Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Breaking the Monday Blues at Tao's

I suffer from bad Monday blues, so a nice Monday lunch is always a very much welcome and wonderful fillip to the start of the work week. This week, we were lucky enough to celebrate a colleague’s promotion at Tao’s in PoMo plaza (formerly known as Paradiz Centre).

Tao’s is the sister restaurant to both Hokkaido JuJu Hotpot and Dozo (an upmarket version of Tao’s). All three share similarities – 6 to 7 course “degustation-style” set menus, attractive pricing, and creative presentation. While there was not much ambience to speak of at Tao’s (our seating was in fact outside the restaurant, in the main basement atrium of the mall), I was happy and satisfied with the lunch I had.

The starter of bacon and mushroom gratin, served with thick toast (my favourite!), arrived piping hot from the oven. This was very addictive - cheesy and creamy – and I ended up eating two pieces of toast and cleaning up the entire platter.

Next was the salad dish – I chose smoked salmon salad, which came with mayonnaise dressing (yikes, I prefer a light vinaigrette instead) on top of lettuce, cherry tomatoes and some olives - this was very ordinary and not worth ordering next time. Followed by a cream of mushroom soup, which was alright if nothing to shout about (perhaps they should have skipped the cream and just used mushrooms).

After this onslaught of dishes I was already feeling 70% full. But then out came my main course *DRUM ROLL*, the highly recommended slow cooked pork back ribs. This was really yummy. The ribs were cooked till meltingly tender and dropped off the bones with just the barest hint of gentle prodding with the fork (is that why the term “fork tender” was invented?). The marinade, which was Chinese in flavour – hoisin sauce like, complemented the ribs so well, sweet but with a hint of acid to cut through the fat. So of course I had to finish up the ribs since it was so good. Tao’s also offers roast steak or lamb cutlets. I “stole” some lamb from my neighbour WY to taste. While it was somewhat overcooked, the lamb was nice and flavourful, and not too gamey or tough.

Obviously I was at bursting point by then, but luckily the dessert of brownie with vanilla ice-cream was a small portion (this was of an average mass market quality). All that food was washed down with my chosen beverage of ice summer peach tea, which was very refreshing with hints of chamomile and some pieces of canned peaches floating in the tea.

The best part was, this 6-course set lunch only cost $19.80 – a real steal! Even more unbelievably, the restaurant had a promotion with DBS credit card, which gave us a further 20% discount.

If only ALL Mondays could be like this, I would be a most happy camper.

1 Selegie Road, PoMo, #B1-19

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