As you all know I was helping to promote a Gluten Free Buffet at Toro Noodle Bar to help celebrate Chinese New Year earlier this month. Unfortunately despite best efforts, only four people attended the event. I was very disappointed that the turn out wasn’t greater, however it was a great opportunity for me to meet the lovely Debra (@likeazebora) so I can’t complain! Toro Noodle Bar had kindly put together a gluten free menu just for the event which included a range of starters and mains. It was also possible to order items from the normal menu, as long as they could be made gluten free. The menu stated that ‘each customer may order any two dishes at a time and must finish before re-ordering’. This seemed fair as the meals were being cooked to order so it wouldn’t be good to have lots of wastage. Rich and I were the first ones to arrive, and not sure whether anyone else was coming, we decided to order. We both opted for the Chinese Style Chicken Salad for our starters and then I chose the Stir Fried Beef with Pak Choi for my main, whilst Rich ordered the Japanese Style Seabass. I decided to order things that I wouldn’t normally have ordered as it felt like a good opportunity to experience some new flavours. By the time our food came Debra had arrived and it was lovely to finally meet someone I’d spoken to quite a lot on Twitter – exactly what these events are designed to do! 🙂 When our starters arrived, I have to say that it looked amazing – the presentation was just great! As for the taste, well I was worried about stepping outside my comfort zone, but I would definitely say it was my favourite meal of the whole evening! The chicken was coated in a very thin gluten free batter and the combination of flavours and textures worked perfectly. I absolutely loved it, as did Rich! Now for the main courses…. Rich’s Seabass looked great and I’m advised that it also tasted great. Unfortunately I wasn’t so keen on my main meal. Firstly I wasn’t aware that it came with mushrooms as I wouldn’t have ordered it if I’d known and unfortunately the Pak Choi didn’t really work for me either which was a shame. This was just down to personal taste though, as Rich tried some and really enjoyed it. As we’d finished our first two courses we decided to revert back to the standard menu and order the items we’d normally have as takeaway. Crispy Chilli Beef for Rich and Sweet & Sour Pork for myself, however I was advised that I couldn’t have the Sweet & Sour Pork as it couldn’t be made gluten free. If you’ve read my review of the takeaway menu you’ll be aware that I’ve had this before, once with no batter on the pork and once with a potato flour batter, so it was strange that I couldn’t have it on this occasion. Instead I opted for Yeung Chow Fried Rice (another favourite), but I was told I couldn’t have the pork as it had already been marinated and therefore wasn’t gluten free. Instead I just had rice, chicken and peas. This was quite disappointing and following the other courses it unfortunately tasted quite bland in comparison. Having spoken to the lovely Lindsay (Toro’s Manager) after the event she advised that this had been an error as she had purposely requested that the gluten free Sweet & Sour Pork was available as she had expected me to order it! Oh well, I’ll just save myself for the next takeaway! 🙂 Following all this food we certainly weren’t needing any more courses so decided to pay, but forgot that there was still gluten free cake! We asked if we could take some away with us which fortunately we were able to do. Firstly though, I took a picture of the full cake – check this out….. How utterly amazing does this look?! I can assure you that not only did it look great, but it tasted gorgeous and it was unbelievable that it was gluten free! The sponge combined with the topping and filling was just perfect. Unfortunately the two large slices we’d been given didn’t find their way to Rich… he ended up with a small taster, but I just had to have the rest! 😉 All in all it was a great event, and you’re not as fussy as me you’d have loved all the courses! I know both sets of partners both ate off the gluten free menu when neither needed to, but they both really enjoyed their meals, which was great to see. It just proves that gluten free meals can taste great and appeal to anyone! To finish my review, here’s a little pic of myself and Debra!I know that when I took to Twitter following the event a lot of my followers commented that they would have loved to have attended if they weren’t located a long way away, which is great to know! Hopefully if Toro Noodle Bar kindly offer to run another event, we can really push the promotion and make it more successful and help spread the gluten free word! 🙂
To find out more about Toro Noodle Bar you can visit their website (www.toronoodlebar.co.uk), check out their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ToroNoodleBar) or follow them on Twitter (@Toro_NoodleBar).