Did you know TORO means ‘Bull’ in Mexico and ‘Tuna Belly’ in Japan?
Filipinos are crazy about Mexican and Japanese food, which are among our comfort food next to Chinese cuisine. So, it’s nice to find unique restaurant concepts like TORO, which serves Mexican and Japanese cuisine (it is not a fusion restaurant).
The foodies I know, who were invited for a taste test before the restaurant opened, were raving about the food. It’s not surprising because Chef Sau del Rosario is the Chef Consultant for the resto.
We recently met here for our Mercato Centrale team meeting. Here is an account of our experience…
The restaurant exudes this “dark bar” mood. A Spanish chandelier and a wall depicting a geisha with small toro (bull) and torero (matador) silhouettes serve as its decor.
It does seem a bit intimidating with its fine-dining aura, long-back (but comfortable!) chairs, and meal prices (most are at P300+ per dish).
Toro Menu: Soups, Salads, and Tapas | Sushirito, Bowls, and Tacos | Main Dishes and Makis | Desserts, Baskets, Sandwiches
East Meets West Salad (P300+10% service charge). Organic greens, red radish, candied walnuts, daikon cress, shiitake, sesame dressing.
This is a classic Chef Sau del Rosario salad. With its sweet sesame dressing, it’s a good way to start your meal.
Spicy Seafood Salad (P270+10% service charge). Kani, prawns, salmon and tobiko (flying fish roe) topped with melted parmesan, served in a crispy bowl over fresh pineapple.
We tried to go fancy and order this unusual salad. Think of it as a Hawaiian-inspired seafood taco salad.
Honestly, I don’t think it worked for me because of the weird seafood-pineapple combination.
Spicy Aji Tuna Maki (P330+10% service charge). Aji tuna, spicy mayo, spring onions, tempura flakes and avocado.
This maki with its spicy tuna toppings tasted good. I liked eating it as a whole (and even made it more spicy with wasabi). Great combination!
Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna (P300+10% service charge). Breaded deep-fried sushi rice, tuna with spicy mayo.
This was a bit reduntant with our Spicy Aji Tuna Maki order. I didn’t like the breaded, deep fried sushi rice because it was all texture but no taste at all.
Age Dashi Tofu (P380+10% service charge). Vegetarian. Deep-fried tofu, sweet soy glaze, enoki mushrooms, spring onions.
The quality of tofu was very good — soft, smooth, and had a good bite. The sweet soy glaze and presentation are classic Chef Sau. A bit expensive though, considering each tofu block would cost about P100 each.
Spicy Tofu Firebowl (P350+10% service charge). Vegetarian. Topped with onions, bean sprouts, shredded nori.
RJ was a happy vegetarian because he could eat a variety of tofu-based dishes in the menu.
Slow-Cooked Braised Lamb Shank (P750+10% service charge). Five spices, sweet potato mash, market vegetables.
I liked this lamb with its different combination of Mexican and Japanese spices. The lamb was soft and had absorbed most of the flavor of the spices. It’s good to share with 2-3 people.
Pan-Roasted French Duck (P440+10% service charge). Grilled pineapple, sweet potato, garlic spinach, balsamic teriyaki sauce.
If there is one dish you’ve got to try, you should order this one — well-cooked duck with teriyaki sauce. The duck itself was very flavorful, and we had the choice to mix and match it with either pineapple, sweet potato or garlic spinach.
Coincidentally, we saw Chef Sau in the kitchen, and he served us complimentary sangrias to end our meal. The sangria was a bit sweet, and I didn’t feel the alcohol content (which I like!)
Tempura Ice Cream (P190+10% service charge).
Most of the desserts were out of stock. As for this fried ice cream tempura, I was not impressed since I couldn’t taste the ice cream anymore because it already melted. Maybe I should try the other desserts next time. (Any suggestions?)
The Mercato Centrale team, celebrating the successful move to the new location near MC Home Depot, with Chef Sau del Rosario.
We are planning our awesome summer activities in Mercato Centrale. Watch out for them!
Overall, I like Toro’s concept of bringing together Mexican and Japanese comfort food under one roof. The pricing is a bit expensive, though, so budget about P600/head.
This is a good date place for people looking for a different kind of restaurant menu and ambiance.
TORO Restaurant & Bar
Unit 6 G/F One McKinley Place
(at the back of MINI Car Showroom)
26th Street corner 4th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City
For reservations, contact +632 846-9681
Valet Parking is available for FREE
Check out Mexican Restos in Manila: https://awesome.blog/awesome/mexican/
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P.S. We were not able to try the Sushirito, which is Sushi burrito-style. Let me know in the comments section if you like it.
3 thoughts on “TORO Mexican Japanese Restaurant”
everything looks interesting! the place looks alta! ahahaha! i’ll definitely try out Toro right after holy week!
disappointing experience at TORO resto last night. the food server is so much inexperienced especially in terms of wine. we ordered a bottle of red, he poured & left wine drops on our table cloth. when i tasted it, it was lukewarm, straight out of a cabinet or box maybe? he didn’t ask if we wanted it chilled before serving. seeing our disappointment, he suggested he changed our wine glasses with CHILLED ones! hmm we are not drinking beer here and its too late really. i said the only way you could make things better is to change the bottle to a chilled one. as expected this did NOT happen as he would have to pay for it. he was apologetic but again, why do customers have to suffer the consequence of an ill-trained waiter? as for the food, it was SO-SO, the turtle pie saved the night. no, i wouldnt recommend nor return to this place. sorry.
Yes Toro is a disaster, service is bad, food is worse and taco cheese and Japanese food doesn’t work.
Would not return or recommend.