Located in PoMo (formerly Paradiz Centre), Tao's Restaurant is a fusion-food restaurant, offering 6 and 7 course set menus. It has the concept of "One Price, One Menu, Many Selections", whereby customers pay a fixed price and select the components of their 6 to 7 course meals from the set menu provided. They pride themselves on their creative modern European and Oriental fusion cuisine, which is presented in pottery plates, also known as "Tao Ci" in Chinese.
Tao's Restaurant Hot
A decent joint to hit up
Reviewed their sister outlet, Dozo, earlier on. If you've tried Dozo, Tao will seem rather shabby in comparison.
For a casual lunch, it will do as an option, though. The thing about this place is that the menu never changes, and I absolutely loathe the main dishes that they serve up. I've yet to try a main dish that I've liked, but the rest of the dishes make up for the lack of finesse present in any of the main dishes.
Though I'd hate to admit it, I only probably like the rest of the dishes because they are creamy/cheesy, and I do love my dairy produce. The bacon and mushroom gratin, for example, is just a bowl of cheese and cream waiting to be wolfed down. Yummy.
I shan't comment much on the mains because they've never failed to disappoint, but I recall having the BBQ Pork Ribs once which weren't too bad - sinful, but the meat fell off the bone wonderfully.
The Rose Apple tea makes a great accompaniment to the heavy, greasy lunch, and the Tirumisu makes a perfect finishing to the meal.
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A View to Dine For
Walking into Tao's VIP room, you would be impressed with the ambiance it offers. Not to mention the view that overlooks the Clarke quay river. If you happen to dine there in the evening, you'll be greeted with the sight of vibrant lights and colours across the river as Clarke quay kicks to life.
Along with this view, Tao's menu does not disappoint. The meals served can only be described as savory goodness in portions that keep you wanting more. The presentation of each dish only made it even more delectable as they came in odd shaped plates that serves to pique your interest.
Even the iced teas they serve come in little individual pots that can be used to refill a small cup that is served along with it. These teas are sweet and refreshing, providing a good balance to the main courses.
Dining at Tao's is overall a very good experience and one will definitely go back there again for the food and the view!
Luxury, Tasty & Relaxing
My experience at Tao's Restaurant, located at Central, Clarke Quay, can be summed up in three words: Luxury, Tasty & Relaxing.
When I entered the restaurant, I was impressed by the decor. The place is spacious. The warm lighting made me feel cosy in the posh environment. The utensils, cutlery and food wares used to serve the 7 Course Set Menu were all very well thought of and were exquisite.
The food more than matched up to the environment. The starter, Bacon & mushroom gratin, was delicious; the cheese melts in your mouth. The Tao's Signature fruit salad was very well balanced in its flavours. The outstanding factor of the Tao's Signature pork ribs is its sauce. The meat's tenderness, dipped with the sauce, left a deep impression on me. The grilled seasonal mushroom had a strong taste; mushroom lovers must try this dish! The soup and the dessert tasted pretty normal though. The Rose Apple Tea tasted unique, the sweetness of both the rose and apple combining pretty well.
The place is so relaxing. The place is cosy and quiet; a good place to catch up with friends and loved ones.
However, one thing to take note is that it will take some time before you can locate the store, as it is at a corner of the floor and there are plenty of renovations going on around it.
I started coming here a few years ago. I always found this restaurant to be special and very unique. Firstly, the interior of the restaurant is very zen and modern. The ambiance created by the interior is one of casual but classy, which is good for entertaining guests that you wish to impress.
Secondly, the food is here amazing and unique. Being a restaurant which mainly serves fusion food, there are dishes with some familiar elements, mixed with some not so familiar ones. This creates a party for my taste buds, and definitely makes the meal more interesting.
The staff and their service at this restaurant is good. The waiting time is acceptable, and they made sure that one course was done before another was being served. Once, my sister's dish was not cooked properly and they returned it to the kitchen immediately and brought her another of the same dish without hesitation, although my sister had already ate one third of the dish.
The most interesting course and the most enjoyable for me, is the beverages. Everytime I come here, I make sure to order the rose apple tea, because I've tried the other teas, and nothing matches up to that. It is delicately scented by rose petals, and is incredibly refreshing. Definitely a good way to wash down the main course before that!
Make reservation and ask for VIP room
The few times I was there, I always got the VIP room. If you made a reservation before going and you had more than six people, it was likely, they would give you the VIP room. The only advantage for me to get the VIP room was that with young children, it was better for us to have our meals in private rather than in public view. This would enable me to discipline my children when required.
Having meals at Tao can be a messy affair because there were so many items in the menu to choose from and everyone wanting to influence the other to order items they only wanted to try out but not for themselves. It was normal for us to take about 15 minutes to 30 minutes before we can place our orders. After placing the orders, the food would be served after acceptable waiting time and there would be some delay between dishes so your table would not be overflowing with food.
At Tao's, they practise good business strategy. They serve you a Bacon and mushroom gratin for starters. It keeps you occupied while waiting for the rest of your orders to come. Makes you feel full yet not-full-enough so that you still have space for the remaining food. It's quite good actually, very easy on the palate and the pieces of bread served with it were there to absorb all the cheesy goodness left. I had their Fruit Salad, Grilled Mushrooms, Creme of mushroom and sirloin steak with mushroom sauce. (I think I have mushrooms growing on my head already). All so-so, in my opinion.
The only dish worth a mention would be from Hubb's order; their signature Pork Ribs. Tender and juicy, a prod with a fork made the well marinated meat come off the bone easily. The other dishes were mediocre compared to it.
On the whole, Tao's is a pleasant place to dine at.
Oh hey, what happened to the smiling guy who appeared in their early days advertisement who suffered from an itchy scalp over a bevy of ladies who couldn't decide what to eat? I wanted to see him do that again at my table!
Not to be missed
I visited the restaurant many years back. It is still as good as ever when i revisited it agin. The cosy ambience and friendly staff put you at ease as soon as you walked in. The menu only serves set meal and has at least 6-7 courses. There are a few options to choose from for each course. I especially like their warm toasted bread, grilled mushroom, mushroom soup and grilled snapper with Japanese sauce. At the end of the meal, they will serve up concoctions of chilled fruity teas such as apple tea with mint or peach lime tea etc to go with your dessert.
On Friday nights, there are live music to serenade its customers. Certainly value for money and not a place to be missed.
Posh-ibly the most cheapest 6 course meal
Tao's restaurant impressed me with its reasonable prices yet possessing the makings of a posh restaurant with 6 course (lunch)/ 7 course (dinner) meals that are prepared to perfect taste and presentation.
We were allowed to choose our dishes ranging from appeitzers, soup, main course, dessert, drinks etc and my personal favourites are the mushroom soup, the gratin served with bread, cha soba, pork ribs, creme bulee, and peach tea. Each dish was prepared painstakingly and its presentation also looked classy
The waitresses were also very attentive in making sure our dishes were served one after another without too much time gap and they also went around asking if the dish was suitable for our tastebuds.
The difference in the 6 course and 7 course meals lie in the extra dish served during dinner- dumplings which i felt was pretty redundant and average so people may opt to go during lunch as it is cheaper. Overall, its a good place to enjoy a 6/7 course meal without burning a hole in your pocket
Good food, weird place
First things first, I'd like to comment at how confused the fusion concept of this restaurant is. I feel that there could be a better way to present the whole look and feel of the restaurant. From the interiors, to the menu design, to the attire of the staff, It all just looks confusing and distracting. I know it's a fusion restaurant, but I believe that if done right, then they would have an easier time getting customers.
Despite all that, and all the comments my friends and I were making about the restaurant, the food is divine. There is no doubt that the food makes up for how [for lack of a better term] ugly the restaurant is. The concept is also cool how you choose each dish for your 7-course meal. My friend ordered steak for his entree and it was cooked perfectly. I ordered fish, and I don't think I've had fish that was cooked better. It was buttery and soft and tearing apart was not hard at all. The Bacon and Mushroom gratin was also delicious, and was the right amount of food to start off the entire meal.
I also enjoyed the peach tea I ordered. There were tea leaves floating around that gave the tea and different, more refined taste.
If you are willing to spend more for lunch or dinner, then please do try out this restaurant. I enjoyed the food. Just don't be distracted by the ambience. Definitely different, and worth it.
I like their concept of "One Price, One Menu, Many Selections" which makes browsing the menu really fun and makes you feel as if your money is well spent due to the many courses (6 for lunch). Which it is! Plus you get to try a little of everything in small portions especially if your companions order different things.
Their bacon & mushroom gratin (only starter available) was very cheesy which I like although some would get sick of it quickly. For salad I had the Japanese Cold Noodle which wasn't too bad. I had the Shark-fin Melon Herbal Soup which I really liked as it didn't have a vegetable/melon taste, I also think no MSG was added. As for the main entree I had the Baked Atlantic Flounder with Cheese which was really fresh and well done, although those who do not like cheese should take note not to order this as the starter is already very cheesy.
I had the Chef's Special for dessert which turned out to be Japanese Cheesecake which I was very disappointed in, as although really light and fluffy it tasted like spongecake. For the beverage, I had the Iced grass jelly mint tea which was a delightful and refreshing combination. My mother's Iced rose apple tea was superb too although the Iced summer peach tea is only good if you like the syrup/canned peaches taste.
Reasonable price for reasonable food
Many people have not heard of Tao's before, and I can understand why. It is quietly situated at Pomo, in a little corner at the basement. I did not know of its existence till my friend recommended it to us, saying that there are reasonable 6 course meals offered there, at a very worthy price of $21.80++ during lunch time. Hence, we decided to give it a try!
For the starter, we had bacon and mushroom gratin. It is cheesy, but tasty nevertheless! The portion's quite reasonable, hence I think you should go with an empty stomach. For those with small appetite, it is quite difficult to finish all 6 courses by yourself! The prawn roll with pork floss and mushroom soup that I had were delicious too! My friends and I were satisifed with our choices made for almost all the dishes, however, it is otherwise for the main dish.
I had Tao's steak as my main dish. They did not ask for the doneness of the steak, hence I guess my steak is more towards medium well though I usually prefer my steak to be done medium. The sauce does not really go well with the steak but the portion was quite big though. Definitely big enough to fill up your stomach. My friend had the stingray and it totally loses to Chomp Chomp's stingray in my opinion. As for the drinks, I'd recommend rose apple tea. It tastes quite sweet, but not in the artificial way. Definitely refreshing enough to make you yearn for more.
Perhaps that one time that we went, the cooks did not do a proper job, as we saw many ravings about it online before we visited Tao's. I wouldn't mind giving it a try again though, as their starter, dessert and soup are pretty scrumptious! Hopefully their main dishes will taste better the next time round!