Along the busy Connecticut street in Greenhills lies Torch Restaurant, a no-fuss restaurant known for its pizza, sushi and steak – unlikely menu combination, but always welcomed by big appetites and those looking for good old comfort food.
Torch: the beacon of good pizza, sushi, and steak in Greenhills
Torch is owned by Mike Chua, a twenty-something who could very well be a force to reckon with in the near future. According to him, a second branch of Torch is already in the pipeline. Don’t you just love bright, young entrepreneurs?
It’s easy to choose your grub from Torch’s menu, as they have something for everyone—juicy baby back ribs for dad, mac & cheese for your little bro, salmon sushi for mom, and truffle sausage pizza for you. It picks the best of Italian, Japanese and American cuisine and then makes them available in one hip place—it’s like a dream restaurant for those too hungry, or too lazy to think. Torch is your convenient answer to the age-old question, “Where do we eat?”
New to the menu but already gaining a following, Mike recommends these must-try dishes, especially for first time diners. Their trifecta of yum: White Truffle Sausage Panizza (P429.95), Smoked Salmon Truffle Sushi (P449.95), and Burger Mac n’ Cheese (P334.95). It’s like a master meal of things you can’t say no to.
White Truffle Sausage Panizza
Smoked Salmon Truffle Sushi
Burger Mac n’ Cheese
First off, the White Truffle Sausage Panizza smells amazing, a combined aroma of freshly baked bread and grilled Italian sausages. Drizzled with white truffle oil and topped with mozzarella cheese, make the roll perfect with alfalfa sprouts, arugula, and salsa. Not oily or fatty, you could easily fool yourself that you’re eating a completely healthy panizza, what with the refillable veggies available.
The Smoked Salmon Truffle Sushi is probably one of the best sushi I’ve tasted. It’s hand-rolled with mango, cucumber, kani, and then topped with wakame (brown seaweed) and smoked salmon. As a finishing touch, a sunny side-up egg sits atop the rolls. Everything is sealed with a drizzle of truffle oil.
Unusually, the flavors work together with delicate balance. It’s like tasting breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the same time; I couldn’t get enough of it.
The Burger Mac n’ Cheese looks beautiful on its cast iron pan, its cheese bubbling with creamy sauce and parsley. The dish is made more indulgent with a whole U.S. Angus beef patty baked into it. And with that, I could not ask for more.
What’s perfect with pizza, sushi and steak is Torch’s new signature drink: the Dragon Sangria (P899.95), a big fishbowl of light and refreshing white wine sangria with fresh dragon fruits and guava.
They say it’s good for 3-5 people, but I’ve heard stories of people going solo on this and just drowning themselves in this fruity concoction. Mike said it took them many different mixes to arrive at their Dragon Sangria—a unique drink that is refreshing, highly addicting, and thirst-quenching, but still able to provide a slight buzz. Don’t forget to fork out the fruits for an instant dessert!
Another signature Torch offering is their Steak Fondue (P879.95), which is essentially, chunks of rib eye meltique beef that you cook in a fondue pot with hot oil.
The meat is ready after a few minutes, with a melt-in-your-mouth tenderness that is characteristic of good, well-bred beef. Five different kinds of sauces can be paired with it— the Torch dressing, habanero, tartufo, sesame seed dressing and red wine sauce—all good, but the sesame seed is my favorite.
Another treat for meat lovers is the Salpicao Medallion (P479.95). Served on a hot slab of stone, the aroma of the Angus beef wrapped in bacon wafts through the air as it sizzles with the sautéed French beans and garlic parsley rice.
It tastes as good as it looks—juicy and smoky, because of the bacon. The beef possesses a light pink tinge in the middle when you cut through it. So, be careful not to leave it too long on the hot stone tablet, you’d hate to overcook and ruin premium meat.
If you’re pairing meat with some carbs, try the Tartufo Pasta (P545.95), which is creamy truffle mushroom in fettuccine. The aroma of the mushroom sauce is enough to make tummies rumble.
Feel free to wipe your plate clean with the garlic bread because that sauce is too good to waste.
Fond of cheese? Then, get your hands on these:
The Gambas Pizza (P329.95) is composed of shrimps sautéed in chipotle garlic olive oil, served on top of a crispy pizza covered with mozzarella cheese. There are generous servings of shrimp, but I tasted a magical ingredient (which will probably remain secret) that gave hints of barbecue, even if there’s no barbecue sauce. The subtle sweetness combined beautifully with the creamy mozzarella makes this my favorite pizza in Torch.
The Philly Cheese Steak Pizza (P369. 95) is already an old signature item in Torch, but it still deserves a mention because it’s consistently one of their best sellers. Imagine the classic Philly cheese steak sandwich filling on a fresh, oven-baked thin crust, and then topped with melted mozzarella and cream cheese. It’s an instant pick-me-up, a way to restart a bad day.
Philly Cheese Steak Pizza
Another cheesy treat is the Volcano Roll (P369.95), which paints a lovely, gooey picture of what happens to cheese when it’s treated right.
Underneath all that overflowing cheese lava are freshly baked sushi rolls filled with tempura, tamago, and Japanese cucumber, topped with spice-baked U.S. scallops. The final touch is the sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds atop everything. Every bite is good, the mayo and the cheese do not overpower each other, the scallops are top quality and the subtle smokiness of the rice due to it being baked is just worth every calorie.
Speaking of calories and how you’re supposed to stop counting them at Torch, end your meal with the Fried Bread Pudding (P149.95) topped with vanilla ice cream.
Fried Bread Pudding
I’ve always thought that bread pudding is a lazy dessert invented to give stale bread some dignity. I was very wrong about Torch’s version. Just looking at that crisp, golden brown ball made me feel giddy and childlike. Outside, it’s crusty and cold, while inside—it’s soft, creamy and warm. It’s a simple dessert that just aims to please and does a good job doing so.
Next time you’re in Greenhills and you’re wondering where and what to eat, take comfort in the knowledge that Torch shines brightly along Connecticut, blazing your way to excellent comfort food.
Torch has an ongoing breakfast promotion for the entire month of June: Buy One, Take One Salpicao Tenders during their breakfast hours, 7:00am-10:30am. Visit Torch at Home Studio Building, 63 Connecticut St., Greenhills, San Juan.