With Taxi always close to the top of my list of favorite restaurants, I felt it had been too long between visits. My sister feeling the same, we decided… why wait for an occasion! We didn’t have to twist the boyfriend’s arms very much to get them to join.
So…all dressed up with somewhere to go, we headed out to federation square, past the rowdy Transport crowd and up the dark metal staircase. As we opened the floor to ceiling glass doors we entered another world. The service is impeccable, somehow making you feel comfortable, relaxed and important all in one smile. The huge dining room has a large square bar in the center with a number of dining areas surrounding it. Everywhere you look, no matter where you’re seated, the glass walls showcase the bright lights of Melbourne; it’s the perfect backdrop to a beautiful evening.
We took our seats, ordered four glasses of Champagne and sat back to take in our surroundings. The open kitchen, visible from most of the tables, provides for entertaining viewing. You can see delicate dishes being prepared right before your eyes.
As we looked over the menu, it was time for tough decisions!
I ended up choosing the Kataifi wrapped Atlantic scallops with smoked chilli mayo for my entrée and the Pan fried John Dory with yabbie tails & seeded mustard crème fraiche for my main.
Waiting for our entrees we were surprised by yet another small touch as an Amuse Bouche of mushroom and truffle soup arrived in a shot class sized cappuccino mug. The creamy delicate soup was the perfect way to tease the taste buds…it definitely left us all wanting more.
The entrees arrived! Served in the shell on a bed of rock salt, my pastry wrapped scallops looked amazing. They tasted even better. The pastry, which was not oily at all, cased the plump, fresh and tender scallops perfectly. To complete the taste experience was the shaved radish salad that topped each piece giving it a hint of freshness and extra flavour.
The sticky pork with a hot chilli dressing, that I sampled from the plate next to me, was also delicious, sweet, spicy and perfectly cooked. For someone who isn’t a huge fan of pork I was pleasantly surprised.
Eating seafood, I stuck with the Billicart Champagne, which I would highly recommend; others on the table however, took again to the extremely extensive and comprehensive wine list to choose a range of different wines to accompany the varying meals.
Then it was time for mains. My Pan fried John Dory with yabbie tails & seeded mustard crème fraiche was surprise surprise amazing. The dory was crisp on the outside and like butter on the inside and the crème fraiche was strong and creamy. The dory sat atop an Asian flavoured salad, which gave crunch, freshness and complexity to the meal.
The table shared the Steamed broccolini with sesame oil and the Spicy fried chat potatoes. Broccolini still crisp and the potatoes very well roasted, we couldn’t complain.
Finally…it was dessert time. After seeing it being served to a number of tables near by I couldn’t go past the Taxi’s ‘Valrhona’ chocolate dessert plate. On this particular night it included a tiny chocolate soufflé served in a tiny copper pot, a little coffee cream filled choux pastry with chocolate sauce and candied pistachios and finally a dark chocolate tart with chocolate ganache and honeycomb. To be completely honest, the dessert would have been my third favorite of the night, but coupled with a glass of pedro ximenez, it was enjoyed just fine!
Perfect for a special occasion, Taxi Dining room offers beautiful, yet unpretentious food along side service that never fails, while somehow managing to make you feel you’ve made a new best friend.
Taxi remains on the top of my list of favorite restaurants, and I can see myself finding more excuses to return. I am yet to sample the sushi menu, which I hear is worth the trip on its own.
If you haven’t been…go…now!
For more information:
Taxi Dining Room
Fed Square, Melbourne
(03) 9654 8808