As with so many other restaurants Tao Tao House has had several transformations over many years before its latest metamorphosis. It is still Chinese but it's very different from Panda, the last restaurant we went to at this site. It's quite plain,
we were told this scrip translates to an offer of good food,the decor very simple and undistinguished.
The menu offers a six course 'House' set menu for $55 which can be vegetarian, or a seven course special menu for $75.
The general menu has over 30 appetizers at about $7 and over 70 main dishes from about $20 to $30.
We elected to have a range of appetizers and a main course of sweet and sour pork ribs.
Fried stuffed eggplant was well cooked and moist with a pleasing light sauce.
Enoki mushroom and duck roll, actually rolled in tofu skin is a chefs recommended dish.
There was plenty of duck and mushroom giving a nice blend of tastes and textures.
Creamed sea food combo served in a lettuce leaf, like san chao bao, was a most delicate and delicious dish.
It combined the scallops with prawns, fish and egg white in a light creamy sauce. A rare delight.
A baked scallop shell, with minced chicken, onions, mushrooms and cheese was unexceptional, which is not bad,
and this also applied to the crispy lamb rolls with garlic, mushroom and herbs deep fried in rice paper which were fairly oily.
Fried rice was a nice blend which was a nice foil for the other dishes.
Spicy quail appealed to me.
It was quite meaty for a small bird. The spice was well balanced and made this a beaut dish.
Tao Tao spare ribs braised in a sweet vinegar sauce with caramelized onions was another chefs choice.
For us this was another quite good dish. The onion was very coarsely cut but there were no outstanding attributes.
We had a too heavy mango pudding for dessert and mini egg tarts which were about average. We were given a plate of excellent crisp little biscuits at the end of the meal.
I had a peculiar experience with a cold Gekkeikan sake.
Served in a pot belly flagon it was placed in a large wine bucket 1/4 full of ice and water. On being returned to the bucket the flagon was off centre on a piece of ice and rolled on to its side immediately filling with water! It was replaced in a smaller container.
There is one major criticism of Tao Tao House and that is the service which was very poor. Time and again we had to call a waiter for assistance of one sort or another. We had to ask for everything, water, the wine menu, to place our order, additional water or whatever.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
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