El Toro

Latin gastrotainment fine-tuned to please the palates of the Zagreb clientele

In many ways, El Toro is a one-of-a-kind restaurant in Zagreb, mostly owing to its gastronomic concept. Its cuisine is dominated by Latin American flavours adapted to Zagreb tastebuds, which turned out to be a smash hit, because for years now El Toro has been a favourite place for various occasions – from business lunches to nights on the town.

Located in the wider city centre, with large semicircular top-to-bottom glass windows and a cosmopolitan interior design dominated by an imposing golden bull statue, El Toro is one of Zagreb's favourite gastrotainment destinations. The interior is dominated by a long bar and massive high tables for 6 people distributed along the glass wall overlooking Šubićeva Street. The restaurant also has a spacious gallery with low seating. The combination of black, gold, glass and wood is powerful, even a bit decadent. The restaurant is bathed in daylight because an entire side of the restaurant is in glass, which makes it a very pleasant place to have lunch. But huge glass walls make it also very attractive in the evening. The restaurant can accommodate about one hundred people, and it also has a terrace surrounded by greenery, which is open in nice weather.

Currently, El Toro is hosting a monthly guest pop-up gastrotainment program.

What is served?

From its beginnings, El Toro's menu was created and signed by chef Mario Mihelj, a true fan of South American flavours. For years, El Toro has been successfully combining many autochthonous Latin American ingredients, spices and food preparation techniques. For example, the menu always includes some type of tiradito – thinly sliced raw fish in an aromatic spicy sauce, tacos and steaks, but also vegan and gluten-free options.

The current menu has a separate seasonal veggie offer and a daily chef's recommendation of five dishes, which includes yakitori chicken skewers, octopus meatballs, signature paella, pork ribs and salmon salad. Appetizers are meant to be shared — nachos, four types of tacos, gyoza, sea bass tiradito, shrimp ceviche, and fish and beef tartare. The main dishes include flavoured octopus, lamb chops, butterfly sea bass, prawn tails and beef salad. There is also a selection of steaks with accompanying sauces, side dishes and salads. El Toro also gives you the option to pre-order Beef Wellington and the signature suckling pig for 6 people which comes with side dishes. Desserts are also seasonal and there are currently five of them, and they also have a children's menu.

As for wines poured open, there are about twenty of them, mostly Croatian, and the wine list is extensive and creative. The wide selection of Croatian wines covers every region, and the World Wines include some truly interesting wines for every budget. The Latin concept is also visible in the wine selection through South American wines.

The service is pleasant with good knowledge of the menu which is why you can get good recommendation on what to choose.

What our chefs had?

We came to El Toro for lunch on a rainy spring afternoon, so we were seated inside, at high tables. There were just enough visitors to feel comfortable, with new guests coming every now and then. To start with, we decided to share the sea bass tiradito and shrimp tacos. The vibrant plate of raw fish immediately enchanted us with its colours. Thinly sliced sea bass was served in an aromatic sauce of passion fruit and aji amarillo paste, which gave it its characteristic yellow colour, and coconut and fennel cream added to its creaminess, rounding off the aromatics. Sea bass was served with crispy dehydrated corn, along with pickled shallots and fragrant green coriander oil which boosted its freshness even more. The main star in the wheat tortilla taco were crispy panko-crumbed shrimps. Aji amarillo mayonnaise gave it juiciness, while Chinese cabbage with sweet chili sauce, young lettuce, teriyaki sauce and gomashio sprinkle gave it freshness and spiciness.

For the main course, we decided on the El Toro signature baked paella and veal French rack. Paella is a dish rich in various flavours, and in El Toro’s interpretation, it consists of a base of round grain rice seasoned with saffron and enriched with chicken, large mussels, prawns and squid strips mixed with peas. Paella was served in a terracotta bowl to brown the rice, and the dish was topped with a crust of sheep's cheese, Grana Padano and sausage, and basil cream.

The perfectly medium-cooked veal French rack was approximately of 300g and it had a delicate pink colour. To accompany it, we chose delicious home-made fried potatoes and just crispy enough thin green beans from the wok.

We paired the lunch with the velvety red wine Celeste Crianza 2020 Torres, which perfectly accompanied the selected dishes with its expressive fruitiness and elegant spices.

Monday: closed Tuesday - Sunday 12:00 - midnight
Ul. fra Filipa Grabovca 1, 10000, Zagreb
Monday: closed Tuesday - Sunday 12:00 - midnight
+385 99 613 2926
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