UPDATE 20/09/2014: I don’t normally post negative reviews on my blog unless something really annoys me or if it could have a negative on someone else. Unfortunately I’ve reached the end of the road with Toro Noodle Bar.
The last time we tried to order a takeaway there was clear confusion regarding providing gluten free meals, so I didn’t go through with the order and complained through their Twitter account. My former contact Lindsey no longer works there, but advised that gluten free was still being provided and couldn’t understand why there was confusion.
I left it a few months before considering going back there and yesterday my sister, brother-in-law and niece were visiting from Cornwall and were keen to have a takeaway, so this was going to be Toro’s final chance.
Although Lindsey no longer works at Toro she was aware of my concerns and still has links with the restaurant, so she offered to take my order and put it through herself, making it clear as to what was required re. the gluten free meal. Lindsey advised that the kitchen said it would be about 45 minutes for delivery, however they were very busy.
The only problem with doing this was that I wasn’t sure on the overall cost of the meal until the driver phoned whilst he was en route. This was also the point when he explained why he was running late, as by this time it was almost an hour and 45 minutes since I was advised that it would be 45 minutes! Not a good start, but this was made worse by the driver saying that it was due to there being a mix up with the order… Uh oh! Alarms bells were ringing!
The driver arrived about 10 minutes later, so it was fair to say that the order was extremely late and yet the full cost was still expected!
Rich and I plated up the meals and it certainly appeared that the batter on my meal was different to everyone else’s as it was lighter in colour and ‘GF’ was written on the outside of the polystyrene packaging. However, it was confusing that my sweet and sour sauce was in a pot that had a ‘GF’ label on top of it (not stuck to it), however one of the other two sweet and sours was also like this, with the remaining one already being mixed in with the dish. I don’t understand why this was the case and wonder if this contributed to what came next? In addition, all of the dishes were cool as opposed to hot, so quite how long they were in the car I don’t know!
Ultimately I only had half of my meal and immediately started getting stomach cramps. I think we all know what this means…. 😦
If there was any doubt, I have woken up with them this morning along with some other not so pleasant symptoms (I’m sure you get the point)! 😦
To say that I am disappointed is an understatement. I worked with Toro earlier in the year to try to organise a gluten free event at their restaurant and posted reviews on this blog, but I will not be going there again and I feel stupid for even giving them another chance after the confusion on the phone the last time. I guess we live and we learn!
I must however thank Lindsey for her efforts with trying to sort out the order but ultimately she could only advise, as she couldn’t stand in the kitchen and make sure everything was done correctly. Clearly something went wrong yesterday, whether it was gluten being directly included in my meal or through cross contamination, but I don’t feel it’s appropriate to leave the original review on my blog without including an update.
ORIGINAL POST 20/01/2014: Last month I came across a Bristol takeaway that I’d not heard of before and this was thanks to the brilliant tool that is social media, and specifically the lovely ladies @likeazebora and @wbites.
Pre diagnosis I enjoyed having Chinese takeaways and found both a local takeaway and new chain Hotcha to be very good, however since my diagnosis neither were able to accommodate me (despite numerous attempts to get them to do so!), so I was left to make my own version at home (which is never a bad thing, but sometimes it’s nice to not have to put the effort in!) 🙂
When I came across Toro Noodle Bar on Park Street in Bristol, I was keen to find out what gluten free options they had, and it turns out they have quite a lot! Lindsey Voong who is the manager at Toro Noodle Bar kindly sent me a gluten free version of their menu which very clearly details what I can and can’t have and it’s also great to see this on the back of the menu….
Lindsey also included a letter with my menu, in which she explains more about how they make some of their meals gluten free, including changing battered sweet and sours balls to chicken breast or sliced pork and changing noodle dishes to the rice based noodle.
The menu itself is split into two sections, one contains the more authentic style Chinese dishes and the other side contains more Western / Japanese style dishes, but all you really need to know is that both sides look great!
I’ve had two takeaways from Toro Noodle Bar since finding out about them and their food really is delicious and more importantly, I had absolutely no reaction from either meal, which of course is always the important thing as a coeliac.
My first order from Toro Noodle Bar was for Yeung Chow Fried Rice (something I would always have in my pre coeliac days) and the Sweet and Sour Pork with rice dish. Despite living a few miles outside of the free delivery zone, Toro still delivered to me for a minimal delivery fee which I was more than willing to pay, and upon arrival my food was still lovely and hot!
If you’d like to have a look at Toro’s takeaway menu to see what you would choose, you can find it here.
Although I didn’t intend to review my initial Toro takeaway (and have no photos due to this), the only comment I fed back to Lindsey was that the sweet and sour sauce seemed to be lacking and I wondered if this was anything to do with it being the gluten free option. Lindsey advised that this shouldn’t make a difference and advised her chefs of this for future reference.
Last weekend I ordered another takeaway from Toro, and as I tend to do, I ordered exactly the same as I’d had before (although this time I opted for the Sweet and Sour Pork without rice, which meant that there was more of it!). Rich ordered the Crispy Chilli Beef which he had also had before and greatly enjoyed, along with Szechuan Dream Pork which he thought sounded interesting! We also ordered some Prawn Crackers for good measure! 🙂
Unfortunately our order took a little longer than estimated on this occasion, but given the distance this was to be expected. There was a little confusion regarding my order
though as my Sweet and Sour Pork was battered! Obviously this threw me into something of a panic, but on contacting Lindsey we identified that their new chef had made a gluten free batter using potato flour, so it was gluten free! Yay!
Here are my dishes: Yeung Chow Fried Rice (minus shrimp!) on the left and Sweet and Sour Pork on the right.
It was so nice to be able to have the gluten free batter with the Sweet and Sour Pork as this made it feel very ‘real’ and I’m very grateful to Lindsey for making sure that there was more sauce on my order this time :).
Here are Rich’s dishes: Crispy Chilli Beef with rice on the left and Szechuan Dream Pork on the right.
I most definitely wouldn’t hesitate in recommending Toro Noodle Bar for their gluten free
options, but I know that Rich has also thoroughly enjoyed the dishes that he’s had too, so basically they’re just great, gluten free or not!
Although I’ve only had takeaways so far, Toro Noodle Bar is also a restaurant, so if you fancy some ‘delicious pan asian cuisine, using traditional authentic recipes’, then make sure you pay them a visit.
Gluten Free Buffet Event (this event has now taken place)
As Toro Noodle Bar is definitely my favourite takeaway now, I am helping them
to promote their first ever gluten free Chinese buffet to celebrate Chinese New Year on Thursday 6th February!
Here’s some more information about the event:
Love Chinese? Wish there were more Gluten Free friendly places to eat?
Being diagnosed with Coeliac Disease doesn’t mean bland meals from now. We at Toro
Noodle Bar have a wide range for those that are following a gluten free diet. And with tremendous help from the bloggers that surround us we can get some great tips on what to eat and where to eat!
Celebrating Chinese New Year of the House, we are bringing you our very first Gluten Free Buffet.
After success since June 2013 providing authentic buffets at Gala Casino Harbourside, we are taking it to the next level!
A la carte, cooked fresh from order and made just how you like it or need it 🙂 Tickets only £19.95 includes any drink and gluten free cake 🙂
Lindsey has also informed me that there will also be some special dishes that aren’t even on their menu purely for this event, and I can’t wait to try them! I am sure you will agree that this is excellent value for money, so we hope to see as many people there as possible!
If you would like to come along, please let us know either via the Facebook event (https://www.facebook.com/events/573199526096733/) or by leaving a comment below.