Il Toro Pasta and Pizza Bar - 1/321 North East Road, Hampstead Gardens, SAWanting a quick and fuss free dinner on Friday night, boyfriend and I decided to try Il Toro Pasta and Espresso Bar on North East Rd. Although not the most flash looking place, Il Toro boasts fresh handmade pasta and has received fairly good ratings on Urbanspoon.
The garlic bread ordered for starters was nice but not rave worthy. Standard crunch, standard amount of oil, standard amount of garlic. Personally, I like my garlic bread oozing with oil but I understand this isn't to everyone's taste.
Gnocchi Calabrese was chosen as one of the two mains for the night. This dish is described as hand cut gnocchi with calabrese salami, chilli, kalamata olives and roma tomato salsa. Unlike your normal round petite gnocchi, the gnocchi were large oval shaped pillows, both soft and comforting. I was initially surprised at the softness and the lack of bite of the gnocchi but was not disappointed. The texture of the gnocchi was closer to the mash potato side than al dente pasta side. The roma tomato salsa was nicely flavoured by the olives and had a mild heat impact from the chilli and salami.
The second main chosen was Penne Al Pollo - pan fried free range chicken breast, smoked bacon, field mushrooms and rose sauce. This dish had nice, subtle flavours but was not as complex as those found in the Gnocchi Calabrese. Once again the pasta did taste fresh and handmade. However, the chicken in the pasta was slightly dry and overcooked.
|Penne Al Pollo|
There is no doubting the handmade nature of the pasta and lovely to have copious amounts of shaved Parmesan served with each pasta dish - the way it's suppose to be. The food served was very homely tasting. My boyfriend, a reputable Italian source, stated it tastes exactly like something from someone’s home, especially the element of chicken dryness because you're freaked about salmonella poisoning. Price points for pasta dishes lie between $10 – $13. This is fantastic value for a dish of good quality handmade pasta, considering Fasta Pasta would cost you slightly more.
Jess gives Il Toro Pasta and Espresso Bar 14/20 chops on The Chopping Board.