A little while ago I met up with an old friend I haven't seen in twenty years and decided to help the night go more smoothly by trying out the quirky and charming looking bar that is Toro on Milton Rd, Auchenflower. With its extraordinarily rich decor somewhere between a 1920s speakeasy, a hunting lodge and a gentlemen's club it reminded me a little of The Junk Bar at Ashgrove. Once inside you immediately forget that the bar is situated on a main road as it is quiet inside, the service attentive and the decor distracting.
Toro has an extensive drinks menu including cocktails, beer, wine and spirits. As well as old favourites like Bellinis, Mojitos and Mint Julips there are a selection of interesting and unusual cocktails such as Avocado Daiquiris, House Mules made with house made ginger soda, Lady Janes described as "a beautiful fruity drink with Plymouth Gin, Aperol, Lic 43 matched with lovely citrus, floral botanicals with a lavender foam". I'm not sure how I resisted a cocktail with such a description but I stuck with champagne cocktails as I was enjoying them so much. My friend enjoyed trying several of the different domestic and imported beers.
Inviting cocktails at Toro (image courtesy of Toro)
If you find yourself having one too many cocktails and you are not sure about how you will make it home Toro offers a selection of tapas from hand cut wedges, Mt Zero Olives, Salt and Pepper Squid through to Lamb and Mushroom Arancini, Wagyu Beef Carpaccio and South Australian Coffin Bay Oysters. Or you can dine at one of the high quality restaurants in the same set of shops such as new American Restaurant Blue Raven or Deer Duck Bistro and visit Toro for pre or post dinner drinks.
If this isn't enough Toro has also been providing live music on Friday and Saturday nights. I've heard from other locals that Toro has been a great place to wait out the various evening storms to hit Brisbane in recent months. It's easy for locals to walk to but is also within very easy walk of Auchenflower train station and the 470 bus stop if you are visiting from further afield.
The night I was there it was quiet and cosy but surely deserved a much larger crowd. It was a great place to catch up with an old friend and providing plenty of light conversation starters. Toro does seem to be gaining in popularity though so it might be wise to make a booking for Friday and Saturday nights.