The Black Toro on the Kingsway in Glen Waverley is Garen Maskal’s (ex sous chef at Ezard) Hispanic restaurant, which he opened with the hope that the locals wanted something a bit more upmarket in the area.
While I can’t speak for all the locals, I can say that J and were pretty excited about having something other than cheap Asian eats so close to home (not that there is anything wrong with cheap Asian eats).
A few weeks after opening J and I had a 6:30 booking and headed out to see what The Black Toro had to offer.
The space is narrow but I loved the fitout. We were seated along the wall at the very front under the window. It was good to see the number of people stopping to check the place out. It has definitely piqued people’s interest.
It might look empty in the above photo but we had an early booking and it soon filled up and they were turning away walk-ins.
We started with a round of cocktails. J had a standard margarita, and I had a mandarinalicious (mandarin, vodka, mandarin juice and lime).
We both loved our drinks.
For food we started with a selection of the smaller options.
I had a potato and chorizo croquette with manchego foam.
It looked a little lonely on the plate by itself but it was a good rendition but a tad more chorizo for flavour would be appreciated.
J had a grilled corn on the cob with chipotle mayonnaise and toasted masa.
He loved it. He said it was as good as what they serve at Mamasita, and possibly a bit better as it was less greasy. I tried the sauce and it was very good.
J then had an oyster with tequila and lime.
It was only small and at $4 a bit on the expensive side but it did have tequila in it. Though it must have been good as he ordered another one!
Next out was the pork tacos and the sliders.
The tacos were filled with pulled pork, shredded cabbage and sour cream.
Yum! A generous amount of pork and a good hit of hotness. These were so good we ordered another round later on.
The sliders were made up of wagyu beef, onion, tomatillo relish and jack cheese.
A good size and very very tasty.
When the waitress brought out these two dishes she said that they advised that we give the knives and forks a miss and use our hands instead. We were more than happy to oblige, though she did say that many people did use the provided cutlery and I observed this myself at the table across from us.
We needed another beverage by this stage and J stayed with the margaritas while I tried an El Senorita (vodka, chambord, pineapple juice, lychee liqueur, sugared rim).
A very fruity drink and there was a surprise lychee at the bottom!
After we were finished with the small delights we moved onto the grande plates section of the menu, sharing the guajilo basted baby chicken, bitter leaf salad and orange, and we also ordered a side dish of Mexican rice.
More good flavoursome food. Though the rice did have peas in it.
We felt we needed another savoury dish before moving onto the sweet stuff so we, as mentioned above, had another taco each.
The dessert menu has lots of tempting goodies on it, but in the end we decided to share the peanut butter cheesecake, honeycomb, chocolate sorbet.
It was a winner. J and I have different tastes when it comes to dessert but we both loved this but agreed it had to be split between two.
The staff were young, enthusiastic and friendly and genuinely interested to know what we thought of the food and also the drinks.
We really really liked The Black Toro, with J even saying twice that we needed to make another booking before it became too popular!