Tao Tao House

Tao Tao House
815 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Australia
03 9818 0968

We heard so many great reviews about yum cha at Tao Tao House so we dragged my father and Brother-in-law from interstate all the way to Hawthorn to try it.  Tao Tao House was nicely decorated with really comfy seats, but the first thing we notice was that there were not much yum cha trolleys around.  Normally yum cha = multiple trolleys fighting their right of way and a huge variety of dim sums to choose from.  One lone cart does not make very exciting yum cha.  We surveyed our surroundings and found the restaurant a little bit too small for yum cha… maybe that’s why they have less trolleys?  There are some waiters who would occasionally bring around stuff, and that’s the next thing we noticed.  There are a LOT of Westerners here.  And it seemed, there are A LOT of Dim Sums especially catered for them (translation: deep fried stuff).  Mmmmm… not really what we are after.

Dumplings- We ordered Chicken Siu Mai and prawn dumplings but it was disappointing.  Not 100% sure why Chicken Siu Mai…?  Did they ran out of pork or this is supposed to be a “heathier” version?  We find the dumplings quite dry and the skin is quite thick.  It’s not as bad as Shark Fin in Chinatown but really, with this quality a city girl like me might as well go to Gold Leaf in Docklands.

The chicken feet and the pork spare ribs were not very memorable but it was alright.  My only complain is that it’s not very hot.  With very slow flow of food coming out of this joint we decided to order some Stir Fried beef flat rice noodles (not pictured).  I gasp at the price though $23 for a plate of Stir Fried beef flat rice noodles was very steep.  The other noodle dishes were not much better- a simple stir fry soy sauce noodles with bean sprout was also nudging $20- which is riduclous really.  It was a fairly tiny dish when it came out too, but to be honest, it is one of the best beef flat rice noodles I had in Australia.  It’s amazingly not very oily, the flat rice noodles is evenly coated with the right amount of soy sauce, the beef was plump and tender.  YUM.  I wish I had taken a photo but I think it was so good and we were so hungry that it was gone before I had a chance.

I think ordering a la carte or whatever you fancy seemed to be the best way to go, because this vegetarian cheong fun (rice rolls) was also quite good.  Freshly made, it was filled with mushrooms, black woodear, carrots and the rice rolls were silky yet slightly yielding .

Everything just seemed to take so long to come that we decided to wrap things up and ordered dessert.  Hubby and his family loves custard buns and so I wasn’t going to fight with them, so I didn’t actually know what these tasted like (for the record Hubby’s family will say everything is yum while my picky hubby’s comment is always “it’s OK”, unless he is super super impressed… so I couldn’t really get any info outta those guys to tell you whether it’s good or not :P)

I get to order my personal favourite too which is egg tart.  They even have to get some freshly baked ones for me because they ran out.  WIN for me!  Although I think the egg tarts are OK here, the middle is slightly runny as if it was a little bit under cooked.  But the weirdest thing is the crust.  Normally we either get short crust pastry or puff pastry but this one is kinda a blend of both which just feels mutated rather than clever.

Overall as I mentioned, we might as well have gone to Docklands.  Some of their dishes are quite good like their noodles, but on the whole it’s on the pricey side and it’s just not worth driving all the way to Hawthorn for this.  6/10

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