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I recently found myself on the east side visiting a friend and her adorable baby, and decided to make the most of the trip by finally paying a visit to The Black Toro. The restaurant had been on my radar since the beginning of this year when I was taunted with pictures of delicious-looking Mexican corn and mini sliders from thehouseofem and misspolymercupcakes whilst stuck in the lab, and I was super excited about ticking the restaurant off my to-visit list. I was joined by themacarondiaries.
Not too surprising given the name ‘The Black Toro’, there was a striking amount of black. These tones of black, particularly in the wrought iron bars and the chandeliers, brought a dark charm to the warm, wooden tones, and the combination of both resulted in a casual elegance that swept through the entire venue.
Similar to other restaurants in Melbourne, the decently-sized share menu was composed of small dishes (poco), larger dishes (grande), sides and desserts. Feeling quite peckish, we decided on several small dishes and a side.
Grilled corn on the cob, with chipotle mayonnaise & toasted masa.
The corn was super sweet, and contrasted with the smokiness and tickling spice left by the creamy chipotle mayo. Additional flavour came from the bursts of spring onion and sprinkling of toasted masa harina.
Hervey Bay scallops, with peas, freeze dried corn & lemon aioli.
The scallop tasted fresh, firm and tender, and possessed a gorgeous seared exterior. There was a sensational balance of flavours between the zesty acidity, creamy avocado puree and the sweet corn and peas.
Spicy pulled pork taco, with shredded cabbage, sour cream & lime.
Well-prepared, the tortilla was soft and light, and the pulled pork was amazingly tender. Each bite packed plenty of flavour thanks to the abundance of contrasting but complementary flavours. The sweet and aromatic flavour of the pork worked perfectly with the bite from the onion, sour cream, zesty lime and coriander.
Quesadilla, with huitlacoche, mushroom, ricotta & spinach cream.
The quesadilla was crispy, and its texture bore a resemblance to the delicate flakiness of puff pastry and the fluffiness of roti bread. The grilled mushrooms possessed a smoky and slightly bitter flavour that highlighted the natural flavours of the mushrooms. The crumbly cheese paired well with the mushrooms. The vibrantly green spinach sauce brought something different to the plate, and its fresh flavour continued to linger long after each bite was swallowed.
Triple cooked chips, with garlic aioli.
Put through three rounds of cooking, I expected some glass-shattering crunchiness… The real deal was no where near as crunchy as I had anticipated. The extent of cooking was evident in the taste of the chips, particularly in the potato skins, and this brought out the natural sweetness of the potato flesh. The rich garlic flavour and creaminess of the aioli rounded out the chips perfectly.
While they had a dessert tasting plate (which was love at first sight for my palate), we were unfortunately feeling too full. Instead, we went by some recommendations made by one of the waiters, and opted for a rich, chocolaty dessert and a lighter, refreshing citrus sorbet.
Frozen Nutella parfait, tres leches cake, banana & toasted meringue.
The Nutella parfait presented as a silky smooth, frozen Nutella mousse covered in a hazelnut crumb, and could have easily made it big as a standalone dish. The light mousse just melted in my mouth. The rest of the components gave rise to a playground of complementary banana and chocolate elements: a milky sponge, and fresh and dried bananas. The smearing of meringue added a sticky sweetness that I found overly sweet and unnecessary.
Mandarin - fresh, freeze dried, candied & sorbet.
Oozing with mandarin flavour, the zestiness and citrusy flavour of the sorbet was very sharp. The dried mandarin pieces brought much crunch and exuded a mandarin flavour that rivalled that from the sorbet. Themacarondiaries enjoyed eating these dehydrated pieces. While the coolness of the sorbet was refreshing, the overall flavour was too sweet, and consequently detracted from this quality.
I always feel a sense of satisfaction when I get to tick off a restaurant from my to-visit list, but particularly so in this instance because the place was so out of the way for me and because our dining experience was very enjoyable. And that’s the cue for the disappointment of living so far away to sink in! So whether you’re a ‘local’ or someone like me who needs to travel quite a distance to visit Glen Waverley, The Black Toro is highly recommended.
The Black Toro
Glen Waverley, Victoria, 3150.
(03) 9561 9696