Toro Toro

Review: Stunning food overshadowed by bizarre, unwelcoming service Discuss this article

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We’re sitting in the stunning, funky dining room of the new Toro Toro restaurant in Abu Dhabi trying to make sense of what just happened on the way in.

It’s the second time we’ve tried to eat at the pan-Latin venue (it’s not open for lunch yet, though we’re told it will be soon) and we’re told our reservation is not in the system (it turns out you need to reply to their confirmation SMS or email). After some persuasion on our part, we’re allowed inside. Though not until after a frankly bizarre exchange. If we didn’t need to write this review, we probably would have left and gone somewhere else.

There are plenty of tables free, though it must be said there are more than a few people eating and there’s a nice vibe to the colourful room.

The menu, as anyone familiar with Richard Sandoval’s brand will be aware, features mainly meat – this is Latin food after all. But there are also lots of of seafood dishes, too, especially raw and cured small plates.

All of the staff seem distracted by each other and appear to be more concerned with arguing than taking our order, but finally we manage to ask for a few dishes to share.

The food we get is all sublime, with each plate showing a masterful grasp on flavours, textures and presentation (only the butterfish Ceviche splits opinion, with one of us finding the fish on the mushy side).

However, despite the quality of the food, the meal is overshadowed by the whole odd episode.

Toro Toro opened around a month ago, and though we are told it is in a soft launch phase, if you’re open and charging full-price for a meal, why should customers accept anything less than the fully-realised experience?

Things need to get better before it will be a success.

The bill (for two)
1x Hot Stone Ceviche Dhs59
1x lomo saltado empanda Dhs55
1x beef fillet anticucho Dhs79
1x tuna tataki tiraditos Dhs78
1x whole sea bass Dhs139
Total (including taxes) Dhs410

The bottom line
A brand and venue that deserves better.

By Time Out Abu Dhabi staff
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.


  • Location: Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi
  • Tel: 02 811 5882
  • Travel: Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Corniche West

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