If you can’t get enough of all things cheesy and gooey, you’ll definitely enjoy the newest cheese craze to hit the Philippines: Say Chiizu!
Say Chiizu originated in Bangkok, and was established by Jae and Aor. The cheese toast they serve takes inspiration from Japan, where the owners found the perfect cheese balance for their toast: premium Hokkaido Cheese and their special cheese sauce recipe.
Say Chiizu started out as a stall in Bangkok’s night market, but quickly gained popularity and expanded to malls across the country. Now, Say Chiizu has branches internationally in countries such as Singapore, Korea, Indonesia, China, Cambodia— just to name a few! Earlier this month, Say Chiizu opened its first branch in the Philippines at the North Wing of SM Mall of Asia.
Michael and Jen D. Park are the master franchisees who brought Say Chiizu to the Philippines. On a trip to Bangkok, they wanted to try it out, but couldn’t because of the long queue. After going back for two days, they finally got to sample it, and Jen, who usually doesn’t like cheese, loved it!
Another reason why they chose to bring in Say Chiizu was the hype that made it so popular, thanks to celebrity Kathryn Bernardo, who tried it for herself in Bangkok and featured it on her Instagram story. Her followers then pushed Michael to introduce it to the country, so cheese-loving Filipinos alike could enjoy this little wonder for themselves.
Say Chiizu features cheese toast made with ingredients sourced from Hokkaido (except for the bread) that are proudly 100% natural, with no colorants and flavorings. It may sound ordinary, but there is actually an art that goes into preparing this toast.
Let’s deconstruct these elements. Their toast is made with their own secret recipe by local company Village Gourmet, who also supply the bread for Italianni’s. The filling is a combination of premium Hokkaido Cheese and their special cheese sauce recipe. Before serving, the Hokkaido Cheese toast is given a coating of butter, then pan-fried to a lovely golden brown.
Each Hokkaido Cheese Toast is placed in a bear-shaped box modeled after their mascot Big Bear (after the founder Aor’s nickname). Don’t dig in just yet, though! Michael recommends waiting for about two minutes in order to allow the cheese filling to cool down.
After patiently waiting, the fun begins. Say Chiizu’s Hokkaido Cheese Toast is stretchy, thanks to the mozzarella cheese. Play with your food by pulling it apart and letting the cheese stretch as far as it can go. You can even take a bite and just pull it down, down, down! Check out their expert cheese stretcher in action:
(Hot Tip: the variant with the stretchiest cheese is the Original)
The Hokkaido Cheese Toast comes in three flavors: Original, Chocolate and Strawberry. True to their claim of using fresh ingredients, their chocolate variant uses cocoa powder in the toast, while the strawberry flavor uses fresh strawberries to give the bread its characteristic taste and color.
Contrary to the usual sharp flavors of cheese, Say Chiizu’s toasts feature a creamy and milky texture for their filling with a mild taste of cheese that doesn’t overpower the bread. This, combined with the lingering buttery taste and the softness of bread, make this snack a great alternative for those who enjoy a light snack.
If you were to compare the three flavors that Say Chiizu has to offer, the original is basic and mild. It’s a no-frills sandwich to go for if you just want the creaminess of milk paired with the stringy pull of mozzarella cheese. The strawberry, on the other hand, has the reminiscent taste of the childhood snack Yan Yan. Some compare the taste to strawberry jam on bread — mild yet with a sweetness that contrasts with the filling.
And if you’re looking for rich flavors, their chocolate flavor is your best bet. The toast is colored a rich dark brown, thanks to the cocoa powder. Once you bite into the toast, you get a burst of chocolatey goodness paired with that gooey cheese.
Michael and his team plan on rolling out new flavors in the coming months, too. Right now, they are eyeing SM Megamall and SM North EDSA as new avenues for their coming branches in the first quarter of 2019.
Don’t wait any longer, though! All Say Chiizu Toasts are sold at an introductory price of Php119 (regular price is Php129) until after the New Year. You can even avail of a Buy 3, Get 1 Free promo on weekdays, where you get to take home your healthy, cheesy snacks in this cute box! You’d better hurry, though, since these sell out really fast.
G/F Entertainment Mall, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay