201 Bulleen Rd, Bulleen
(Ph) 9852 0777
E was having her engagement dinner! =) at a restaurant called Tao's - I was expecting a Chinese restaurant but it's actually a fusion restaurant serving a set banquet menu! I had actually been here a few years ago with my parents and remembered it to be a very good experience - however this time the food seems to have dropped a little in standard =(
The restaurant looks like a Chinese restaurant on the outside, with some Chinese decor inside, but the tables are all rectangular like Western restaurants. E had booked out a room out the back which was actually right next to the kitchen so we could see the waiters coming in and out =/
You pick your own entree, soup, main and dessert, and there are a few set small dishes between them.
Starter - Chef's Assorted Seasonal Platter
Looks pretty fancy but the 3 dishes don't really go together - my favourite was the slices of marinated squid. The oyster was quite tasty - I thought the pink fluff underneath the oyster was Japanese sugar - how wrong I was it was pure salt! The last one is a slice of tomato in balsamic vinegar with a mint leaf - odd combination with the seafood but anyway.
For entree I got Tempura Tiger Prawn w Spicy Coconut Sauce
This was very tasty - the spicy coconut sauce was not too spicy and quite creamy, a nice alternative to the normal tempura sauce.
M got the Spicy Tasmania Salmon Tartare
Salmon hidden underneath spinach leaves? The marinade was quite tasty but was actually very spicy!
Next came the Special of the Day
How cute 2 dumplings in a mini bamboo basket! I'm pretty sure they don't steam them in these tiny things =P Nothing too special about the dumplings though.
Next was the soup - I got the Seafood Dobinmushi
Drinking soup out of a teapot with the tiny teacup? You're meant to squeeze some of the lemon into the soup which was quite a flavoursome broth with some seafood marinara mix inside.
M got the Cream of Mushroom
So creamy and delicious, rich in mushroom flavour - I'm glad I didn't order it though it was so filling! By this stage we were starting to get full and there was still main and dessert to come!
Mains came next - I got the Marinated Cumin Spiced Rack of Lamb
I was expecting a rack of lamb? This was really a Western dish - nothing Asian about it. The lamb was quite juicy, but would have been nicer if they were more generous with the vegetables instead of just 2 mushroom buttons and 2 half cherry tomatoes?!
M got the Beef Short Ribs w Chilli Tomato Sauce
Sorry the picture is a bit dark - meat is dark and so is the plate =P This was very delicious - the ribs fell of the bone, so tender and soft, and the sauce was sweet yet chilli, this was more like a fusion flavour =)
We all got served Tao's Rice
How cute being served in a little bowl - the spoon was a bit small and silly though =P The rice was quite dry - like a Western fried rice, nothing too special here.
Finally it was dessert time! I got the Tao's Style Tiramisu
Delicious tiramisu in a double glass cup! I like how the layers are all very separate and you kinda combine it in your mouth. My favourite course of the night <3 Next to it is the engagement cake that J's mum made =)
M got the Cream Brulee
They mean creme brulee right? =P I'm glad they didn't try to fusion the desserts coz this was quite good the way it was.
7/10 - quite aesthetically pleasing dishes, though I don't think they've really mastered the fusion concept. Dishes are from around the world but each dish is pretty much one cuisine.
3/5 - food came very promptly, maybe a bit too quick for a fine dining experience actually, they were taking plates away from the other table when we were still eating that course
2/5 - didn't like how our function room was right next to the kitchen and waiters walking in and out constantly (one even accidentally dropped some dishes and made a scene =/)
Not too bad for a fine dining experience, but I don't think they can call themselves a fusion restaurant - will be back though given the decent price!