We finally made it to Dozo (the more upmarket sister restaurant of Tao’s) for dinner tonight, after hearing pretty good reviews from my dad, of all people. I can’t believe my dad made it to Dozo before me…
Anyway, their concept is similar to Tao’s but on a more high-end level, with better ingredients. For dinner, a 7-course meal costs $58.80 and you can choose from about 5 options per course.
As a pre-dinner amuse bouche, we were served a mango sorbet, and a platter comprising smoked salmon with sour cream atop a mint leaf, grilled scallop with asparagus, and a crostini with a small morsel of foie gras.
For starters, A had the beef carpaccio with parmesan cheese shavings, and I had the king crab claw salad. 1 point to A – the beef carpaccio, besides having a kick-ass (and rather phallic) presentation, was very tasty. In case you’re wondering, that cone is actually a cone of filo pastry that was deep fried, and the carpaccio slices wrapped around it. The actual filo didn't do much for the dish though, as it tended to detract from the delicate slices of beef.
In comparison, my crab claw salad was pretty ordinary. Not much meat on the crab leg, and the dressing was nothing to shout about.
Next were the side dishes. A had the escargot with yuzu garlic butter, and I had the foie gras chawanmushi with scallop and caviar. This was a tough call – mine will appeal to foie gras lovers because the foie gras is blended into the egg custard so each spoonful has a nice rich foie gras aftertaste. A’s escargots were surprisingly good, given that I only expect French restaurants to do good escargots.
The soups presented another tie, although I think mine narrowly edges out A’s. A had the cepes mushroom soup with truffle, and I had the seafood bisque. The mushroom soup was very similar to the one at Tao’s, but apparently they use a few more wild mushrooms here compared to simpler blend of mushroom and shitake at Tao’s. The result is something slightly richer, but not obviously so. I really liked my seafood bisque. It was full of flavour and yet wasn’t too rich or creamy. There were fairly generous pieces of crab meat in it as well.
Although their main course specialty is the grilled rib eye on hot stones, we both decided to go for fish today. A had the cod fillet with miso cream cappuccino, and as you can see, I’m clearly still not over my yellowtail collar obsession – I had the oven-baked Hamachi Kama with risotto. The cod was ok but the portion was pretty small. In contrast, my main course portion was huge, and the quality of the yellowtail collar was pretty good. All in all, I found this very enjoyable. 1 point to C.
Finally it was time for dessert. A had the sesame yin yang panna cotta – yin yang because the panna cotta was flavoured with white sesame, and served with black sesame ice cream. Separately, this wasn’t great but eaten together, both types of sesames really complemented each other. I had the warm chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream, which was predictable but good. The ice cream was more like gelato, and I think it would’ve been better if it had been richer and creamier. Still, 1 point to C for dessert.
Dinner was quite an experience – enjoyable, but a part of me wishes they’d tone down the dramatic plating just a tad. The place itself is a lot bigger than I expected, and it seems to be a good place for private functions. They have rooms for 4 to 6 persons, for 10 to 12, or even large groups of 18 to 20. They’ve also got a Ladies Room, done up in plush purple velvet and black lace, that would be perfect for a girls’ night out.
Service was excellent, just like Tao’s. I have to give credit to whatever training or incentive programme they have because the main waitstaff are always very good.
Food-wise, I think I might still prefer Tao’s though. While the food is good and the quality of ingredients here is somewhat better, I just get the try-too-hard-and-not-quite-making-it feel. You can tell a lot of effort went into the presentation, but the taste doesn’t quite match.
Overall, I wouldn’t mind coming back but I’m in no big hurry.
491 River Valley Road
#02-02/03 Valley Point Shopping Centre
11.30 am to 2.30 pm, 5.30 pm to 10 pm