Since it’s Sunday today, I thought it was only fitting that I post a yum cha review! Last weekend, Helen and I were really craving for some yum cha when we woke up. I was kind of sick of the bad quality yum cha we’ve been getting around our area, so I quickly jumped online to see if there were any other alternatives. I came across Tao Tao House through my research and quickly learned that the chef had worked at Flower Drum for nearly 20 years. He also worked at Golden Dragon Palace afterwards, another very reputable yum cha place. Quite an impressive resume there, I quickly called up Tao Tao House to make a booking.
When we arrived I noticed that Tao Tao House was a lot smaller than other yum cha places we go to. Normally yum cha establishments are huge with a sea of people, but this had a more smaller and intimate feel. The interior had a bit of a purple colour scheme happening with purple chairs and purple table clothes. A little different from other yum cha places, but it was quite nice and I quickly got used to it. The waiter seated us down straight away with some jasmine tea. One thing I hate about a lot of other yum cha places was the wait to get the first dishes on the table. No such problem here, a lady walked by with a tray of food and we were well on our way!
We quickly filled our table with food. The dishes we ordered were Har Gau (prawn dumping), scallop siu mai, chive prawn dumpling, Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce, chicken feet in black bean sauce, BBQ pork puffs, Xiao Long Bao (pork soup dumplings), prawn rice noodle roll and Chinese egg tarts. All the dishes were extremely high quality, and I was very impressed with both the taste and texture of each dish. Some of my highlights include the Har Gau, the prawns were very fresh inside and you could taste the prawn pieces in the dumpling. At some of the other yum cha places, the prawn in the dumpling can taste mushy. The Chinese broccoli was really crunchy and blanched perfectly. The oyster sauce was light, and flavoured the broccoli nicely without being salty. The chicken feet was so good! As soon as I tried one, there was a burst of flavour in my mouth. The prawn rice noodle roll had a very thin outing which just dropped over my chopstick when I picked it up. A lot of places make the rice noodle roll way too thick, which can taste very doughy and non appetizing. The prawns inside were once again very fresh. As much as we wanted to finish with a mango pudding, we were just too full. We enjoyed some fresh Chinese egg tarts for dessert. The pastry was very light and flaky. The egg filling inside was silky smooth and actually tasted like egg, and not just a sweet filling. Simply delicious…
It felt like there were a lot of staff there for a smallish place. We never had any trouble getting anyone’s attention, which can sometimes be a problem at really busy yum cha places. The customer service here was actually really good. They were not only switched on and very efficient, but also spoke nicely and were very friendly. A very pleasant surprise in the yum cha scene. The food kept coming out with next to no waiting time, and we got full pretty quickly. The price at Tao Tao House is a little more expensive, we found ourselves paying about $20 more between the two of us compared to other places. No complaints though, as the quality of the food justifies the price. This is the best yum cha I’ve had outside of Hong Kong. The search for great yum cha certainly doesn’t end here, I will continue to try other yum cha places in Melbourne and will definitely keep you guys up to date. I highly recommend Tao Tao House and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it too!
Tao Tao House
Approx $50 AUD per person
815 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn VIC 3122
Phone: +61 3 9818 0968