A few weeks ago, a friend and I indulged ourselves in a 7 course fusion dinner at Tao’s Restaurant in Bulleen. The first time I visited Tao’s, was at least 4 years ago. I didn’t take any photos then because I thought Tao’s would be your typical Chinese restaurant. Having realized the food they serve is like a picture of art, I knew the second time around, a camera is a must bring essential.
Tao’s isn’t your typical casual family dine-in. It’s rather fancy and you see many of the guests wearing smart-casual.
It’s a place ideal for hosting weddings, birthdays, or any other special occasions. The restaurant also houses four different function rooms: Communal, Balcony, Japanese & Classic rooms, making it perfect for various functions.
Inside and out, the restaurant is beautifully decorated with oriental style gardens, flower arrangements, Buddhas, and Zen style architecture. Service is also excellent with wait staff quick to respond and efficient.
The food at Tao’s is modern, creative, and a blend of western & eastern cooking. In terms of eastern flavors, there’s definitely a large punch of Japanese cuisine and a smaller amount of Chinese.
Tao’s serves a set menu (6 Courses for Lunch ($48) ; 7 Courses for Dinner ($68)). Under each course, guests can pick what they would like to eat.
Starter -> only one choice
Entree -> 6 options for you to pick from
Special of the Day (only for dinner) -> only one choice
Soup -> 5 options for you to pick from
Main Meal -> 8 options for you to pick from
Tao’s Rice -> only one choice
Dessert -> 5 options for you to pick from
More info here
Chilled Broccoli Salad with Oysters and blue salt
(Note: I don’t like to eat raw food, so it’s best to ring up on the day to find out what the Starter and Special of the Day is and to inform them of any food preferences)
Entree (6 Options)
Crispy Chicken w Sweet Chilli Sauce
Pork Belly Shabu-Shabu with Goma Sauce.
I didn’t expect the chicken to be deep fried since the menu said “Crispy” but nonetheless, I loved the “American” “Pub-style” feel of how the chicken was served plated.
Special of the Day (only for dinner)
King Prawn with Cheese.
I was really happy with the Special of the Day. Nothing beats seafood with cheese. I would have loved more of it haha 😀
The first time I visited, the Special of the Day was a very refreshing sour plume drink.
Soup (5 Options)
Cream of Mushroom.
We chose the Western soups over the Asian flavors, though the Bonitto Dobin-Mushi (a Japanese seafood broth) piqued my fancy too.
The soup was served in the cutest ever looking cups. Although the serving looked small, it wasn’t. Looks are clearly deceiving and we felt 80% full by the end. And to think there was still the main meal and the dessert to come.
Main Meal (8 Options)
Marinated Rack of Lamb with Mint Sauce
Sizzling Boneless Chicken with BBQ Sauce.
(If I go again, I would loved to try the Sous Vide Salmon with Ginger Onion and Confit Duck Leg with Orange Sauce)
The Lamb with Mint Sauce was delicious! I loved how tender and juicy the lamb was. It wasn’t burnt; it didn’t have those horrible black charcoal crisscrossing grill marks. It was just lightly browned and cooked to perfection. The mint sauce and scattered peas and tomatoes were the perfect accompaniment. In fact, the dish felt rather light and for that I was thankful.
My friend’s dish put on more a show of marvel. When the waiter presented the dish, all we could see was a blob of grey smoke. As the smoke gradually faded, we saw a plate of grey pebbles, and a generous serving of chicken sizzling away on the hotplate.
The main meal was served with Tao’s Special Rice. It reminded me of a blend between fried rice and gelatinous rice. It was chewy, but had that crispy flavor you get when you eat deep fry garlic and onion.
Dessert (5 Options)
Green Tea Tiramisu.
Usually I’m the type of person who loves their dessert but after all that food, I couldn’t possibly eat anymore. Of the 5 options to pick from, I had the Creme Brulee, and my friend had the Green Tea Tiramisu. I would have loved to try to the Honey Cake with Red Bean as well !
The Green Tea Tiramisu was served in a mason jar and even had a red cloth lid. How cute! Talking about cute, the first time I went, I remember they had a dessert that was served in a flower pot, with a stalk coming out. If I recall, it was some sort of chocolate mint ice cream with chocolate soil. It was a bit sad that they got rid of such a creative looking dish (or maybe it only features in their Winter Menu as opposed to the Summer/Spring one? Who knows)
- Tao’s Restaurant is located in Bulleen
- It specializes in modern creative fusion food (western & eastern flavors)
- $48 for 6 Course Lunch; $68 for 7 Course Dinner
- Beautiful interior and exterior
- Smart Casual Dining (but a bit more on the fancy side)
- Excellent service from wait staff
- Good quality cooking, with beautiful presentations
- Rating: 9/10