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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Black Toro - revisited

So after my first visit to The Black Toro, we were left underwhelmed by our experience. It was in my local area so it would have been convenient to have this cool new kid on the block be a winner. The food left a lot to be desired and service was sub-par. We decided to give it another try despite my "Will you return? No" answer, only because we did visit within the first few weeks of opening.

We reordered the grilled corn which was very tasty and great with the spicy chipotle mayonnaise. The smokey flavours from being grilled came through this time.

Grilled corn on the cob with chipotle mayonnaise and toasted masa

This dish was visually appealing and being ravenously hungry, I enjoyed it. The salty cured salmon was balanced by the sweet coriander meringue, although I would have liked more as the avocado puree was quite salty. Also I loved the bursts of flavour from the salmon roe.

Mezcal cured salmon, avocado puree, smashed coriander meringue

I never understood the need to pound and mince up perfectly good wagyu for a burger patty and I still don't. I love wagyu too much to ever think about all those lovely rivers of fat being minced away. Anyway, these wagyu beef sliders intrigued me last time when I saw them arrive at a neighbouring table. The bun was a bit dry as was the patty but with the tomatillo relish and oozy cheese, it was enjoyable. My first bite left a splattery mess of juice on my plate and cutlery which I later mopped up with my slider - so be careful! This was actually my first wagyu burger but Mr A thought the one from Hare & Grace was much better. He says he will take me, "we'll see" (something he always says!).

Wagyu beef sliders with onion, tomatillo relish & jack cheese

After a while, our main of slow cooked pork belly arrived. The pork belly was succulent and tender while the crackling was crisp and well seasoned. Half of the pork belly's crackling had gone soft in the sauce but I liked  the gelatinous texture regardless. The chickpea and chorizo was rich and filling, although the sauce was slightly too heavy for my taste buds.

Slow cooked pork belly with chickpeas, chorizo and tomato

I enjoyed my experience significantly more the second time around however I still feel that the wait staff, both times, were aloof. I do think I could come back as the food was nice but service detracts from the whole dining experience. I noticed that the head chef was aware of tables that needed service and would accordingly direct wait staff where necessary which was good to see, despite how busy the kitchen was that night.

The Black Toro
79 Kingsway
Glen Waverley VIC 3150
(03) 9561 9696

Food: 7/10
Service: 6/10
Value: 7/10
Will I return? Maybe, the food is good but the service is a little off-putting.

The Black Toro on Urbanspoon

16 thoughts:

  1. Glad you enjoyed it a bit better this time. Shame about the service, we had no issues when we went. (I am writing this at 11:56am and am starving, so could really go one of those sliders right now!)

    1. Hehe I wouldn't mind the pulled pork tacos right about now. Yes it's strange that both experiences, the service was a bit strange compared to the stellar reviews elsewhere!!

  2. ARGHHHH I wanted to go last time I was in Glenny, but my bro didnt want to go in, because he said he's had bad experience with mexican food :(

    The corn and the pork belly looks yum though


    1. Oh that's a shame! It's worth a go though, and next time, go with someone else, not your brother :P

  3. Ahhh... Very interesting how your second experience was leaps and bounds better than your first. Good on you for coming back, especially when most people wouldn't if they've had an underwhelming experience the first time around. But gosh, this place sounds fantastic! I love ANYTHING with chipotle so I'm sure I'd enjoy the corn with chipotle mayo too. And how can you go past pork belly? I order it almost everytime I see it in a menu, typical Chinese ;p

    1. Haha yes typical asian cannot say no to Pork belly! MM I had siew yook last night and still craving it!! But yes, I loved the corn. Grilled corn is always a winner :)

  4. Ohhh i didn't know this place opened up :) YAY! A place that's closer to the east that I can try hehe ~ this place looks like a fusion of Japanese and Mexican yum :D Glad you enjoyed your second visit so much more than your first :)

    1. It's good to have nice restaurants open up on the east side hey! Haha saves us the trouble of travelling so far when we're lazy.

  5. You had me at grilled corn. I'm so going to this place. I can see why you've been back

  6. Oooh, I didn't realise this has opened! Must try since it's closer to home for me!

  7. We went for the second time last night. The sliders were not as good as the first time but the pork tacos were awesome. We tried the Wagyu main which was nice but I prefer the chicken. We had to sit outside as they were fully booked out (and turning people away) and I was worried about service but again absolutely no issue at all.
    Still happy that something like this has opened up in GW.

    1. Hi Em! Didn't know you were back from your USA trip already!? Yes I agree the pork tacos were awesome! Everyone seems to receive good service from the reviews however unfortunately for us, both times our plates weren't cleared for a good while and attitude wasn't really appealing. Although one waitress (a shorter blonde one) was very chirpy and friendly although she didn't serve us. I think it's great that something like this has opened in GW but for me, I will go back for food, not a 'dining experience'.

    2. Sadly we have been back for 2.5 weeks already. So terribly behind in blog posts. I had planned to write and publish as we went but it didn't happen.
      We have been served by the shorter blonde waitress both times and she is really good. Last night we also had a guy serve us as well.

    3. Oh I thought you were posting as you were travelling! Very jealous you got a chance to visit Napa Valley, I didn't have time when I was over there sadly.

      Both times we were served by the taller blonde waitress and the floor manager (he wore different clothes so he seemed like a manager?) who seemed to forget about us while the other servers, such as the short blonde lady, attended to the other tables considerable better so I guess that's why we felt service was a bit lacking.


Thanks for your comments!

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