Glen Waverley VIC 3150
+61 3 9561 9696
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.
I liked the colourful bull murals that dotted the walls, almost as much as I like Moo Moo’s bull statue outside their restaurant.
The hot weather called for a frozen apple margarita. It was tangy and refreshing, the perfect to start our meal with.
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.
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.
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?!
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.
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.
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.
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.