Bar Torino fits in perfectly next to Chianti Restaurant on Hutt Street in the CBD. We popped in early on a Friday night to find the place filling up very quickly. We were still looking at the menu when the waiting list for tables already started. A promising sign. The drinks list is extensive from cocktails to a rather well-rounded wine and beer list. As usual I asked if they would make me a mocktail and the bartender happily obliged.
Bar Torino is a great place to grab some drinks, catch up with friends and chill over some tapas and shared plates. It has that kind of vibe so that’s what we did. Share some tapas! There are however bigger plates you can order to yourself if you’re dining solo or not in the sharing mood. Note the menu also changes seasonally but usually the favourites live on and on. Well, one favourite I can vouch for is the Cigar. Don’t worry we’re not asking you to smoke one, it’s a crispy food cigar filled with the most delicious veal and tuna mayo. So buttery and tender with great flavour it’s simply perfect!
Empanada is great tapas food, after all, it’s deep fried pastry with delicious fillings. This one was filled with fried chicken, sweetcorn, bacon and mozzarella with some mustard chilli jam on the side. The Salmon Tartare came next which was quite a good lighter version if you’re not a fan of beef tartare. Lightly cured salmon with just the right flavours served with horseradish cream, pickled celery and crostini to scoop it up.
It’s hard to resist ordering a Toastie when you see it on the menu especially when it’s filled with slow cooked Korean Style Beef Cheek, balsamic onion and cheddar cheese. To do things a little differently, the toastie wasn’t just regular white sliced bread, it was a ciabatta roll. I thought this was pretty good value for $6.50 considering the prices of the other tapas items. The beef cheek was most definitely tender!
On Fridays and Saturdays they get the “charcoal” going so always keep an eye on the board for the special that day. The staff will happily advice you too. As soon as we heard pork belly we went for it. Charcoal roasted pork belly with crispy crackling. Excuse me while I crunch away, making no apologies for the noise here! It was served with rolled Chinese cabbage which was actually a little bland unfortunately.
They also do Paella on Sundays and their specials for the weekend get updated on the website so definitely check it out. We didn’t spend long there as we had other places to be that night but I could easily see myself hanging out all night with a bunch of friends. There’s always tortillas, patatas bravas and polenta chips to keep us going.
158 Hutt Street
08 8155 6010