easy choice for those of us who prefer to start the day on a more conservative gustatory note.
These things are frustratingly small, but deliciously tasty. Much of the flavour is derived from the warm slab of butter that is wedged inside. The butter is rich and creamy; its saltiness adds depth and complexity to the subtle sweetness of the bun. The top crust is rather pathetic – very thin and lacking crunch. The taste of the egg glaze is residual, but noticeable. It’s gone in about three bites and, although it tastes very good, is too small to be truly satisfying.
A classic cheese and tomato sandwich that reminded me a bit of summertime in the UK. The use of sour cream instead of mayonnaise gives the sandwich a slightly sharp edge; one that I haven’t tasted in a while. The bread was delicious – very fluffy and well-toasted – and the slices of tomato an attractively dark shade of red. The only thing that let this sandwich down was the cheese, which was bland and overpowered by the sour cream.
An interesting idea looks-wise, but a bit of a disaster taste-wise. This thing looks more like a bloated calzone than it does a spring roll, but it certainly captured my attention. The outer shell is crispy, and encases a soft, (seemingly) steamed bun with a curried vegetable filling. The subtle sweetness of the bun, combined with the sickly sweet vegetable filling was too much for me. A complete bastardisation of the humble spring roll. Bizarre price, too.
Visiting Toast Box probably won’t be top of your eating agenda in Bangkok, but you never know when you may end up there. It’s a safe and boring choice. That being said, the breads and buns are (on the whole), well-made and well-priced. Just don’t be fooled by any attempts at ‘product innovation’…