Taxi Dining Room: bento lunch

Posted on | November 11, 2011 | 9 Comments


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.

Sashimi plate

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.

Salmon miso soup

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!

Pork belly

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.

Sorbet trio

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:

  • Amy’s Town
  • The Chronicles of Ms I-Hua

  • View Off the spork in a larger map

    Taxi Dining Room
    Level 1
    Transport Hotel
    Federation Square
    Cnr of Flinders Street & Swanston Street
    Melbourne VIC 3000
    Phone: (03) 9654 8808
    Web: (warning: flash site with music)

    Taxi Dining Room on Urbanspoon


    9 Responses to “Taxi Dining Room: bento lunch”

    1. Hannah
      November 11th, 2011 @ 3:21 pm

      Hmph. I’m not feeling sure about this new mandarin-loving side of you, BFF.
      Hannah recently posted..Union Square Cafe Nuts, and a Polka Dot Wedding


      Agnes Reply:

      Hey, I don’t mind mandarins – I like them as a fruit. I just don’t like them mixed with chocolate. :p

      PS: new captcha.


    2. Kate
      November 12th, 2011 @ 6:45 pm

      To be honest, I won’t be going back to Taxi.

      Although they do lunch specials well as you’ve noted, and after a great lunch during the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, I booked a birthday dinner for family, thinking it would be a winner. Service was not as polished as you’d hope for the price (try MoMo – they get it right), but the biggest issue was with the degustation menu. I discussed my shellfish allergy with the wait staff and whether it was appropriate for us to do degustation, or better to order a la carte. They assured me degustation would be fine and the chef would cater for my allergy. Turns out, they meant remove any shellfish elements from my courses (of which there were many) and not replace them with anything, oh, and still charged me full price. Nice birthday surprise. I will not be returning. All the blogs in the world couldn’t change my mind.


      Agnes Reply:

      Hi Kate – thanks for the comment and for sharing your experience. That’s so disappointing to hear, and I’m not surprised that you’ll never return.


    3. Ashley Ng
      November 13th, 2011 @ 7:57 am

      Wow your pics are gorgeous! :) The snapper looks delishhh!
      Ashley Ng recently posted..Naked Espresso Bar


      Agnes Reply:

      Thanks Ashley :) I think the snapper was a better choice than the pork belly – gasp!


    4. Thanh
      November 24th, 2011 @ 10:03 pm

      Pork belly fail. Can’t believe it.

      Swapping wasabi for bread roll is not a fair swap. I’d much rather keep my wasabi. :-)
      Thanh recently posted..Cupcake Central Workshop – Masterclass


      Agnes Reply:

      I think I got the better end of the deal too :D Fresh wasabi – sooo good!


    5. Miss Kimbers @ Fruit Salad and Mixed Veg
      November 29th, 2011 @ 9:07 pm

      I really like that long blue/green chair in the first picture. I would have no problem with my house looking like that:)
      Looks lovely!
      Miss Kimbers @ Fruit Salad and Mixed Veg recently posted..Paleo peach and raspberry muffins


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