For our second day in Boston, we wanted to check out Toro. Aside from Neptune, V told me amazing things about Toro, but also warned me about the crazy wait during dinner service. We went around 12pm for the lunch service instead and didn't have to wait at all. We were one of the first customers to arrive! It was really hot that day, but for some odd reason, we decided to sit outdoors because there was a nice breeze. After maybe 10 minutes, it got blindingly sunny, and the breeze had left us. I wanted to switch tables to one that was under the canopy, but the outdoor seating was already full by then. I kept hoping the sun would gradually hide behind a building but it never did, and my shoulders were tanned by the end of lunch. The boyfriend could not escape the horrible fate of obtaining a farmer's tan either. However, the amazing food made up for it and the photos came out great under natural sunlight!
Our server came over quickly with menus. I literally wanted everything on the menu. I had a hard time deciding on which dishes I wanted to try, because we only had two mouths. We needed to be strategic. I wanted the corn, and he wanted the paella. The server was helpful and recommended that we order 4-6 dishes between us, but since we wanted the paella, he said 4 would be enough. We then decided on the bone marrow/oxtail and tuna from the cold tapas section. And good thing we only ordered 4 dishes. Our server kept refilling our bread and we found ourselves mopping up the delicious sauces of every dish! I left Toro a very happy customer with a full belly.
He ordered a Spanish beer and I ordered a Gypsy - gin, elderflower, yellow chartreuse, lime: This was light and sweet, at first. I could taste a hint of the elderflower, but mostly a citrus note. Then after a few sips I was feeling the gin. Not such a light drink anymore, but overall enjoyable.
Yellowfin tuna with soy, spicy cucumbers, citrus and avocado: It may not look like it, but this dish was bursting with flavours: sour, sweet, spicy and savoury all at the same time. It had just the right amount of tanginess from the garlic/citrus sauce and kick from the kimchi cucumbers, balanced by the rich avocado cream.
Maíz Asado con Alioli y Queso Cotija - Grilled corn with alioli, lime, espelette pepper and aged cheese: Oh dear. It pains me just to look at this photo. The corn was heavenly. I engulfed it within seconds. The corn was sweet and juicy with a lightly-charred smokiness, slathered in a delicious homemade creamy alioli (Spanish garlic mayonnaise). The spicy pepper and lime added a kick while the cheese sprinkled on top added saltiness. Loved every bit of it!
Asado de Huesos - Roasted bone marrow with radish citrus salad and oxtail marmalade: I was shocked when this dish came. The marrow was as long as my knife (there were two!) and the oxtail sandwiches were stacked high. ALL this gluttony for $12! That's less than $100 HKD. Unbelievable. Aside from the huge portions, I was also blown away by how delicious this dish was. The bone marrow was cooked and seasoned perfectly. It just dissolved on my tongue, leaving behind a rich and buttery taste. The radish and mandarin/clementine mixture was a crucial component to this dish, because it cut through the fattiness of both the marrow and oxtail. Without the addition of the citrus flavours, the dish would've been way too rich and greasy to finish.
Sangria: Not on the menu, but the server told us that they had white or red sangria. It tasted alright, a bit too OJ-ish to me though. It would've been better with a touch of nutmeg or cinnamon.
Here's a closeup of the oxtail marmalade. It was a delicious work of art: oxtail meat removed from the bone cooked into a delicious "marmalade" with carrots, shallots, sugar and red wine, piled high on toasted ciabatta. The marmalade melted in my mouth and I could taste all the savoury and sweet components. The sandwich was a perfect ratio of meat to bread, so every bite had beefy goodness and a satisfying crunch from the ciabatta. We both agreed that this was one of the best things we have ever eaten.
Mussels, clams, shrimp, Spanish pork sausage, chicken, and Calasparra rice: It is very easy to mess up a paella, because you want to strike a perfect balance between having the rice al-dente, the sauce reduced and the seafood just done, not rubbery and overcoooked. This paella was a winner. The shrimps were succulent and fresh, the clams were briny and plump and the mussels were sweet. The sauce was well seasoned, and the bottom had crisped up to form a crunchy layer of rice. We ordered the half-portion for this dish, and as you can see in the picture below, it's quite a huge portion for 2 people. I recommend sharing this between 3-4 people.
And this is me battling an intense food coma and burnt shoulders. zZzZzzz
Verdict: LOVED this place! If I'm ever in Boston again, Toro will be my first stop.