We defy stress from a weeklong work and some bizaare challenges that come with living in another country by spending quality time together, either simply being lazy at home or going out on weekends. It breaks the monotony of our seemingly routinary lives here in Penang on weekdays (home-school-home for Gabby and home-work-home for Tina and me). Needless to say, we enjoy our togetherness longer every Friday night, Saturday, Sunday and during holidays, thus, we usually have efforts to make the most out of it (In Tagalog, SULIT!).
And whenever my family finds extra time and budget to go out, gastronomic adventures have been integral part of the fun! Frankly speaking, savoring good food has been therapeutic and a delightful measure to combat all the hassles away. Of course, the choice of food places and menu should always be unanimous among us!
Subway never fails to unleash the sandwich and cookie monsters in us. My family and I always opt to make our Subway sandwiches into a meal so that we get a cup of drink plus 2 cookies per sandwich, which we favor over a bag of Lays potato chips. Tina and Gabby love Chocolate and Double Chocolate cookies. While I also like their choices, I frequently go for Macadamia cookies; it’s deliciously good! Admittedly, Subway has been a favorite of the family. At reasonable and affordable cost, we get to savor freshness in every bite!
Before the clock hits 7PM when we watched Upin & Ipin, Live! at a carnival in AutoCity, Juru, Penang one Saturday, our tummies were filled by early dinner-cum-late-afternoon snack at Subway. Gabby had Roast Chicken-no veggies, just mayonnaise (I know, he should eat greens and he usually does at home but not in Subway), Tina had Roast Beef while I chose Subway Melt and both of our sandwiches contained everything except Jalapeno and olives.
Dinner came at past 9PM. We had eat-all-you-want and this time we went Japanese! But because we only had reservation on the same day at around half hour past 5PM, the Japanese food place was already packed hence, we were assigned to a table at their open-air-area. It turned out to be a better option because Tina, Gabby and I got to watch a live band show plus Gabby experienced dining while his legs crossed.
Because we became preoccupied looking at the menu, we failed to note the name of the band. Toinks! However, Tina and I had a strong hint that the two lady lead singers are voices from the Philippines. We might be wrong of course, but the English accent that landed on our ears when they sang their repertoire almost confirmed it; we just failed and was too shy to ask. Nonetheless, they threw a remarkable performance of a variety of songs mostly from classic hits of Whitney Houston (Indaaaaaaay, will always love youuuuuuuhuhuuuuuu!) to the very now, Adele (Someone Like You) and so much more!
Tao Restaurant’s Japanese buffet specializes in ala-carte-eat-all-you-can. Simply put, food is only delivered on the table upon order. In a way, we liked it because it assures the freshness of the dishes compared to the ones found on a spread. We already experienced it once in Manila when we dined at Chef Laudico’s Bistro Filipino in Bonifacio Global City several years back.
These were the dishes from Tao that earned thumbs up from the 3 of us.
Temaki : Hand rolled Soft Shell Crab (2 orders), California and Smoked Salmon. They’re satisfyingly good, a visual treat too! This is why I love Japanese food -they’re both art and sustenance.
Ebi tempura : Gabby’s default choice. I didn’t sample it but by mere looking, the prawns had too much batter nonetheless, our son munched it happily!
Sushi Moriawase : Took me to heaven!
Sashimi Moriawase : Fresh cuts! …Salmon and tuna sashimi are happiness!
Fried Crabmeat with Cheese : The cheese lover in Gabby liked this.
Tina ordered Ika Spicy Age : A fried and crunchy-spicy squid dish. Just okay.
I think this is called Beef Bacon Skewer : We liked it too! :D
Salmon Teriyaki’s another just fine.
And if there’s one dish that’s worthy of visiting Tao again and again, it’s this Scallop thingy-I-forgot-its-name but never its taste! Toink-Toinks!
It’s creamy, sweet and spicy; what more can you ask for? WE LOVED IT! Tina and I consumed 3 plates!!! There you go!
And these were the ones that FAILED to stimulate our palates…
A bigger scallop-let-down-dish-so-unremarkable-i-didn’t-bother-to-note-its-name. Glass noodles and scallops fusion wasn’t good on this plate.
Pickled Papaya Salmon. #ayokonito.
Cheese-something. #anotherforgettable. Gabby, Tina and I are fond of cheese but this one didn’t hit the mark.
Beef Ribs that looked like pork chops had nothing to rave about. Sorry.
Ebi Fried Kani Mayo. I so love prawns, crabs and mayonnaise but the combination didn’t worked on this dish. #soggy #supersaturated
Tina ordered this Mushroom dish but I so believe my very own home cooked buttered garlic mushrooms is far better than this variety.
Lobster sandwich. I ordered this when I thought I was not struggling on satiation yet. The end point : I didn’t even taste it. #whatawaste!
My bad comments on several dishes from the menu of Tao impose a challenge for enhancement. I’ve to be honest and far from being biased on my review. On a positive note, we loved Tao’s bottomless drinks (we only had iced tea, but Tiger beer was also free-flowing), and dessert included in the rates. The cost of the buffet for the three of us was reasonable; in fact, was only equivalent to half of an adult-rate in a hotel buffet in Manila. Another plus point of Tao was the courtesy of the wait staff. Prompt and friendly service without being pushy makes every dining experience commendable.
The raspberry flavored ice cream was such a wonderful ending to this meal! Tina and I loved it but Gabby passed it up.
I had an arrangement with our usual taxi cab driver to pick us up at around 11:30PM so while waiting, we had to give in to Gabby’s request for him to have his share of dessert. We left Tao before 11PM and walked few steps towards Starbucks Coffee.
Since Tina and I were so full, it was only Gabby who enjoyed his Chocolate Chip Frappuccino and Chocolate Marble Cheesecake.
For few minutes while waiting for our cab to take us home, I chanced upon this magazine inside the coffee shop that featured one of Malaysia’s pride, Penang-born-world-renowned-luxury handmade shoemaker, Prof. Dato’ Jimmy Choo. I’d like to end this lengthy family-food-fun blog post on one of Jimmy Choo’s quotes from that featured article…
Until our next stress-busting-family bonding!