Tucked away at Level 2 of Asia Square Tower 2, Tao Seafood Asia is a contemporary Chinese restaurant whose claim to fame is its variety of mouth-watering crabs and freshly cooked fish.
Opened by Chef Lee Tong Kuon, a retired Chinese restaurant chef and his son, Adrian, at the end of last year, this hidden gem of a restaurant serves a mix of Thai and Teochew style dishes, infused with local flavours.
The Tao signature soup with premium fish maw and crabmeat ($68) was one of the top contenders which grabbed our attention. The tangy taste of the soup, coupled with the delectable fish maw and crab meat kept us wanting for more.
To add more kick to your bowl, add in the tau gei (Beansprouts in Chinese), sprinkle a bit of the garnish, as well as add in just a touch of the homemade green chilli (yes, you read us right.) which really complemented the flavor of the soup.
Next up on our list of favourites was the marble goby (Soon Hock) (seasonal price). This thing of beauty was steamed, cooked with preserved radish and garnished with shallots for the extra crunch. Even before the meat even touched your lips, you knew exactly how fresh and tender it was, and the real thing only served to confirm your suspicions.
Finally, the second last dish that arrived was the one we had truly been waiting for- the white pepper crab ($6 per 100 g), in all its glory and pincers, which belied the huge clump of meat within. The first indication of its arrival was the staff who went around the table to thoughtfully provide ziplocks for our phones- in preparation for the mess we would make later. Then came the bowls of limewater. And finally, the crabs themselves.
Although already weary from a long day and close to a food coma, we attacked the crabs with renewed vigour, and they did not disappoint. Moist, spicy and served with a generous lathering of sauce, we knew at once this was no “No Signboard” or “Jumbo Seafood” crab- this was something else.
It was fresh, delicate and bursting with flavor, all at once, and much to our amazement, pre-“cracked”. Diehard crab eaters will know the feeling when we have to use the cracker to puncture the hard shells, only to splatter the gravy and precious meat all over others- or worse- your own clothes.
Pro tip: when eating Tao’s white pepper crab dish, and we highly recommend you do, ensure that you use the ziplocks provided, momentarily forget about the existence of table manners and most importantly, do not wear white, as I foolishly did.
Before we left, we asked for the secret behind Tao’s quality dishes. Adrian, the owner, gamely replied: “We refine the taste to what we think is most delicious. Tasting is the last part of the food experience. You have to make it look good and smell good, before people will come for it.”
This was an invited tasting.
Tao Seafood Asia
Address: 12 Marina View, Asia Square Tower 2 #02-10
11.30 AM to 2.30 PM
6.00 PM to 10 PM (Last order by 9.30 PM)