REVIEW Toro Pan Asian, Park Street, Bristol

How do you read a restaurant review? If you’re anything like me, you skip to the descriptions of the food. Food writers don’t half waffle.

So, let’s skip to the juicy bit!

The Food

We read the Bristol Bites review before we arrived and ordered two dishes mentioned in the post and an additional ‘filler’.
The dishes were Waterfall Beef and Szechuan Aubergines and the filler was Crispy Pork Belly, Chinese Vegetables and Rice.

As expected the Waterfall Beef was spicy and big. Very spicy and very big and so, so many kinds of right. If it had contained rice noodles I would have tried to marry it. When you eat it, you realise where the name comes from. Large tears were streaming down my face as I was eating/slurping it. And the mysterious veg items made it feel like a wonderful undersea world of burn.

We needed something plain to take away the pain. We tucked into the pork belly and rice. Soothing rice but the pork belly was anything but plain. I think we both said it was the best pork belly we’ve ever had. And we’ve had a lot of pork belly. The ‘Chinese Vegetables’ was actually just a bit of cabbage I think but we didn’t really care at this point. By now we were at that awkward ‘no, you have the last few pieces' stage. My tip - order one each.

The beef and pork belly were from the ‘Chinese menu’ rather than the standard restaurant menu. The Szechuan Aubergines were more what I would consider the usual Chinese restaurant fare. They were a sweet, sticky and a welcome contrast to the heat of the beef. You can view both menus on the website - link below.

Gluten Free

I asked on Twitter if my diet could be accommodated and they replied enthusiastically with ‘Of course!’ A good start. I had a moment of panic when I arrived as I hadn’t mentioned my egg intolerance. However, we chose carefully and consulted the chef when we ordered. We were told that the pork belly came with a sauce, but they could make it gluten free. I asked about soy sauce in their dishes and I was informed that they can use gluten free soy sauce! One downer was the prawn crackers, which I was told contained wheat. But they were probably unnecessary anyway!

The Restaurant Itself

The actual restaurant is very unassuming and plain. I felt the lighting was quite bright and not very cosy and that a few table lamps and curtains on the windows would have made a huge difference. However, the staff are great and the restaurant is clean and well run. I’d take that over decor any day.

We had plenty to eat between us and I would definitely recommend sharing the main courses. The 3 dishes, with a very large glass of red wine and a Corona came to just £31.20.

Overall an 8/10 :)

Toro Pan Asian, 72 Park Street, Bristol, BS1 5JX


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