TORO + KO

It was going to be one of our last social meals in 2018 so thought why not try Toro + Ko at Citywalk 2. Spanish food is not necessarily my favourite cuisine but as the majority were keen on dining there I agreed. It was lovely Dubai weather and we chose to sit outdoors, under umbrellas that had to be maneuvered ever so often to try and keep up with the moving sun.

Toro + Ko is part of the collection of licensed restaurants helmed in some way by celebrity chefs at Citywalk 2. Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette, both of whom have won awards in America and are now on a mission to spread their brand of Barcelona-styled food around the world. Toro + Ko is their fourth location, after the originals in Boston, New York and Bangkok. But the Chef doing the cooking and feeding along with his team is Chef Oscar Poquet Bigorda. (Side note: I must confess – I always end up learning more about the restaurant after I have visited and talked to the people and then of course gone online to do a bit more research 😊)

For drinks I stuck to water as I was driving. My friend who ordered a white wine sangria got something she was not expecting in terms of taste. It turned out that the bartender had got it wrong. They rectified it, but we hadn’t got off on the right start.

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We ordered quite a few starters from the tapas menu – lets see if they fared any better?

We started off with complimentary “Golden” Olives, emulsifed and served as a spoonful of gel to clean our palate.

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Patata Bravas – Spanish potatoes cooked in a spicy tomato sauce and aioli which has to make it to every Spanish menu and is a must for me to try. These were presented very differently to what I was used to at other restaurants. I loved them.

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Corte de Foie Gras de Pato con pan de Higos – or put in layman’s terms 😊 it was duck foie gras wedged between fig bread mixed with a Pedro Ximenez sherry reduction. Not a fan of foie gras to begin with, this one I will leave as something I just liked.

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Gambas Al Ajillo which translates to garlic prawns cooked in extra virgin olive oil with a dash of cayenne pepper. I loved them.

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Croquetas de Pollo Ahumado – smoked chicken croquettes. I loved these too.

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With all that already tucked in we made the grave mistake of over ordering our mains. We ordered 2 Paellas thinking that by ordering the smaller size (the paella comes in two sizes) we should be fine. But both of them are quite big (as you can see in the photos). Both were nice, but only got my vote – I am more of a traditionalist at heart.

Paella #1: Arroz negro con carabineros, calamares y sepia – this one had squid ink (hence the blackness) with Spanish red prawns, cuttlefish and calamari. We chose this as one of my fellow diners loves the ‘black rice’ paella. There was quite a bit of seafood in there. It was interesting. The photo below was taken after it was mixed up.

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Paella #2: Marisco – this one came with Boston lobster, prawns, mussels, clams and calamari. I loved the subtlety of the taste and the meat was cooked perfectly. This is the one that got my vote – I loved it.

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I know we had to do a doggy bag with some of the paella that was left over.

But we could not resist dessert. So we chose the Cremoso Caliente de Chocolate which basically was a hot chocolate cremeux with vanilla foam and raspberry sorbet.

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Location: TORO + KO, City Walk 2, Dubai Telephone: +971 4 590 5433 Open from Weekdays: 12PM-1AM and Weekends: 12PM-3AM

NOTE: I ate at TORO + KO on my OWN time and money! The views and opinions expressed on this blog are truly my OWN.