Tao Cuisine All-You-Can-Eat Japanese Buffet @ E-Gate, Penang

**This is about TAO Restaurant in Penang. Click here for the new restaurant at Sunway Giza, Kota Damansara**

Tao Cuisine Japanese Restaurant serves all you can eat Japanese cuisine for RM45++. As far as I know there are two outlets in Penang, E-Gate and Autocity. My last department dinner was held in E-Gate’s Tao so here I am presenting the food we had.


Some photos are crappy.. I had to snap them quick so that the others can start eating lol. Each of us is given a menu and you will give your orders to the serving waiter. The orders would be printed out in looong tickets and placed by the table. Every time food arrives the ticket would be taken off, that simple.


Sashimi Deluxe – This plate of raw fish costs RM40!! And we ordered 3 of this, too bad some of us (including me) had to forcefully finish them in the end.. Honestly, while chewing the cuttlefish I felt like I was chewing rubber haha. Tell me, is it supposed to taste like that at all? I just couldn’t learn to appreciate it.. And FYI for every 100gm of unfinished food Tao will charge RM10.


Because Tao prepare the foods fresh (as claimed) upon order and there were more than 10 of us, the food came in extra large quantity.


The only food which I can remember the name (because I ordered it for it’s unique name) – Firecracker Sushi. Firecracker Sushi! How cool can a sushi’s name get?


These are steamed scallops with some mayo or thousand island sauce if I am not mistaken. Tasted a bit spicy too but I like it.


One thing I didn’t really like was the constant nagging of the waiter. He repeated the same things over and over again about food wastage whenever we placed orders.. OK you made your point, bring on the foods man!


Some sort of boneless fish that tastes a bit like Unagi.. Really, you can even eat the heads.


A big piece of juicy cod fish


Lamb chops, they were piled like a small mountain. Too bad they were overcooked and the meat was hard. Must have been quality control issues.


California rolls and dumplings. The california rolls are damn expensive, RM7 each from the ala carte menu! Can you believe the 5 6 rolls above would cost more than half of one person’s buffet bill?


More california rolls. Mike and I simply went on a frenzy ordering for sushi and skewers.


Chicken and seafood skewers, yum yum!


Unagi, salmon and Ebiko sushi


Then there were some fried food like beef and egg.


And lastly some cooked beef that I couldn’t care to talk about lol. They were just normal tasting. After all the buzz I have been hearing about Tao Japanese Buffet, it wasn’t that great for me. This citizen’s blog is an interesting read about Tao, and I had to agree with some of her experience even though it happened than a year ago.

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Comments 81

  1. MeiyeN

    ahh that’s annoying having people like that as a reminder to tell you that you must finish da food! yikes… i hate that! anyways, those boneless fish as you claimed is my favourite… i called it “pregnant fish” cause there are white roes inside da fish tummy, yummy!!! :D

  2. Cokeworld Citizen

    Ohhhh….looks good. I actually planned to go there with friends. Now that you’d blog about it, I know what to order. lolz! Thanks for putting up the post. Scallops looks good. maybe I just order scallop with sashimi…kakakaka…

    At the end of the meal, did you tell the waitress “Ei, see we finish all our food didn’t we?” hahaha!

    I had rubber cuttle fish before too but it was at Sakae. I told them about it and changed twice they still come out as ‘rubber’ =.= Nothing can be done as they are prepacked.

  3. xweing

    The boneless fish is shishamo… it is famous because it is FILLED with roe inside!!! Yum…

    And I don’t think you did justice to Tao… maybe the E-Gate one sucks… but the Autocity one is FABULOUS!!! Love the in-house design… and love the FOODDDDDDDDD~~~~ Bring it on!

  4. Rae

    I used to be working in Tao but jz resigned frm it last week for my studies~hehe…it was great.the food is great,staffs of TAO are great too~I love TAO~it is the must-try-restaurant!!!dont miss it!!

  5. Rae

    must try :
    Grilled dishes
    unagi don(grilled unagi with rice)
    grilled lamb shoulder,
    miso yaki(butter fish),
    grilled salmon(with eel sauces),
    motoyaki scallops,
    yaki tori,
    kushi yaki,
    shishamo(pregnant fish),
    P.S. grilled dishes r jz nice!!!

    Main dishes
    gyu yaki niku(beef),
    taiwanese prawn mentis,
    general chicken,
    szechuan spicy fish,
    mambo fried rice,
    taiwan union beef,
    thai hamaguri,
    3 cup squids,
    taki kimchi

    steam dishes
    steam unagi,
    steam cloudy fish,
    steam sakana(its different frm time to time,now they have salmon fish head with garlic n soya sauce taste),
    white skin crab,
    kaisen nira sui-gyoza(its steam dumpling with chicken,garlic,shrimp)

    cold cuts
    sari abalone(new dishes ^^),
    tako sunomono(raw octopus with bonito(cuttle fish) flakes on top,
    kimisu tako(raw octopus witheggyolk vinegar on top
    salmon with papaya(papaya wrapped with smoked salmon comes with orange sauce),
    edamame(japanese green beans),
    zaru soba(wheat nodle,so called japanese “cold mee” …haaha),
    shoga su ika(squid comes with shogasu sauce),
    fukiwan ika shoyu ni(i called it as baby squid).
    balsamico salmon skin

    tomyam soup,
    szechuan spicy n sour soup,
    miso shiru,
    shienshu tofu soup,
    soup of the day(chef’s choice),

    maki roll
    fire crackers roll,
    rasco roll(fresh salmon,grill eel,cream cheese,crabstick… 4 pieces),
    chef special maki roll 8 pieces,
    rainbow roll(4 types of raw fish ) 8 pieces,
    spider roll(with short shell crab) 4 pieces,
    nemo roll(smoked salmon,fresh salmon with eel sauce) 8 pieces
    pari pari roll 8 pieces

    deep fried dishes
    tempura shrimp n vege
    chikuwa age
    agedashi tofu
    tori tsukune
    crabmeat with cheese
    tongarashi shirohana age
    chicken ban ban
    golden squid ball


  6. Bhinesu

    what i am not satifying with it is the shasimi.it’s using local ikan siakap.. oh my god.. they just given you some salmon in a plate. single order for salmon only is not allowed.. do u think worth it for shasimi portion?.. but the scallop was good for me.. oh ya .. another the intresting stuff is they called tata fish but actually that food is deep fried with dolly fish and dipp with tatar sauce.. sometime very hard to judge by the name of the food better ask before u order. another example is a dragon roll in tao, the name sound good right? in other way the dragon roll portion is huge and too much rice on the roll and not the fish..(this the way they earning money) i feel like a little bit cheating.. i more prefer Seafood buffet in G hotel rather than TAO..

  7. ai wei

    wat a feast! i wish i could feed myself with all these. miss the eating out session with frens. sigh… have been grounded at house for quite a long time.

    the hotate seems good!!!

  8. mick

    i went for this tao buffet with my girlfriends during xmas eve and guess what…after the buffet, i vomitted non-stop for 4 days…i duno wheter the food there was ‘dirty’ or my tummy just cant tolerate with all the food (raw+grilled+stew+fried+spicy+cold+stir+soup+other rojaks) hahaha…anyway, the buffet time is abit too short for us to enjoy fully, mayb they should consider to lengthen the buffet time..

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  10. Randolp

    Although food and atmosphere are good bt the service provided in autocity is very sucks. You wont get the table u wanted even they have promised when u call for reservation. They seem like dont bother to help to settle the matter when you complaint even will pull long their face and show the color to you. Bad attitude in all aspects from their staffs in all level. There will be my final dinning at this restaurent..

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  12. mich

    is dere ladies night at tao lounge at autocity??
    everyday got diff event at tao right??
    exp.. thursday is ladies night =p??

  13. 6*Ben

    Went yesterday night with colleague eat until cannot move then pack at side. is value if go with all male which go with empty stomach and grab all nice foods there and somemore bring Toa Discount card, then more GREAT…

    vk: TAO has a discount card? How much is the % being discounted?

  14. 6*Ben

    discount card can apply once u get 10 pcs of Tao bills and is free and Discount rate is 10%.

    vk: 10%! That’s quite nice! but getting 10pcs of bills is kinda hard lol

  15. david

    Don’t know bout the one in BM but the one in E Gate is really disappointing. Not only are the portions small,but for the rolls the put extra rice instead of filling.

    Not only that, E gate branch a bit stingy with the wasabi, only half a tablespoon for two. Have to constantly ask for wasabe.

    The nagging is understandable, but what really takes the cake is although I went in late round 1.30, and they close round 2.15. When I was still there and trying to impress a potential gf, they went and shut the air conditioning.

    Come on its the unwritten rule in restauranting that as long as there is a customer in the premise, you don’t show signs of closing. Closing the air conditioning is too much, like chasing away customers.

    Didn’t give me a good impression on the service level of the tourism industry in Penang.

    And what’s so really nailed it was this was my first time in Penang hahahah

    You won’t see me going back there for some time.

    vk: I have to agree that TAO at E-Gate is not that great.. but I have been hearing that TAO at autocity is very very good. Ambiance is better too.. sorry if you took this experience to compare the tourism industry in Penang :( Some restaurants’ management really need to buck up… If I was you I’d be furious too.. somemore bring a potential gf along.. zzz

  16. Shen

    Thanks for the great post. Seems like it’s really a value money meal! There’s another Japanese buffet restaurant called Shogun (under the same company group of Sasaki) which offers buffet at about the same price. They have outlets in KL, 1U, Sunway Pyramid (these are the places which I know of)

    Does this Tao have any branches in KL? =)

    Shen’s last blog post..What’s On Your Mind?

    vk: I don’t think TAO has any branches in KL :)

  17. Lis

    Well, let me tell u my experience in Tao Auto City.
    The food & environment is nice. The service is good. So I bought extra vouchers at RM400 and utilised RM200, unfortunately my handbag was stolen and the RM200 balance was gone. I launched the police report and forward 1 copy to the PIC somewhere around Dec2007. Despite calling, email & fax, until to-date, there is no reply from anyone from the TAO management. Oh my goodness, what kind of management is this. I have to tell my friends whoever dine in, and the rest of u, don’t buy the vouchers as u only buy a piece of paper which can not let u dine in at all when they were stolen! Anyway, I m going to Tribunal to fight for my right as a consumer.

  18. luckyabc

    i went tao before once and fall in love with the lam chop since.. :) The service is good. I like the toilet design as well.. haha. There’s only one birthday promotion which is during may, their anniversary. Anyone’s birthday on May will entitled to 50% discount. That’s really a good deal right. But too bad, only during May. Been there only once but will go there again of course.

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  20. Shopaholics' Paradise

    yea! I went there twice. It’s really worth the money. For those who are not a fan of sashimi, it’s just RM 35++ per pax during lunch without sashimi. I love the cod fish, grilled salmon and the scallop the most! 3 of my friends came all the way from KL to over just to eat Tao @ Auto City. I went for dinner the first time and it was so crowded but was less crowded for lunch and cheaper coz we chose those without sashimi. You can still get those sushi at the sushi counter. =)It’s a must go place for japanese lovers.

    Shopaholics’ Paradise’s last blog post..Fold Chest Blouse

  21. Doris Ho

    I, my hubby and 2 more friends was there at Auto City TAO, the decoration is fabulous and the services is excellent. The waiters is really polite, understandable, good in recommendation of foods and they don’t even say a word “Must finish the foods, else will charge RM 10 per 100gm”. So, I really 100% recommend for those japanese foods lover to try up there in AUTO CITY TAO but not the E-GATE TAO.

    I had more then 5 plates of Sary Abalone and 5 plates of Scallop.
    They are my favourite…LUV it…
    Will bring my whole family to enjoy the foods and environment next month.
    YIPEE !!

  22. Jamie

    yea.. autocity’s tao really is very nice! just went to there few days ago… ! i hv heard some of my fren said e-gate hv bad servise too.. but some say e-gate’s food better … but i never go e-gate one b4…. btw i hv wrote a review bout it on my website too… lol

  23. HaruSan

    The service at E-Gate’s tao is GOOD!! Especially the person who take the order! Very fast and good!! Tzen Ming…Can u gv me yr email@msn@any contact’s way.Hope can keep in touch with u!! hehe….

  24. william

    i know about e-gate tao servis is very good !!!
    the servis is good @ the food faster !!!
    i know about tao hv 2 section on friday -sunday !!!
    if u have go that u must oder thai hamaguri !!!!
    remember oh!!!!
    u must go oh!!!!

  25. rays

    yeah..overall the food is ok and I personally love it..

    unfortunately, I had a bad experience in TAO at Autocity.. not good service.. but in E-gate – the service is superb!!!! Thumbs up.. hehe..

  26. yuhas

    Many moons ago, me and 3 other friends went to Tao’s E-Gate for the rm50 fusion-buffet-thingy. Foods was great. Love the Scallops and the Lamb Chops. And the Sushi and Teriyaki Beef were worth mentioning.

  27. Ji-Un

    E-gate Tao service is damn bad. Especially their person in charge, an indian or malay guy, im not sure.

    i visited E-gate Tao on 16th January about 6pm. My friend told that person in charge that the Salmon is not very fresh.

    Guess what this guy answer? He said no customer complain their salmon is not fresh and what we want him to do now? What kind of service he provide? this is service industry.

    But others waiter/waitress service is okay. Even a young indian waiter is much better than the superior. oh my god.

  28. JT

    Hey, i’m having the same treatment with Ji-Un, we ordered the salmon sashimi, however, that’s the very first time we’re having to swallow the 1 inch thick sashimi into our tummy, the feeling’s gross and sickening! At first, we got the waitress to send it back to the kitchen to do something about it, but she ends up brought the plate back out saying, “this is how the supplier send it for us, and we can’t do anything about it” … so tell me how fresh can the fish be if the chef didnt even slice up the sashimi themselves?

    I remember the indian (no offence) in charge told me that “we don’t keep stock in our restaurant”, but can you guarantee that the supplier to Tao does keep stock?

    It’s the very first time I’m having such rude treatment from a manager, even the worker is better than him, he should be ashamed of himself for not setting up a proper role model for the workers working under him.

    E-gate Tao, guess you loss me.

  29. Mcmug

    Hey, Ji-un & JT.nice to meet u two..same feeling with u..i saw many praise comments up there but I am not that agreed..only got 1 food I prefer but the rest not that nice as they said..isn’t the food problems or my stomach problem??

    But I think I won’t pay that much to try again ..

  30. Kim

    Thanks for Ida and her hubby Mr Tan !! This is the best Japanese food that I ever had. Compare to States, best service, best environment , best food and quite good on sashimi. I am hoping the the owner will have interest to invest in State. Give me a mail if you have interest to establish Toa at States !

  31. jas

    i plan to go to eat at tao but im not sure auto city or e-gate one is the best, i’ve read the comments up there that r saying e-gate service is bad, so any suggestion?

    vk: hi jas, from my experience at E-Gate, it was OK.. no complaints. But that was already 2 years ago. I think you should listen to the comments and head for TAO at Autocity just to be sure.

  32. C.Paz

    never try AutoCity Tao before..but e-gate yeah…it’s really annoying when the food are served 2gether with a msg frm waiter / waitress ” Must finish”..and they automatically cut down your orders if repeated or last call…Manager/Supervisor service are bad!

    Honestly, the food are nice..and worth…it’s impossible we can get those food frm the menu with only the amount we paid per pax at TAO..
    Is a nice place for food..

  33. bennystar99

    Hi actually the owner is a canadian taiwanese.He has earlier branches in Canada but it did not do well n decided to open in Penang.However last i heard that many of the workers in Juruauto city the head chef ,sushi chef n many others had left him n join a new restaurant in Penang island.I had not been there but was in E gate b4,was told by my friends that the food had deteriorated since that.They had left him since december08.Think it must be true lor.

  34. Ashley

    TAO really worth & nice ler… worth.. meal is big & fresh…delicious … enviroment very nice… i just try out E-gate TAO service quite ok… not sure bout auto-city yet… going be try 1 day….

  35. jlhx

    When me and my brothers go to Tao, we always order the sashimi deluxe. We order like 5 sets and on top of that, we have the scallops which are amazing!! By then, were too full to eat anything else but it’s so worth it in cost.

    The boneless fish you mentioned is actually pregnant fish. There are eggs inside.

    I miss Tao.

  36. sushi-boi

    Tao is a great place to eat. I have tried both the one at autocity and the one at e-gate. In my opinion, the service at e-gate is MUCH better than at auto-city but the environment at auto city is cooler. In terms of food, i think e-gate is slightly better.

  37. JnJCafe

    Tao is like the buffet with very very mixed response. It used to be good, I’ve eaten there not less than 15 times throughout 2 years ago. In fact I used to be a damn big fan and a regular there.

    Tao is already very horrible. I’ve tried both e-gate and juru autocity, and their standard have dropped tremendously. Completely banned in my books.

    FYI, currently, they limit your orders to 2 hours for public holidays and weekends. A lot of the Menu item are always sold out. Let’s start with why it’s being banned for me:

    1)Food size is extremely disproportionate , I once ordered spicy salmon handroll, and i’ve got a handroll PILING up with rice and the size of the salmon is less than half an inch , i remember taking a picture at this ridiculous-ness. Unagi Don have a bowl filled with rice and the unagi size is about a square inch.

    2) Extreme bad service : During one of the e-gate visits , we arrive at 5:30pm and the lady ( boss or manager not sure ) placed us OUTSIDE the restaurant saying it’s fully booked, so we had to sat at the outmost corner where the waiter/waitresses always always ignore. Later on, i realized there was no reservation, less than half the restaurant was seated up until 9pm. Orders are very slow, missed out and sometimes even wrong. To be fair, they could be understaffed, but that still amounts to horrible business attitude.

    3) Menu downgrading: A lot of good stuffs are removed , the cod fish thingy shown in the picture above is gone. If i’m not mistaken, it’s White Tuna. Sashimi deluxe used to have more varieties but are now packing with cheap tuna and very little salmon on my last visit.

    4) Horrible quality : Quality used to be moderate ( better than average P.Tikus restauarants but worse than Kampachi ) but it is now horrible. Having ICE inside sashimi is one of the biggest sin for japanese reastaurant and is a full nono. Unfortunately TAO has it. Some of the sashimi are so frozen they’re icy inside.

    THere’s just too much bad stuff to be listed here. So much so that I can’t think of any other reason why I would wanna go there anymore.
    To be fair they have one thing good though, they always manage to keep their food decently presentable.

  38. annil tan

    I 100percent agree that we shouldn’t waste food. But if we really finish everything we’ve ordered …why must the waiters show their faces when we repeat the orders? afterall it’s the “eat all u can” thing that attracts people.

  39. Food critic

    TAO IS EXTREMELY BAD IN SUNWAY DAMANSARA! KEEP YOUR DISTANCE. Food quality is extremely bad – beef is obviously from India or Malaysia as it tasted bad and was extremely tough. Wonder why teppanyaki beef and scallop tasted like cinnamon?
    Nothing is good except for the salad – how good can a restaurant get if they can only get the salad right. We sent back all the food after only taking a bite and the waiter had to chic to ask ‘Is anything wrong with the food’ – after asking we answered yes, its very bad and he walked away. ? Sigh good luck to TAO – your days are numbered.

  40. Jean

    I have never understood the fascination Penang people have with Tao. I’ve heard from many Penangites that it is really “ho liao”. I beg to differ.

    When it first opened years ago, I tried it out and thought it was bad. Gave it a second chance a while later and it was still bad. I have not been back ever since and don’t plan to. The food is bad, the service is bad and I’m sorry but whoever says it’s good, then they must have not had decent Japanese fare before.~
    .-= Jean´s last blog ..That Little Wine Bar- Penang =-.

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    1. Post
    1. TAO autocity ex-worker

      nope, the promotion is only for the person born in May, and during May only. the rest pay normal price


  42. TAO autocity ex-worker

    to be honest, it is not worth to eat there, unless u can eat a lot over there

    (comments below r for TAO autocity, since i never been to TAO e-gate)

    the sashimi is nt fresh; the so called ‘cod fish’ is actually a cheaper price cousin of it called ‘butter fish'; ‘abalone’ is actually a kind of abalone clam; waiting time for food serving is a bit long especially peak hour (bt it seems they have improved a lot based on my latest experience).

    they have recently raise their buffet price, and most of the server there r part-timers (bt tat doesnt means we r nt professional enuf, just u know we already try our best).

    if u really wan to dine in over there, suggest to go there during weekdays lunch time, have it without the sashimi (it will be much much cheaper, and trust me… the sashimi DOES NOT worth the extra price). and dun forget to make reservation in advance

  43. Anonymous

    Today I’ve served by a waiter namely BOAM (2049) which given us a very bad service. Not only not asking if we’ve done eating with foods while we’re taking pictures and took of our food but doubting us whether we could finish the foods we’ve ordered. By taking off the food without asking us and claimed that we couldn’t finish the food and wants to charge us the wasted food. This is not something up to the satisfactory level.
    The Cashier number: 202 Cashier (KDKL)
    Served By: 2049 BOAM
    VIP2 15/08/2011 22:06:46

  44. gwen

    i wouldn’t recommend this restaurant if anyone preferred better service for the price paid in fact the staff can certainly learn something even from fast food chain store….. they rating is so bad i would rate only 5/10…… they even set all their worker to mostly foreign worker who don’t really understand English… to make the matter even worse the manager so sarcastically reply me when i ask about the order mistake done by the worker … wont go again in the foreseeable future

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