Disclosure: I dined courtesy of Taxi and Little Big Marketing.
The other weekend I was invited to Taxi to experience their bento lunch. I’m sure Taxi needs no introduction! It’s a very slick restaurant, and I loved the splashes of aqua/turquoise (one of my favourite colours) amongst all the steel and shiny surfaces. Though of course, the best part must be the floor to ceiling windows that make the most of the views out to the Yarra and the city.
Embarassingly, I’d never visited Taxi before. Same old story – so many places to eat, so little time, funds and stomach space. The food at Taxi is Japanese inspired, and this year they started serving a high end bento lunch, a four course meal that’s offered seven days a week. At $45, it’s a great opportunity to try out Taxi at a cheaper price point, which is normally – let’s be honest – pretty expensive with mains in the $45-$50 territory. Sure, you (well I) wouldn’t normally spend $45 for lunch every day, but for an occasional slurge? Bonza.
The lunch comes out as four separate courses, rather than together in a regular bento box. We started with a plate of sashimi and sushi – salmon belly, alfonsino, and tuna that was served with fresh wasabi. As expected, all the sashimi was fresh and delicious.
I ate all my wasabi and even stole some of I-Hua’s, but I did give her my bread roll. Fair swap, I think.
After sashimi, we were served a bowl of salmon miso soup with wakami and shimeji mushrooms. The soup stock was made with ground salmon bones, and was bloody brilliant – it had a great depth of flavour without being too fishy. Next time I eat salmon, I know what I’m going to try doing!
For the mains, we could select between snapper or pork belly. No prizes for guessing that I selected the pork belly. 🙂 The sticky pork belly was served with seared scallops and a spicy red nam jim. The sauce was a touch too sweet for my taste, but apart from that the dish was great (as pork belly tends to be).
The other option was snapper with red pepper essence and crumbed mussels. I’m told that it was better than the pork belly (!), with the snapper having a very crispy skin.
And finally, we finished with three sorbets – mandarin, green tea and passionfruit and coconut. Normally I’m a big big green tea lover, but that was overshadowed by the other sorbets. The passionfruit and coconut sorbet was very tart and coconutty, which I really enjoyed, but the mandarin flavour stole the show. It was exceptional – so fresh and citrusy. I was surprised to find that it was my favourite.
Taxi are doing the bento lunch up until Christmas – but it’s been so popular that who knows? It may make a return after the Christmas period. By the way, the menu changes regularly – just the thing for repeat visits.
For more on this lunch see:
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Taxi Dining Room
Cnr of Flinders Street & Swanston Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: (03) 9654 8808
Web: transporthotel.com.au (warning: flash site with music)