Tao dumplings and fried food
Chinse restaurant Tao is new to Queenstown. It appeared very inviting with a lot of open space when my friend and I walked in at about 8.30pm for dinner. Simple yet creative design decisions drew me in and I felt I could sit in the dining area forever. The combination of white and blue decor with minimal art and massive ropes separating the staff area and dining space made the restaurant refreshing. There were plenty of free tables, with only two other couples dining at the time.
We went for three sets of dumplings: pork belly and black tiger prawn, vegetable dumplings and a combined bacon, cheese and chicken dumpling. Each set had four steamed dumplings ($8).The classic prawn and pork dumplings were my absolute favourites followed by the bacon, cheese and chicken.
For mains we ordered mapo
tofu ($20) and stir-fried lamb chops in garlic and spicy salt
($34). The choice was obvious for my vegetarian friend as there were few other options, however it took me a while to decide between lamb chops, sweet and sour pork with golden kiwifruit ($28 and I will order it next time) and wok tossed squid with chillies ($24). When the main was served I found out it contained only what was mentioned on the menu - no rice or vegetables on the side, just lamb chops. The meat was crispy, salty and addictive. It was so easy to nibble on I almost finished the whole plate on my own. However, I thought $34 for that dish was a bit too much.
My vegetarian friend was not too impressed by the tofu dish. It was meant to be a hot sauce so she asked for it in a soy sauce instead. Her highlight was the spring rolls. A generous portion of four freshly
made rolls for $14.
As we entered Tao there was a note saying the restaurant had not received its liquor licence yet. Not ideal, but we were offered a free juice or tea instead, which was a nice gesture. Staff were lovely and understanding. Kitchen staff were working at a good speed as the food was served
to the table very quickly.
Tao is a great wee Chinese cuisine place which will become even better once they have a liquor licence sorted. A new restaurant with a great aesthetic appeal is perfect for a light family dinner or a few snacks over a catch up with friends. Tao is also now my new go-to for dumplings.
Tao’s pork and prawn dumplings ($8) and vegetarian dumplings ($8).