After reading about it on my Twitter timeline, I immediately searched Google for some information regarding this restaurant and got consistent reviews, that their Hainanese Chicken is really good and that it’s the best in Manila. Being a fan of the said dish, I immediately asked A if we could eat there sometime. Since he was also intrigued, we had lunch at their branch at Greenbelt 3 this Sunday, after hearing mass at the Greenbelt chapel. It’s located on the 2nd floor, along the row of Recipes, and Banana Leaf.
The restaurant was almost full when we got there, considering that it was just around 11:30AM, and it’s not quite lunchtime yet. It seems a lot of people were goin’ on an early lunch, maybe to avoid waiting. Upon browsing their menu, I immediately confirmed what my friend told me, the prices were steep. It took us a while to choose what we wanted since they had a lot of items on the menu and everything seemed good. After we placed our order, we were given peanuts for appetizer, which were really good that A had to ask for a second serving.
We decided to order a bowl each of Singapore Laksa. I said we should just share but he anticipated that he would not be satisfied if we shared just one bowl. Their Laksa tasted amazing. The soup was just the right thickness. And it was real hot without overwhelming your sense of taste. It had a lot of toppings too. But I thought it had too few noodles in it. We were sweating and had runny nose after finishing this dish.
I was already a little full from the Laksa but we still had a half order of the Hainanese Chicken. I have tasted a lot of versions of this Hainanese Chicken from various places and I can say that this one’s really one of the best (Wee Nam Kee‘s version is good too). The meat was really tasty even without the sauces. Just seeing the yellow color of the chicken was already appetizing.
The sauces though, I was disappointed with. I thought that the ginger sauce was lacking in ginger. It seemed that the spring onions overwhelmed it so the ginger taste was a little toned down. I’ve had better. The supposed chili sauce was not spicy at all. It was even a bit sour.
The Hainanese Rice, I must say, it’s unparalleled. It’s the real thing. Authentic at its finest. You can really taste the chicken broth it was cooked with.
My stomach was close to bursting after finishing all that. But since they offer complimentary desserts to all diners, who can say no to that? And you gotta admit, there’s always room for dessert no matter how full you say you are. They gave us lychee flavored jelly with a piece of lychee fruit. I would have wanted a stronger lychee taste but who am I to complain, it was free.
I can say that the food at Tao Yuan lived up to the expensive prices attached to them. We would definitely go back to sample the other items they offer. Their space at Greenbelt is a little too small though. It was cramped. Even the servers need to constantly excuse themselves and wait for another person to pass just so they could move around. But another thing I loved is their service. The crew were really attentive, they would refill your tea, or water even without you asking. They also gather your used tissue so your table’s free of unnecessary clutter. They even offer a change of plates, which works well for people who don’t like mixing their viands together. I hope they will be able to keep this up.