Melbourne Restaurant Reviews: The Very Very Hungry Caterpillar

YES, this is yet another Melbourne food blog!

Black Toro, The

69 Kingsway
Glen Waverley VIC 3150
+61 3 9561 9696
theblacktoro.com.au

Growing up, I always associated Glen Waverley with good cheap Cantonese food, with a bit of Malaysian thrown in, and a crappy shopping centre. And while the crappy shopping centre is still there, there is more of a variety when it comes to food options. These days, there’s Japanese, Sichuan, French and Vietnamese – there’s even a new modern Mexican restaurant that goes by the name Black Toro.

Daisy, Dave and I arranged to forgo Chinese food for Chinese New Year (how naughty of us!) by having lunch at Black Toro this earlier this year. This means that this post is long overdue and half our dishes probably don’t appear in the current menu. Oops. I am, however, going to try my best to churn reviews out as soon as possible.

 wp1

I liked the colourful bull murals that dotted the walls, almost as much as I like Moo Moo’s bull statue outside their restaurant.

Frozen apple margarita ($8.50)

Frozen apple margarita ($8.50)

The hot weather called for a frozen apple margarita. It was tangy and refreshing, the perfect to start our meal with.

Grilled corn on the cob with chipotle mayonnaise and toasted masa ($4 each)

Grilled corn on the cob with chipotle mayonnaise and toasted masa ($4 each)

We each had a grilled corn cob on a stick. I loved the creamy chipotle mayonnaise that went with it, while the toasted masa added an interesting textural element to it. 

Spicy pulled pork taco, shredded cabbage and sour cream ($12 for two pieces)

Spicy pulled pork taco, shredded cabbage and sour cream ($12 for two pieces)

Daisy and Dave each had a spicy pulled pork taco. I was impressed by how fresh and colourful they looked and I instantly kicked myself for not ordering one for myself. There were no complaints from their end so they must have tasted alright. 

Wagyu beef slider with toasted brioche, onion, tomatillo relish and jack cheese ($7)

Wagyu beef slider with toasted brioche, onion, tomatillo relish and jack cheese ($7)

Instead, I chose the wagyu beef slider. On paper it looked good and indeed, I loved how the salty cheese paired well with the sweet onions and relish. What really let the slider down was the wagyu which was extremely dry – I mean, who on earth can stuff up such a fatty meat by making it that dry?! 

Sher wagyu rump (230gm) with chimmichurri, parsley and shallot salad ($32)

Sher wagyu rump (230gm) with chimmichurri, parsley and shallot salad ($32)

The wagyu rump was the first of our mains to arrive. It was beautifully tender and juicy and the chimmichurri dressing was nice enough. While the dish didn’t completely blow me away, it was still an inoffensively pleasant dish. 

Slow cooked pork belly, summer bean salad, salsa negra and aioli (RRP $28, but we got this dish for free)

Slow cooked pork belly, summer bean salad, salsa negra and aioli (RRP $28, but we got this dish for free)

We didn’t actually order the slow cooked pork belly but the kitchen somehow mucked up our orders and in the end, decided to give this dish to us on the house. I thought it was good of them to openly admit that they were wrong but even nicer of them to offer such a kind gesture. The pork belly was beautifully cooked but I thought the ingredients didn’t quite blend well together – it was as if the kitchen chucked whatever random ingredients they can find on sale at Woolies and chucked them all over the pork belly. 

Guajilo basted baby chicken with mango, fennel and cucumber salad and toasted sesame ($32)

Guajilo basted baby chicken with mango, fennel and cucumber salad and toasted sesame ($32)

Thankfully our chicken faired a bit better. The meat was very tender – ticks of approval from everyone! However, I found the marinade a tad too sweet and while I love mangoes dearly, I thought they drew the marinade’s sweetness out more rather than complimented it. 

Dessert tasting plate ($36): deconstructed peanut butter cheesecake, chocolate ice cream and honeycomb; chocolate brownie, salted caramel popcorn and vanilla ice cream; mango custard, raspberry and chilli jam, toasted meringue; and peach sorbet, caramelised white peach and pistachio nuts.

Dessert tasting plate ($36): deconstructed peanut butter cheesecake, chocolate ice cream and honeycomb; chocolate brownie, salted caramel popcorn and vanilla ice cream; mango custard, raspberry and chilli jam, toasted meringue; and peach sorbet, caramelised white peach and pistachio nuts.

We weren’t completely enamoured with our savouries, so I wasn’t expecting a lot from our dessert tasting plate. Imagine my surprise, however, when I found out that it was actually the highlight of our meal. We were suitability impressed with the deconstructed peanut butter cheesecake (front) that was light and creamy. And while I find chocolate brownies too rich, I did not mind Black Toro’s version at all – especially given that it had a sticky salted caramel popcorn spire on top.

Given all the chocolate-y richness, I appreciated the cooling peach sorbet and the smooth mango custard with its tangy and spicy raspberry and chilli jam. Overall, there was a lovely balance between sweetness and saltiness, and richness and lightness. This made it probably one of the better dessert platters I’ve had in quite some time.

While I am unlikely to go back for the savoury dishes (why, when there’s a plethora of cheap Cantonese restaurants in the area?), I will definitely go back for the desserts and the drinks. Black Toro’s take on modern Mexican can be as confusing as an episode from The Wire but their service is great and their desserts are more exciting than anything that goes on inside The Glen.

The Black Toro on Urbanspoon

7 Comments on Black Toro, The

  1. Pradeep Rajkumar
    June 25, 2013 at 09:46 (10 months ago)

    Libby .. Ambiance and the red meat is good…

    Reply
  2. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    June 25, 2013 at 19:30 (10 months ago)

    Great review! And it sounds like the sweets were the pick rather than the savouries-at least it ended on a high note :)

    Reply
  3. Sarah
    June 25, 2013 at 21:51 (10 months ago)

    That looks like a pretty cool place – normally I hit up cheap Chinese places in Glenny, but that dessert tasting plate makes me thing this place is worth a try!

    Reply
  4. Erika
    June 25, 2013 at 22:12 (10 months ago)

    The Black Toro has been on my hitlist for ages now, but whenever I’m around the Glen I just never seem to end up there. Mental note to self – remember the deconstructed peanut butter cheesecake next time! I am powerless before anything with peanut butter in it, haha. Yum!

    Reply
  5. Keren
    June 26, 2013 at 07:18 (10 months ago)

    Ooooh, we had had plans to go to Mamasita on Saturday night but our friends have chickened out on driving to the City … this looks like it might be an okay backup, especially if we end on a dessert high!

    Reply
  6. Hannah
    June 26, 2013 at 11:53 (10 months ago)

    OH DEAR LORD PEANUT BUTTER CHEESECAKE.

    Reply
  7. Ashley
    July 11, 2013 at 17:39 (9 months ago)

    I have been pestering Brad to go here for that deconstructed peanut butter cheesecake. Urgh. Drool. Want. :L

    Reply

Leave a reply