On regular days, there are three things I ask myself before eating out:
1.What dish am I craving at the moment? (To which, the answer is usually my latest, most impressive find)
2.What restaurant is nearby and convenient?
3.What cuisine am I up to for the night?
And just like that, I know exactly where to head to.
But contrary to what my friends believe, I do experience Clueless Diner Days (CDD) just like everyone else. Yes, I do eat for a living but my day job does not exempt me from the dilemma imposed by one of the most stressful interrogative sentences ever: 'Where are we having dinner tonight?'
On my CDDs, you're most likely to find me at:
1.Any of my default restaurants (where I'm such a regular, I can order without looking at the menu and know exactly how much the bill is-- down to the last centavo!)
2.Fast food chains (only when I'm really, really, lazy to think)
3.or those 'Please-everybody restaurants' with menus so lengthy, it's impossible not to find anything that will tickle my fancy.
Torch Restaurant, along Connecticut St., falls under the third group.
In contrast to restaurants that keep menus as concise as possible, Torch goes the other way and presents you with a whole spread of options that transcends cuisines. Craving sushi? Yup, they have that. Hungry for pizzas? Different kinds are available. Seeking steaks? Get them here, as well. Why, even nachos can be had here! I think the famous mall just beat them to it but had Torch been up earlier, they can go by having 'We've got it all for you!' as a slogan.
But despite the plenty choices Torch patrons, gravitate toward the same dishes. Among the best-sellers are: the cheesy, creamy, and spicy Volcano Roll (P369.95) with Baked U.S. Scallops, the bang-for-the-buck and extra tender Salpicao Medallion (P479.95), and hand-cut Truffle Fries (P234.95) that need no more elaboration as to why it sells well. Pizzas like their Philly Cheesesteak Pizza (P369.95) are well-praised, too, for their thin and biscuit-crispy crust. And people who frequent the place at night swear by their cocktail mixes.
And as if the options aren't enough, Torch made an unexpected move early this year and came out with an even longer food list! To guide you through the eleven-page worth of items now available at Torch, here are my updated recommendations:
If you're a fan of their pizzas, then I'm sure you'll be happy to know that more flavors are now available. Get the Hawaiian Pizza (P364.95) for Torch's take on the classic. Share this 12-inch worth of rectangular pizza with a group of friends. The generous portions of sweet pineapples assure that no one gets a lonely slice. A fan of rolled pizzas? Then the Pepperoni Panizza (P329.95) will be to your liking. Just make sure that you ask for smaller cuts as their default slice ends up as thick as a burrito when rolled.
They've also strengthened their pasta line and one of my current favorites is the Tartufo Pasta (P545.95). Some kitchens tend to go overboard with their truffle-essences; Torch's does not. The Tartufo bowl is just truffly enough to keep you going one forkful to another, but won't overload you at all with its richness.
To boost their morning sales, Torch decided to offer a breakfast menu targeted to the nearby residents. Most are rice meals for hardcore '-silog family' fans but those who prefer pancakes, bacon strips, sausages, and eggs also have several mix and match options.
Hot Italian Omelette
For an early morning cooking spectacle, get the Hot Italian Omelette (P169.95). Cooked and torched in front of you, the sizzling and bubbly omelette is quite a nice thing to look at. Taste-wise, it's not bad, too. With lots of bell peppers, onions, cream, and a handful of sausages, you may think of it as a pizza omelette. And when is that ever a bad thing?
If last year's Meltique Beef fondue drove sales for Torch, this year's Seafood Fondue (P979.95) is expected to draw crowds as well. For that price, you'd get to fry shrimps, scallops, and diced salmon to your liking and dunk them into the different Torch signature dips available.
I've been to Torch quite a few times and look at what I've tried: merely nine items that's not even close to a quarter of what they offer! But that's fine; I'm in no hurry. Lots of 'Clueless Diner Days' lie ahead and I'm sure I will have many more opportunities to conquer their lengthy menu.