Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Tao's-Bulleen, Bulleen Road

I visited Tao's mid last year and again about a month ago. The first time, my friend persuaded me into going, claiming that there food was quite nice.

On offer at the restaurant are set menus where you choose 1 item each from the entree, main and dessert column. They also offer something that is similar to a Amuse bouche, the assorted chef's platter which is in addition to the entree, main and dessert.  

My overall first impression of Tao's is that it's a try hard pan Asian establishment. It tries to mimic other fine dining western restaurants but in my opinion, falls short because it's focus on trying to achieve the feel of high end dining by undoubtedly stunning presentation have left little time or thought for the actual taste of the dishes. So all their food looks really good on the plate, and I agree that to a large extent, we eat with our eyes, but I found a lot of their dishes extremely mediocre once it's in the mouth.

The second time, I went to Tao's for a wedding reception. This time I was a lot more impressed with the quality of the food and will agree that they have raised the bar substantially in 6 months. Their wait staff, all asian, have always been very professional and I generally can't fault them. Albeit, they lack the charisma of other high end establishments such as Vue de monde etc. I remember when I was there the first time, there was a wedding reception going on in one of the function rooms and as a game or dare, the groom piggybacked the bride out to the main restaurant and went to each table happily yelling that he was married. After they had gone back into their own function room, I saw each wait staff go up to individual tables and apologised for the disruption. I personally found that a bit unnecessary although I understand the "horror" they may have experienced when the newly weds brought laughter and shouts of "congratulations" in their posh "fine dining" restaurant.

Chefs platter

Entree-drunken chicken

Main course-Hokkaido style miso hotpot

Anyway, I command Tao's for improving the quality of their food as oppose to concentrating all their efforts on presentation alone. Overall, the prices: "$58" for the dinner set, does not scream rip off to me if you compare it to a fine dining restaurant. However, I am one who much prefer authentic asian food presented to me unpretentiously. Tao's certainly do not tick any authentic boxes as the food is largely a mix western and pan asian fusion. 

Tao's on Urbanspoon

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