OVERALL: 7/10 OK
Taizu Tel Aviv has BUZZ now . . . in fact it’s so buzzy in TLV you need to order a week in advance for a table. However, I give it a 7/10 because I think it’s really missed the mark in a few places AND for what they charge expectations simply don’t live up.
The meal started with an explanation of the menu – choose one dish from each of the five sections, plus add one or two more and you’ll have a dinner for two. Our waitress promised to help steer us in the right direction to create a harmonious tasting menu, but harmonious it wasn’t.
The meal started with a radish in rice wine that was tasty, but certainly not an amuse bouche or “hello from the kitchen” I would have expected for the amount of money we paid.
For the first course we got the fish tartar. Which was delicious, but as we saw other people receive 3 cones instead of the 2 we received, made us wonder. Were we paying per cone? Did they forget a cone? Did they make our cones bigger? But not to ruin a good night, we didn’t ask… The presentation in the block was cute, but a cocktail napkin? Seriously?!
The next dish was veal cheek dumplings, which were my favorite. They were delicious with an impeccably done broth and perfectly executed veel cheek that melted in your mouth. The presentation was cute, but again, for being such an expensive quality place, I was surprised they were using plastic spoons. I did not like the extremely spicy hot pepper, but my husband did.
The next dish was just awful, in my opinion. It was some kind of rock shrimp puff and I didn’t taste anything but dough and disappointment.
The above two dishes were somehow on the table as the same time as the squid curry, which was just a plain flavor mismatch. The calamari had a bitter taste that was not very nice. As you can see in the picture below, it seems like the seasoning ended up burning a bit.
The bun was great! I love a good Vietnamese BBQ bun and this one fit the bill, however, for this I could have gone to the BUN, whose bun was equally as good and whose curry was much, much better. And in terms of price, this mini bun is priced the same as a full-size bun.
And the final dish, a curry, was a bit too spicy for my taste and I did not enjoy the vegetables with it. It was also unbalanaced – no carb or milk to offset its spiciness. Though when we finished, we were still hungry and poking the leftover sauce, we were offered rice. It was a very expensive version of the calamari dish earlier – drowning in parsley and green onion sticks.
The dessert was the one area I can say I was truly impressed. And it’s a shame I took a bad picture (sorry) but you get the idea. It was original, well executed and delicious . . . all that was lacking from the previous meal. They called it saverina.
The bottom line is that I’m glad I went for the “experience” and to see what Taizu was all about. Am I glad I went? Yes. Am I curious to see what else the chef can do? Not at this price . . . not only were we hungry at the end of the meal, I overheard the waitstaff asking other people “are you still hungry” and offering up additional dishes.
For my future Asian food cravings, I’d rather stick with The Bun and order their Bun (what else?) and curry dish.