I’ve never heard of Tao’s Restaurant until recently when the friend mentioned that this is one of her favourite restaurants. Of course I have to go check it out! Apparently, Tao’s has been around for years and belongs to the same group as JuJu Hokkaido Hot Pot and Dozo (on my to-go-list!). The concept is straightforward: “One price, One Menu, Many Selections” ($19.90++ for 6 course lunch/ $29.80++ for 7 course dinner) and the fusion menu is a mishmash of modern European and oriental dishes.
Love the tangy and refreshing sour plum juice! This actually belongs on the menu of sister restaurant JuJu Hot Pot next door but the staff kindly brought us a serving each.
The bacon and mushroom gratin pairs well with the free-flow toasted bread but it was slightly salty and way too cheesy for me.
Instead of the gratin, my starter is off the menu (it’s actually the starter on JuJu’s menu, how convenient to have a sister restaurant next door haha) and this is my favourite dish of the day! Hard not to love eggs, especially when said egg is a 70% semi-boiled beauty with a semi-solid yolk, served with cold tofu and a small slice of yellowtail. Extremely simple but terribly good!
I happily polished off the slices of smoked salmon on my salad but neglected the pile of romaine lettuce which looked wilted and browned to me.
To my surprise, the waiter noticed and after knowing the reason, he insisted on letting me try another salad on the menu. So I had the fruit salad, a timbale of apples and peaches, topped with finely chopped crabsticks. Sweet and fruity (duh!).
Both the cream of mushroom (with lots of mushrooms!) and pumpkin soup had a strong dose of cream that I didn’t take to.
I hardly ever find fault with unagi, just because I like it so much that even an average one will make me happy. Thumbs up for Tao’s rendition of the grilled Japanese unagi which was soft and tender. I like. Pity that the portion was very small though.
Seriously, the stingray is a steal of a deal! The portion was so big that it put my unagi to shame. Very meaty and juicy, with a robust spicy chilli for that good kick to the palate.
The only complaint the friend had for her oven roasted steak? Portion was too generous! Definitely a plus for big eaters.
I don’t think dessert is Tao’s strong suit as none of the ones I tried are good enough to impress. Don’t get me wrong, they are decent and passable, just not something I would come back for. From top left, clockwise: cheesecake, tiramisu, yangsheng poached pear and creme brulee.
With so many choices and no ala carte options, there’s bound to be some hits and misses in our selections. While I won’t go so far as to say that this is one of the best meals I’ve had, I think that the value for money aspect offered by Tao’s can’t be denied. And did I mention that the service is impressive? Friendly and efficient with an attention to details, those guys bring “genuine service” to a whole new level.
Read Full Post »