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Lunch review: Tohsti


Tohsti is old school, new school and back to school all at once.

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The owners, a pair of young and enthusiastic builders with no food industry background, spent two years researching toastie-filling combinations as part of their plan to develop a café with a nostalgic feel of “worry-free primary school days”.

Picture a Central Market Arcade retail space refitted with classroom-style chalkboards, old wooden school desks, pencil pots and a hand-drawn menu in coloured chalk, with a big La Marzocco espresso machine and a glass cold drip coffee tower.


“Halle Berry” mixed berry, coconut milk, honey and banana smoothie. Photo: Nat Rogers/InDaily

The menu lists around 20 of the 72 toastie varieties on offer. The other 52, we were told, will be offered on a rolling basis, “to keep things fresh”.

The toastie menu is divided into “Kickin It Old Skool” (classic combinations of baked beans, spaghetti, Vegemite, sultanas, ham and cheese), “Livin It Up” (gourmet combinations including chicken liver pate, roast pork and sauerkraut, chicken and pesto, bacon and blue cheese) and “Sugardaddy” (sweet combinations including banana and peanut butter, chocolate and salted caramel, and strawberry and cinnamon).

All ingredients are local and organic, sourced from Central Market traders, including organic sourdough bread from Skala Bakery, meats from Barossa Fine Foods and cheese from Say Cheese. Bread options include white, multi-grain, rye, pumpkin and sultana. Vegan and vegetarian options are listed, as well as extras for those who want to “pimp” their Tohsti.

The owners want to remain anonymous to allow the management team (headed up by Levi Ayuso and Cassie Brian) to establish their own identity and connection with Tohsti’s clientele.


Tohsti interior. Photo: Nat Rogers/InDaily

Tohsti has been open for two weeks and joins other new, ready-to-eat food vendors such as Jam Face by Poh, Latvian Lunchroom, Le Souk and Comida Catering Co in creating new energy and more reasons to visit the Central Market.


Mixed berries, cream cheese and white chocolate toastie. Photo: Nat Rogers/InDaily

Favourite dish: Mixed berries, cream cheese and white chocolate toastie ($9.50). Choosing a sweet dish as a “favourite” goes against the grain because dessert traditionally goes second or third. But this particular toastie – made from fat fresh berries, cream cheese and white chocolate sandwiched and toasted between two pieces of sultana bread and dusted with icing sugar – should be savoured on its own with a glass of Levi Ayuso’s cold drip coffee.


Bacon and guacamole toastie. Photo: Nat Rogers/InDaily

Other dishes: Bacon and guac ($9.50). Thick slices of grilled Barossa Valley Fine Foods bacon and tangy guacamole sandwiched and toasted between two slices of white organic sourdough bread (delicious as is, but you could always add cheese).


Tandoori chicken and mozzarella toastie. Photo: Nat Rogers/InDaily

Tandoori chic and moz ($9.50). Chicken breast pieces cooked in tandoori sauce and sandwiched with mozzarella cheese then toasted between two pieces of white organic sourdough bread (a generous toastie; you probably won’t need seconds).


Numero Uno blend Black Mumba and single-origin Colombian coffees. Photo: Nat Rogers/InDaily

Something sweet/to drink: Tohsti mentioned that a Snickers and banana toastie may soon be added to the “Sugardaddy” sweet toasties menu. There are also raw-food cake slices, acai bowls and other “health-oriented sweets” to come, including gluten-free super-food brownies. Tohsti is trialling a new acai machine which turns acai syrup into a slushie.

A smoothie menu includes five options ($7.50), to which you can add whey, rice, mixed plant protein, chia, cocoa and maca for an extra $1. Protein powders are to come.

Coffee is from Sydney roaster Numero Uno, which is made using reverse-osmosis filtered water. Ayuso has already gained a following for his monthly limited-edition cold-drip varieties.


Barista and co-manager Levi Ayuso making cold drip coffee. Photo: Nat Rogers/InDaily

Tohsti’s managers plan to introduce old-school lunch-order bags, blue pencils and wind-up pencil sharpeners, as well as a mobile phone app to make ordering more convenient.

It has also been hinted there will be more new food business projects to come from the creative team behind this venture … they could start by opening more Tohsti stores. As a simple lunch option, it ticks all the right boxes in that it offers both healthy and comfort foods, it supports our local food producers, the food is good quality and good value for money, and the coffee is excellent.

Shop 44, Central Market Arcade, Adelaide, 0477 443 328
Open Monday to Thursday, 7.30am to 3pm; Fridays, 7am to 9pm; Saturdays, 7am to 4pm.

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