11 Sep
2012

              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.

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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.

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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!).

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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.

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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.

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