Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tao Ban Wu: Another Taiwanese Venture into Japanese-Western-Taiwanese Fusion Prix Fixe

Tao Ban Wu (Taoyuan, Taiwan)

Tao Ban Wu is a chain opened by the owners of Wang Ping Steakhouse. For $450 NT ($15) you get a 6 course meal. Like with Wang Ping Steakhouse, there are hits and misses throughout the meal. Each dish is either pre-made (cold dishes) or made in a hurry, and thus every dish tasted like you got it at the mall food court though prettier and slightly tastier. Don't expect a quiet dining experience either. This place is rowdy with kids running around everywhere. I ate with my parents, and they got a headache from the noise and chaos.

I like surprises, and I enjoy the creativity of some of the dishes, like the sticky rice with unagi. Savory steamed sticky rice is a Chinese dish that's usually cooked with diced Chinese sausage and dried small shrimp. The unagi was a good substitute for the sausage and brought a nice smokey flavor.

1st course:
Grilled mushrooms dusted with chili powder

2nd course:
Seafood salad with fruits and passion fruit dressing
Chilled tomato stuffed with ground beef
Shrimp and yogurt dip

3rd course:
Fried rice ball with aioli
Steamed sticky rice with eel

4th course:
Chicken broth with goji and dates

5th course:
Steak with garlic chips

6th course:
Panna cotta topped with sweetened red beans and green tea cream
Fruit yogurt
Taro mousse cake

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