By: Karl Woodbury
A funky addition to the vibrant outdoor dining scene at Civic Square, Toro offers a creative blend of pan-Latin flavours by acclaimed chef, Richard Sandoval. Inside, the restaurant is airy though the tables are small. Our opening cold “small plate” was in fact a very long dish of cured meat ($178). Elegantly presented, the serrano ham won our hearts even if the chorizo and morcilla didn’t quite deliver.
Click on the above gallery for a glimpse inside one of Kowloon’s new restaurants, Toro.
We decided on a couple of warm small plates next and they were both excellent. The chicken empanadas ($118) went beautifully with the accompanying red curry and mango salsa, while the confit pork shank ($108) was intense and crispy.
To the mains, and while we were disappointed that the Mexican “beach campfire” whole barramundi and the chicken a la brasa weren’t available, the Black Angus ribeye ($388) was accurately cooked to medium rare. The baby lamb chops ($358) went down well, as did the achiote-barbecued salmon ($198).
Our favourite main course was the plump maple-brined pork chop ($248) – wonderfully sticky and moist. The accompanying chipotle béarnaise and horseradish cream lacked a bit of punch but we enjoyed our side dishes of creamed spinach ($68) and the truffle parmesan fries ($78), of which we immediately ordered another portion.
We just about had room to sample a couple of desserts. The churros ($68) were delicately coated in sugary cinnamon, and of the three welcome dipping sauces, the dulce de leche just outshone the chocolate. The Flan De Coco ($68) was interesting too, though the coconut and pistachio flavours could have been brought up a notch or two.
Due to its location, some of the dishes and wines are on the pricey side. However, there are some enticing cocktails on the menu, including a spicy mango margarita and strawberry-basil caipirinha that may take your fancy. In general, by punching up their exciting pan Latin flavours, Toro will have all the ingredients to do very well indeed.
Toro Latin Steak House & Gastro Bar
Shop R008, Civic Square, 3/F Elements
1 Austin Road West, Kowloon
2696 9608 | diningconcepts.com