I've had brunch at Toba recently, and was pretty impressed, so last night, a group of four of us went back to try it for dinner. Unfortunately, it wasn't nearly as impressive at night.
I started with the seafood fritters which were delicate and subtle on their own, and totally overpowered by the sugary sweet chili sauce provided. Perhaps I should have used less of the sauce, but it came in a little cup on the side, so there wasn't exactly finely tuned pouring control. Kathleen ordered the arugula/pear/beet/goat cheese salad. I didn't taste it, but it sure looked pretty. Someone else had the soup, which I also didn't taste. It came in a bowl roughly the size of a Honda Civic, and she managed to eat it all, so it must have been reasonably good.
My main was the short ribs and a side of 'Toba's famous frites'. Seriously, if you're going to use the word 'famous' on your menu, the dish should at least be good. That soggy bowl of overcooked, under flavoured fries was at best infamous -- and probably not worth of even that much notice. What a waste.
The short ribs on the other hand, were excellent -- definitely the highlight of the night. The sauce was not particularly intense, but it added just a little to the delicate, succulent flavour of the long cooked ribs. They were beautifully tender and so very easy to eat.
I also tried a quick bite of the risotto of the day, and found it undercooked in every respect -- the rice was undercooked and it tasted of nearly raw onions.
Dessert followed. I opted for just ice cream, since none of the pastries really appealed to me, and I had already run up a pretty heavy dinner bill. As it turns out, the roasted banana ice cream was the same $8 as all the other desserts which I found surprising. I'd have been bothered by it less if the ice cream had, at least, been good. But it was very, very badly frozen and filled with large grain ice crystals. $8 worth of ice cream is pretty bad. $8 worth of bad ice cream is very bad indeed.