Monday, August 6, 2012

Review | The Black Toro

The new kid on the Glen Waverley block! Ever since spotting the 'Coming Soon' sign on The Black Toro, I have been almost stalking their Facebook page, twitter and website to find out more information on what they were all about, and most importantly, when they would be opening. Since making my reservation, I have to admit I was checking their website and Facebook page every day to monitor for any changes. What can I say.. I get excited!

E and I were meeting up with a couple of my old friends for dinner, and all of us being Glen Waverley buffs (self-confessed), we were all pretty happy to go to The Black Toro. Both friends were happy to hear that E and I had been avidly going through Urbanspoon recommendations for some advice on what to order.

After some further deliberation, we decided on ordering a few of the smaller dishes to start us off. We ordered the Potato & Chorizo croquettes, the Pulled Pork Tacos, and the Wagyu Beef Sliders. 

The croquettes came out first. Oh. My. God! The potato was so velvety in texture! It was unbelievable smooth. There was a good amount of Chorizo in each croquette too, which was good to see - I hate it when places skimp on the Chorizo! The outside of the croquette was also perfectly crisp, and it was a pleasure to bite into. The croquettes were served with a Manchego Foam. Manchego is a type of sheep's milk cheese from Spain. This foam was very light, and a great addition to the croquettes. I would definitely recommend these, and as I am typing, I am secretly wishing I had some more to snack on!
Potato & Chorizo Croquettes w Manchego Foam

Next up were the tacos. As the waiter placed the plate on the table, he kindly explained that these were quite spicy, and to use the fresh limes to cut a bit of that heat. We all nodded and obediently squeezed some lime juice over our tacos. These tasted so fresh! The combination of the pork, onion, sour cream and cabbage, together with the lovely taste of coriander was winning! Although the spiciness was not too overwhelming for me, I did think that it was perhaps too much of a spice to have had no mention of it on the menu. This is a must try item!

Pulled Pork Tacos

I have to mention the perfect timing that all of the dishes came out in - it seemed right as the previous plate  had been cleared from the table, the next dish was being served to us - a definite tick in the service box there! It was time for the Beef Sliders now. I had never had a slider before, yet I was so amused at how cute they looked! These were delicious. The beef was cooked quite rare, which I definitely don't mind - and the flavour in these was amazing. It was so delicate in taste. I felt like the little buns may have also been some kind of brioche style bread - which added a lovely subtle sweetness, and springy, 'bready' texture to the sliders.

Wagyu Beef Sliders

Feeling like a little more savoury goodness before moving onto dessert, we ordered a serve of the Vegetarian Empanadas and the Potatoes Cooked Three Ways. The empanadas were served with a bright green spinach paste and a tomato sauce which had a little bit of a kick to it. The empanada pastry was so light, and the filling was so full of flavour, I almost forgot that it was a vegetarian dish. I was very pleased with dish and would also order it again if I return to The Black Toro. The combination of all three elements (Empanada + spinach paste + tomato sauce) was really flavoursome and enjoyable. This dish was from the 'Grande Plates' side of the menu, and I felt like perhaps there was not enough to it for it to classify as a main dish, but since we were sharing everything, it was just fine. However if this dish was under the smaller dishes side of the menu, I don't think anyone would have thought that it was too big.

Vegetarian Empanadas

The potatoes were 'yumyum'! The best thing about cooking the potatoes three ways is that they can stay deliciously soft and tender in the centre, and really crisp on the outside! The only thing I found about this dish is that it could be served with more of the aioli. It looked lovely since it was squirted over the potatoes, but the ones at the bottom of the bowl would not have declined a bit more love from the aioli! I would still recommend these!
Potatoes cooked Three Ways

We were now ready to move on to dessert, and we all decided that the sharing part of the evening was finished. Each to their own for dessert! We ordered two brownies and two cheesecakes, and I also ordered a Hot Chocolate.

When our hot drinks were served, we all noticed that my Hot Chocolate looked a little sad as it wasn't filled up to the top like everyone else's coffees. I ended up finishing my drink well before the desserts were served since it wasn't really hot enough, but seeing as though all the desserts were unbelievably chocolatey, I had soon forgotten about my sad little hot chocolate!

Hot Chocolate

The Chocolate brownie was served with vanilla icecream and salted popcorn. Mmmmm.... this dish was so rich and luxurious! The warm brownie was a perfect match for the refreshing vanilla icecream - I think had they served it with any other flavour, it would have been too much. This brownie is definitely a must-taste! The inside of it was so gooey it was heavenly! The salted caramel popcorn was a nice touch to the dish, and made the dish unique - I haven't seen popcorn on any other restaurant menu!

Chocolate Brownie w Salted Popcorn and Vanilla Icecream

Last but definitely not least, the deconstructed Peanut Butter Cheesecake. This was served so cleverly. There were some shards of housemade honeycomb, ultra rich chocolate sorbet, a generous scoop of cheesecake filling, and also some chocolate biscuit soil to represent the base. I dug straight into the cheesecake filling - and was so amazed at just how rich and flavoursome it was. I am a peanut butter nut, so this dessert was perfect for me! The sorbet was inexplicably chocolatey - I'm talking the most intense chocolate flavour I have ever tasted! I had to tackle the sorbet and cheesecake in small ladylike mouthfuls since both had such powerful flavours. The honeycomb was just how I wanted it to be - I used the back of my spoon to break it into smaller pieces. The sound of it cracking was almost as delightful as it tasted!! Almost! The chocolate biscuit soil was so dark in colour, and I recognised the flavour from my very first taste - chocolate ripple biscuits (I'm 98% sure). Mmmmm!

Deconstructed Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Altogether this dessert had so many different elements to keep me keenly trying each different combination to taste different flavours. My plate was so clean by the time the waiter came to clear our table that it probably only needed a rinse! I would definitely recommend this dessert, as well as the brownie.

I hope I get to go back to The Black Toro to try the other exciting menu options.. The mandarin sorbet sounds so intriguing! While the prices at The Black Toro were a bit more expensive than the other restaurant options in the area, the quality of food, and the high level of service they provide are much better. I believe our waitress that night was one of the managing staff - and she was delightfully efficient and always prompt and friendly. I would definitely recommend this restaurant for a special occasion, or simply for a nice night out.

The Black Toro on Urbanspoon


peach water said...

Oh god!!!!!! Chocolate Brownie w Salted Popcorn and Vanilla Icecream looks amazing! I want to eat that >_<

spohie said...

oh my gosh! thanks for the comment ^.^ yess try it out! would love to read your thoughts!!