Finally TAO has opened a branch in Klang Valley at Sunway Giza mall, Kota Damansara. When it first opened in Penang it created a buzz among buffet lovers, as the variety of food was considered to be fresh and unique for us – not to mention tasted great too. I have anticipated this day long enough, for a Penang based restaurant to make its mark in Klang Valley.
But first of all let me just clarify that TAO is not a Japanese restaurant serving Japanese buffet, despite always being referred to as ‘TAO Japanese Buffet‘. Actually the dishes served at TAO are Asian specialties including mostly of Japan, Thailand and Chinese.
My personal experience with TAO at E-Gate a few years ago was a good affair and I still could remember some of the dishes I had that day like the Lamb Teriyaki and Spicy Mayo Scallops. The main difference with Penang’s TAO and KD’s is that the latter have a self-service sushi and sashimi counters, which is definitely a good news for sashimi lovers. We had the lunch buffet @ RM42++ per pax, which comes to RM48.30 after including the 5% gov tax and 10% service charge.
The entrance to the restaurant, quite grand. I like how TAO designs their restaurant giving a nice, calming ambiance. But I think they seriously need to change the songs they are playing.. 90s boy bands songs ain’t cool yo.
As soon as we were seated our waiter greeted us and helped us to order some suggested items from the menu, so that we won’t need to waste time going through it. It is a good thing for first time visitors and given that the lunch buffet is about 2-3 hours long, every minute saved is another minute for you to tuck in lol.
I still could remember our waiter that day – Aaron, who was really professional and friendly in his job. Not only he checked on us like every 15 minutes or so to ensure our table was clean and still with food, the foods he ordered for us were great as well. This is the kind of service you definitely won’t get at Tenji, at least from my last experience.
Each table is given a menu for ordering the ala carte items, with pictures included to help in the ordering. As soon as an order is made, an order chit would be placed on your table side indicating it is being prepared. Waiters would check on the chit periodically to ensure your orders would arrive as soon as possible. Only a few items from the BBQ and Teppanyaki sections require special ordering clips that are assigned to your table.
As usual, the first thing I target is the sashimi. At that day there were eight types of fresh sashimi namely. Among them are salmon, tuna, ika, mackarel (salted and marinated), sweet clams (fresher and better than what I had in Kuishin-Bo), Kohada (the spotted slices – a rather rare sashimi, simliar to mackarel but more delicate)
By the time we returned to our table a few items Aaron ordered for us had already arrived. The Spicy Mayo Scallops is the must order dish at TAO. The scallops are grilled then topped with generous mixture of Japanese Mayonnaise and spicy sauce, which is then blow-torched later. Definitely a dish that would tingle your taste buds and leave you asking for more.
My second most recommended dish would be the Lamb Teriyaki, made using tender lamb loins marinated with the Teriyaki sauce. Although sweet, they still managed to retain their delicious gamey flavor.
The Taiwanese Mantis Prawn was fresh and crunchy but lacking in flavor – not a bad try though.
At the Teppanyaki section a number of seafood and meat are available for pan-frying. We had the normal, small but sweet tasting scallops (scallops with roe also available), which were fried with garlic and soy sauce. Taste wise it was OK but don’t expect too much.