Restaurant Review: TAO – Midtown, NYC

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Restaurant Review: TAO – Midtown, NYC

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Looking for a big, high-end Asian dining experience with friendly staff and upbeat music? TAO is something to consider. Originally a 19th century stable for the Vanderbilt family and then a balconied movie theater, TAO New York was transformed into a majestic Asian “temple.” The atmosphere delivers a dramatic vibe with dim lights and a mega-sized Buddha towering over you to give you that pan-asian sensation. This spot includes mouthwatering food and imaginative cocktails and is great for all occasions from a night out with your closest friends to a fun birthday dinner. I chose this restaurant for my seventeenth birthday and couldn’t be more satisfied. Being with a group of 8 girls, we sampled over 12 authentic dishes from the crispy coconut shrimp to the sweet potato tempura. One dish that really stood out was the Crispy Orange Chicken. The dish was sufficient to fill you up but not too big at the same time, and was glazed in a sweet thai curry sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds and chopped celery bits. The taste and texture was something truly incomparable, with the strong curry sauce overwhelming your mouth for more. The chicken had a tender natural texture which seemed like it was of very good quality, easily chewable, and really gave off the sensation that you were dining a high end asian cuisine.

Another outstanding dish was the Mochi Tasting. This dish is a dessert of Japanese rice cakes made of mochigome, a short-grain japonica glutinous rice. It consisted of the outer rice coating and an ice cream flavor on the inside. We tasted 4 flavors from the green tea to the coffee to the strawberry and you can say they were quite excellent and like something you don’t really try often. They all melted in your mouth and made you feel like you really were in Japan.

The service was very fine, although at times it would be hard to find your waiter considering the restaurant is very large. Our waiter was very friendly and would even make jokes to brighten our experience. Although the food is a bit pricey, with main courses ranging in the $30’s, it is definitely worth the spending. Reservations are very much necessary at this restaurant because it is a popular spot especially if you’re going with a larger group. In my opinion, this restaurant would receive a 4 star rating because it definitely pulls off the Buddhist-Asian experience with delicious, unique dishes complimenting the surrounding atmosphere.