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Reputed filmmaker, director, producer and writer Erik Matti recently posted an opinionated review about Toyo Eatery, one of the country’s top restaurants. Peppered with blistering remarks and eye-raising comments, its no surprise that it would garner much internet attention. 

In his post, the On The Job director gave an account of his recent visit to the fine-dining restaurant. It starts with explaining his discipline in editing films, ending with the belief that “less is more.” 

He then pivots to Toyo and recounts his past dining experiences with the restaurant, this as his third in the establishment. While the initial visits were memorable, even recalling his favorite dishes, his recent one, though–let’s just say, left an earthy aftertaste. 

From the long-winded introductions per course about agriculture and livestock to the dishes that didn’t live up to their hyped back stories, Matti asserted that the whole experience felt “gimmicky” and even pretentious. 

It’s actually understandable that Matti would voice his opinion if he finds that his experience isn’t satisfactory, especially when he’s had high expectations after several dine-ins and his within his rights as a paying customer. 

However, one thing we should always remember is that taste is subjective. One man’s opinion would differ from another. As wittingly interpreted by blogger extraordinaire Spanky Enriquez “One man’s Toyo is another one’s Silver Swan.” Same with watching a movie. Some films won’t be everyone’s cup of tea no matter how well its made or how well-intended its messaging is–a topic Matti would all be familiar with. 


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Toyo Eatery is a highly regarded fine-dining modern Filipino restaraurant specializing in highly-curated tasting menus made with seasonal ingredients. A 3-course meal for one costs at least Php 1,000 and an 11-course meal costs Php 2,900.

Also, while numerous netizens have also agreed with his viewpoints, many will still patronize and revere Toyo and the unique dining experience it provides. It wouldn’t be a top restaurant with several accolades locally and internationally (Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants: The Best Restaurant in the Philippines 2023, Flor de Caña Sustainable Restaurant Award 2023) with table-side gimmicks and hyped marketing. 

Referring again to Spanky who said it best: [Besides], the very best way to determine if a restaurant review is fair or not? Go dine at the restaurant and judge for yourself.

In the end, two things are for sure: 1.) Toyo will still continue to do its thing and be celebrated for it’s dining concept ; 2.) Erik Matti won’t be coming back there anytime soon. 

Have you eaten at Toyo Eatery? Tell us your experience!


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