Friday brunch, as we learned, is as sacred as Sunday lunch in Christian countries. So much that restaurant websites stipulate that bookings are mandatory for Friday brunch. I suppose you could always wing it, at your own peril though. We went with playing it safe and made reservations.
Toro Toro is a Latin-American restaurant that offers Pan Latin-American cuisine. “You can eat your way through Latin America,” the hostess told us. The menu is extensive and does offer delicious food, which I imagined was from exotic places like Ecuador, Chile, Peru.
The cold menu had a seafood ceviche, tuna tataki, and a chipotle salad. The hots starters had cachapas – which was a corn pancake with sour cream, halloumi, and mozzarella cheese; beef filet skewers; crispy prawn with habanero chilli, coriander and peanuts, and seafood a mélange of scallops, prawns and calamari called concha a lo macho. The starter plates keep coming until you give the signal that you are ready to move on to the main course.
The main consisted of meat, meat, and more meat. The Rodizio was servings of different cuts of beef, lamb chops, chicken, turkey, and prawns. Side dishes of sweet potato fries, vegetables, and more salad. By the time we got to the dessert menu, which was quite brief – just what we needed after the lunch – we were ready to call it a day. It still did not stop us from trying the Toro Toro Tres Leches – delightful sponge cake soaked in condensed milk, I think – the details of this weren’t too clear, but it tasted great. Their cortadito – chocolate coffee mousse, hazelnut, and salted caramel cake was equally delightful. A fruit platter finished off our very long Toro Toro brunch experience.
A few nights earlier we had been there for drinks and what was meant to have been a quick dinner, turned out to be quite a long affair as the waiters plied us with food then sent us to Cachaça Bar upstairs, where they have a DJ three nights a week. The mixologist came to our table to mix the drinks as we watched. A process to witness as our mojitos and caipirinhas kept flowing and flowing. Whilst dinner offered food from the à la carte menu, brunch was a gourmand food fest that kept coming and coming.
The brunch dining concept works in the same way as The Carnivore and Rodizio’s in Joburg. The food will keep coming until you say ‘enough!’. And this you do by turning the cards on the table from green for “Yes, Please” to red meaning “No, Thanks” The side dishes come in tapas-sized dishes, and the meat is on skewers, where it is carved at the table. The. Food.Was. Amazing. The service, efficient, and a very relaxed family dining atmosphere.