Reviews for Toru Cafe
by Katy Jones
one month ago
Have been going to Toru for a while, usually just for coffee, but thought I'd try the food. Had the Hot cakes, which were a little strange. They were really huge, and doughy, and a little disappointing. The staff are lovely though, and when the sunshines in the morning, its a great spot to sit and people watch. Really lovely surroundings, and the coffee is usually on target.
by Lil Zee
4 months ago
Visited Toru for a quick drink while waiting for a table for another restaurant down the road. Had walked past a few times previously while around the Ponsonby Central area but never stopped to investigate the food offerings on offer here.
The fit-out is cool with mismatched chairs, roaring fire-place, wooden floors, high glass ceilings yet cosy at the same time. To accompany our wine, and as we were feeling a tad peckish, we ordered the braised beef short rib, egg plant, sambal and sweet soy to share. This was such a good decision - this dish was flavoursome, a good balance of sweet and savoury - it just ticked all the right boxes! We almost tempted to stay and have dinner here instead but alas we were called shortly from our other restaurant.
I definitely want to return for a meal there - breakfast, lunch or dinner - the menu looks interesting and hopefully just as good as the one dish we were able to sample!
by Amy Webb
5 months ago
We visited Toru for desert and we were pleasantly suprised. We ordered the pistachio and salted caramel desert which had the most amazing texture. We also ordered a chocolate espresso tart which was extremely rich, so I'm glad we shared.
Both these deserts came with dried raspberries which were delicious and added a nice crunch. Both deserts were presented beautifully. The service was great, all staff members we spoke with were naturally friendly.
I will definitely be heading back to Toru soon for a proper meal!
7 months ago
Went there for brunch. Friendly and attentive waitress. Decent coffee. Yummy food.
by Mairi Herbert
8 months ago
Toru sits in the middle of Ponsonby Central with outside seating on the Ponsonby Road side allowing for a little people watching. Being a sister cafe to Teed St Larder in Newmarket & Wai on Waiheke Island the bar was set high from the get go, pedigree siblings indeed.
Toru is light & airy with bare wood floors giving it a little bit of a rustic feel, albeit a cool, trendy, urban rustic. On the counter there are sweet treats and macarons in big oldy worldly glass bell jars tempting you to indulge. Breakfast got off to a great start, a table secured streetside in the early morning Auckland sunshine & a good strong black. Coffee here is Three Beans & delivered a welcome morning hit.
On the menu some welcome surprises especially for those with a sweet tooth French toast with pineapple curd, lime and coconut or fresh berries with buffalo yoghurt, baby basil and raw honeycomb & not to forget ricotta pancakes with whipped salted caramel butter and vanilla sugar. On the savoury end of things there are eggs Benedict with pork belly, smoked kingfish or goat’s curd & spinach or colcannon with corned beef, sauerkraut, crème fraiche and poached eggs.
All sounded tempting but the winner was the Indonesian-style Waikanae crab omelette with sambal, kecap manis & spring onion. Fresh, light & great way to waken up your taste buds, not a morsel was left on the plate. For my breakfast buddy scrambled eggs & bacon which were also scoffed. Not only was the food full of flavour, it was beautifully presented, the sambal with my omelette arriving on the side in a tiny glass jar. Even better along with good coffee & good food was the service; friendly, attentive & helpful. So Toru, like her siblings, gets it right on all counts.
If you like this check out www.toast-nz.com
by Amy @ My Dining Journey
10 months ago
Occupying a stunning industrial space in Ponsonby Central, Toru, is the sister cafe to the ever so popular Teed Street Larder in New Market. A week after our meal at Bedford Soda and Liquor, we made our way back to explore other offerings in Ponsonby Central and decided to have a late lunch at Toru. With excellent indoor and outdoor flow, we took our seats away from the street while we were greeted by the cutest French bulldog from the store next door.
The menu at Toru is impressive. Offering an extensive range of breakfast and lunch dishes, we were spoilt for choice. From healthy options such as the quinoa muesli with buffalo yoghurt to the luscious French toast with dark chocolate and espresso cream, you will be sure to find something right for you.
After going through the menu, I settled on a healthy squid salad made with slices of courgettes, grilled calamari, pieces of spicy chorizo and micro greens. What a spectacular and summery salad! The blanched courgettes maintained a nice crunchy texture and the citrus dressing was refreshing. I wasn't a fan of the side of aioli so I opted to go without. It seemed like a rather odd pairing considering the salad is so light and well dressed.
Our waiter took great care of us and the place has a lovely casual vibe. The coffee is good, although they did mix up my soy flat white with my friend's trim but that was easily rectified. All the dishes were well executed and it's nice to see unique variety in their menu. Parking can be hard to find in Ponsonby, but with all the side streets, you'll be sure to eventually find a spot to park.
It's hard not to be won over by Toru.
Please check out my blog for more reviews and photos :) - http://mydiningjourney.wordpress.com
by Loved By Katie
11 months ago
I've been to this cafe for a while so it was very sad to see that the standard has fallen down. I ordered Pork belly sandwich with crinkle chips ($16.50) as it was my favourite. However it was disappointing to eat - buns were dry and chips were like a solid rock. They must have been sitting somewhere for a while. What a shame as I used to love these crinkle chips. I tried other sandwiches here too as I enjoyed the Pork belly one so much. The fish finger was just okay but the Beef rib w Kimchi (pictured above) was a bit bizarre with too much ginger taste. My companion seemed to enjoy his salt & pepper tiger prawns salad ($22.50) though. I didn't try it this time but I know that it was full of flavour from the last time I tried. I should've got the salad...
Please visit ♥ http://lovedbykatie.blogspot.co.nz/2014/01/toru-cafe-ponsonby.html for more photos and stories.
by Maggie G
11 months ago
Breakfast here with two fellow Foodies was fun and a very different morning dining experience for me. Ponsonby Central is a fun place to be - a bit like a Farmers market under cover with extras! Toru fronts Ponsonby Rd with a metallic lion guarding the portal in a similar vein to Circus Circus in Mt Eden
That's the only similarity though, Toru is spacious and well laid out with a few small tables in the front, a long counter in front of the kitchen, and on the walkway to other shops and food merchants on the way to the car park out the back, and several large and small tables out the back set round an old fireplace flanked by two inviting velvet armchairs. The staff were welcoming and friendly and happy to wait on orders until our whole party arrived This party included two children and while there are no high chairs or written children's menu, if you ask there are a few dishes they do kiddy size One was the ricotta pancakes - light fluffy delicious and plenty! Served with maple syrup or caramel butter and vanilla sugar. I chose the bacon and scrambled egg served with thin crisp slices of pide and a little beet root relish. Very good. The menu is interesting for breakfast fare One Foodie had chicken livers! On a brioche soaked in the rich juices and flavoured with leek and pancetta and apple they was delicious but very filling! The eggs bene come three ways - with pork belly??, with goats curd and spinach? and the Foodie's choice with delicately smoked snapper. The hollandaise was light and just coated the egg yolks Other offerings are colcannon and corned beef ,pigs cheek, and quinoa muesli to name but a few The coffee was good, but small, and the Belgian hot chocolate was divine ! Check them out if you feel like a change from the norm!
by David Boshier
11 months ago
When passing now I always stop for a coffee. The service is quick and the location is vibrant while you wait.
The coffee is excellent and the counter food is hard to go past. If in doubt have one of the large flat blueberry muffins.
If there is a park out front it is well worth stopping for your caffeine fix.
by Two Honest Truths
Dec 16, 2013
Toru is the sister company to the famous Teed Street Larder. Service was great, quick and attentive. We ordered the Pork belly burger and the Tiger Prawns. The burger dish was very filling served with four crinkle cut chips and some crackling. The bun was well made, soft, with that lovely subtle tinge of sweetness. It would have been better if the pork had more seasoning. We both loved the crinkle chips. The prawns were refreshing accompanied with a Viet style salad. They were however slightly overcooked.
We also ordered some smoothies, the Berry and Rose and the Peach and Vanilla. The former we enjoyed the most. They were the perfect thickness with just the right amount of flavour.
For the full review visit: http://twohonesttruths.com/2013/07/12/ponsonby-central-toru/
by Ropey Boylan
Aug 18, 2013
If the review was solely about the food, it would earn 5/5.. however we all know, it is more than just the food that makes for a memorable experience. Unfortunately, for those doing a marvellous job in the kitchen, it was more than the poorly managed floor that let the team down.
We ordered drinks, the guys with me were keen to try the Feijoa and Apple Smoothies.. The waiter took the drinks order, and came back with two bottles of Feijoa Phoenix. When we reminded him we ordered smoothies - he said he had heard us say 'smoothies' but thought we had it wrong as the only Feijoa beverage available was Phoenix... at $7.50?? The floor manager came over, to apologise as they had updated the menu a week ago, but not been organised enough to start offering them from the menu.. Suggestion - floor staff should be advised of any changes to the menu + what is unavailable before they take to the floor.
I ordered the Ricotta Pancakes with Salted Caramel Butter and Vanilla Sugar. Giving credit where credit is due, these were the BEST pancakes I have every had. Our table had also ordered a side of Five Grain, Poached Eggs + Bacon. Sadly the Bacon was missing, telling us that it hadn't come out because we didn't order it(!??). The waiter then offered to bring the bacon out separately, we pointed out by which time the toast and eggs would be cold..
Staff - The atmosphere lacks a personable approach. Granted, no one really likes to work a Sunday... however, must you have it written all over your face?? It was hard to tell the difference between the floor staff and who had just rolled out of bed, as two of the floor staff were wearing thick hoodies. The only thing that gave them away was one was taking money off patrons at the till, and the other had brought our food over.
Water - the ceramic jug for water had a huge crack in it. When brought to their attention, they replied that it was cleaned once a day, so would be fine.. I then asked if they would consider serving coffee from cracked cups?!
Coffee - Latte in a glass. The taste was superb, however could have been hotter.
Being non smokers, surrounded by smoking tables inside the front entrance, was the straw that broke the camels back.
Recommendation - The pancakes were great... if atmosphere, staff, service and attention to detail were on par, they'd see me back in a heart beat.. if these things are not as important to you, you may be just as happy with a drive-thru.
Jul 03, 2013
Loved this! Many brunch options that appealed so it was hard to settle on just one. The eggs benedict with pork belly was totally decadent. Service was top class and pricing was not over the top.
If I lived in Auckland I'd move to Ponsonby just for this place.
by Natalie Whaiapu
Jun 15, 2013
An Aucklander at heart who has traveled the world and has a love affair with Europe can honestly say Auckland city has come along way in terms of cuisine. A casual breakfast date with a girlfriend early Saturday morning resulted in a delightful culinary experience at Toru cafe in Ponsonby Central.
The menu is stylish with tantalizing food options, variety and flair. I ordered the Waikanae crab omelette (absolutely... to die for) if you love crab, like i do! Rebecca ordered salt and pepper prawns with a Vietnamese salad, incredibly moorish and so tasty she could have gone for round two.
Overall the team at Toru are very professional, vibrant and friendly. The service was fast and efficient even though every table was full.
Highly recommend this spot, Ponsonby central is definitely the place to be, caters to all taste buds, fantastic atmosphere, people watching and great food!
by Louise Hopkins
Jun 06, 2013
Treating myself to some time out at Toru has become a real pleasure for me lately. I've been several times recently and have always enjoyed my experiences here. The food is fantastic and I love the way they use such interesting ingredients on the menu. My favourite meal so far has been the ricotta pancakes with salted caramel butter... or maybe the Asian crab omelette... or maybe the salt and pepper prawns -yum!! It is slightly more expensive than your mainstream café (although no more so than any others in Ponsonby) but I don't mind paying a bit extra to get guaranteed good food, coffee and service - and the atmosphere is great too. I will definitely be back in the near future to sample more delicious dishes!
by Dining Enthusiast
Jun 01, 2013
I went to Toru on a very busy Saturday with my Mum, cousin, niece, and nephew for lunch and we had a great time.
We loved the atmosphere which was just so right - even down to the lovely blue and white water jugs.
The food was fantastic - I had the marinated chicken and haloumi salad, my Mum and cousin the Vietnamese prawn salad, nephew the pork belly sandwich with crinkle cut chips, and niece had fabulous ricotta pancakes.
The service was friendly and attentive but not overbearing. We were very much looked after by our waiter Aaron who explained the menu and helped with our food and beverage selections.
Overall I thought - spot on and I'll be back with more friends, family and colleagues. Such a fantastic addition to the Ponsonby dining scene and certainly one of my new favourites.
by Kacie Stetson
May 31, 2013
I usually would never use my valuable time writing a review but our experiences at Toru were so awful that I see it as my civic duty to warn people off of this horribly managed disaster of a cafe. We went once after opening and found it good so we went back a second time.
First, it took the server forever to come to our table, after serving a number of tables who sat after us. He took our order. We waited. We waited some more. We waited even longer as everyone around got served even though they ordered after us. Finally, he shows up and asks, "Can I get you anything else?" I said, "Yes, how about the food and beverages we ordered over an hour ago?" When I complained to the girl at the register, she under-generously comped our drinks only.
Like masochists, we went back again, hoping that we had merely had a rouge bad server.
This time we waited for twenty minutes and no one ever came to our table.
Also, my brother in law and his partner went the next week, only to have the same thing happen to them.
I have worked in the restaurant business for over twenty years and have never seen so poorly managed a floor.
by Carl Eastwood
May 11, 2013
Toru is a tail of two halfs. The food there is some of the best that we've tried in Auckland. However, the drinks were not very good at all. I was on the verge of giving it 3 stars but bumped it up to 4 because the atmosphere in the cafe/bar is good.
My partner had the ricotta pancakes, with whipped salted caramel butter and vanilla sugar. They were probably the best pancakes that we've ever tasted and that's saying something because my partners orders them a lot when eating out for breakfast. I had the colcannon, corned beef, sauerkraut, crème fraiche, poached eggs which was a great combination of flavours (although very stingey on the beef).
We order two smoothies and a coffee to go with that. The smoothies were poor to average and pretty small. The coffee was very strong and just not on par with other local cafes. Hopefully that was just a mistake by the person making the coffee. The other potential is that they maybe don't have a dedicated barista?
We would still go back though and that's probably the most important thing.
by Julie Phelps
Apr 19, 2013
I’ve been meaning to review this place for a while. We have been lots of times, in facts its becoming our regular Saturday breakfast spot. Only problem is what to choose from the menu.
My current faviourt is Ham hock on Polenta, delicious. And the Pancetta and eggs is wonderful too.
It’s a really nice environment, great service and good for a large group.
Only thing is my coffee could be a bit hotter - but thats just being picky
Its great to have found a new breakfast spot. See you again this Saturday!
Apr 14, 2013
we had bfast once and we loved the menu thats why we came back today with some friends and it was shocking! waiter told my friend to speed up herwine because he had been there since morning! so rude and unprofessional! and i ordered a donut with my coffee and she brought two coffees for me and with an arrogant tone she insisted i was wrong and hadnt order any food. no idea about customer service that waitress! of course none of us is coming back!
by Cynthia Hay
Mar 23, 2013
Last Monday I ordered prawn and Vietnamese salad and nuoc nam as a meal and it came with peanuts. I am allergic to them. Peanuts were not mentioned on the menu. Not good.
by Roanne Parker
Nov 15, 2012
Amazing! Steve & co does it again with Toru - number three cafe after Newmarket's Teed St Larder and the stunning Wai Kitchen in Oneroa, Waiheke.
The food is perfection. Crab omelet anyone? Ham hock on Polenta? Go try it.
The space perfectly executed by Paul Izzard Design.
This is our new local, and I would go every day if I could.
Liquor license to come but in the meantime great coffee, juices and smoothies.
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