Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Tao Tao House - Good Yum Cha

Egg tarts. That was the premise that was to bring together many food bloggers for yum cha and then to sample a variety of egg tarts from bakeries all over Melbourne. However, due to one thing or another, everyone couldn't make it. Instead of cancelling the event, Agnes, Allan and myself still went to Tao Tao House to have the yum cha. As was customary, I couldn't find the restaurant and had to ring Agnes to give me directions. I thought it was called Tao Tao so was having troubles finding it on Google. And of course no one ever researches where they are going beforehand anymore, assuming that Google Maps will save them on the day.

Tao Tao House is owned by ex-Flower Drum chef Jason Au, which carries with it some pressure. I'm pleased to say that the food lived up to my expectations, especially the most amazing dish of the day, Spicy Beef Tendons. This dish is so good that I would go back just on the strength of this dish alone. We all loved it and got another serving after we quickly ate the first.

The dim sum in general were all of a high standard. Items like siu mia, char siu bao and char siu rolls which I don't usually like, were good. Chicken feet was excellent, as was the fried prawn rolls. Of the two steamed rice rolls, the prawns were good but the beef and mushrooms was the only dish of the day that I disliked. It just tasted super weird.

Steamed dumplings all had great thin skin and good filling. Har gow were superb and other steamed items like chive dumplings, corn and prawn dumplings, bean curd wrapped chicken and fish paste on burn curd were all good.

I thought we would end our meals with some egg tarts, but Allan had other ideas. While we still got the egg tarts, which were very good, Allan also ordered mango pancakes, mochi ice cream balls and custard buns. All were excellent, especially the mochi ice cream balls and custard buns.

The restaurant was surprisingly quiet during the early sitting that we dined. This may have led to better service, but I think the normal service would be good still as the wait staff all seemed clued-in. The room itself is nicely decorated and has a regal Chinese feel with good furniture and decorations. The food carts were rolled out quite quickly and explained clearly, which I like as it's hard to guess what's what sometimes. Price wise, it wasn't any more expensive than other places and was fair for about $25 per person. I would definitely go back to have more yum cha at Tao Tao House, and be ordering two of that tendon dish every time.

Overall Rating: 14/20, Good yum cha in a very nicely decorated restaurant.
Scores: 1-9: Unacceptable, don't bother. 10-11: Just OK,some shortcomings. 12: Fair. 13: Getting there. 14: Recommended. 15: Good. 16: Really good. 17: Truly excellent. 18: An outstanding experience. 19-20:Approaching perfection, Victoria's best.

Tao Tao House on Urbanspoon


  1. I like this place too! Wishing there are more selections of dishes though :)

  2. We had freshly made egg tarts the last time Bryan and I visited, didn't realise such good yum cha was so close to me! :) Yum! Just wish they had my favourite wu gok!

  3. Who needs a GPS when you have APS: Agnes Positioning System?

  4. we ought to schedule another meeting here cos i just bloody love dim sum and since you've said it's good i think i wouldn't be a problem. hehe.

  5. Arrgghh before me! No way! Lol... go blogger Thanh! I love Tao Tao too!

  6. Anh, it was good. I don't mind as much with a smaller selection, as long as there's some good items.

    Ashley, it is good yum cha. Their selection isn't the biggest but the stuff is nice.

    Agnes, an APS is wayyyyyy better as it provides clearer directions.

    Michelle, I'd love to go again. I'll organise something and include you.

    I-Hua, yayyy finally blogged something before you. Tao Tao is good.

  7. love it how it is always allan's fault =P

  8. always love a good yumcha. the tendoins looks great!

  9. Great post :) I didn't know that Tao Tao House was from the ex chef of Flower Drum ~

    All the food looks great! I love a good yum cha but the beef and mushroom cheung fun sure sounds weird!

  10. Allan, it wasn't your fault this time. You did a good thing to order the desserts. Else I'd never know they were so good.

    Betty, tendons were super amazing.

    Daisy, the cheung fun with the beef and mushroom definitely tasted weird and not good.