This post is a part of the What’s On My Plate series
Picture: Fernando Monte da Silva
A steamer at Tao, showcasing an assortment of Dim Sum available during the festival
While I’ve certainly written about this before (and most likely will again) there are one-offs and little events that tend to make me want to revisit them. And hence, without further ado, we return to that happy hunting ground that I’ve spoken of in times past: Tao, in Campal, Panjim. For those of you who follow my adventures, and for that matter, even those who don’t, Tao is a favourite stop for me primarily because I think that their Nasi Goreng is outstanding. But that is not why we’re here today. We’re here, primarily because a chance encounter with a dear friend led me to return to Tao so that he could sample the aforementioned dish that I had raved about as much as I had. However, upon reaching there, we quickly discovered that there was a special Dim Sum festival on, which of course piqued our interest.
The first thing on the menu that caught my eye was the Duck Jiaozi. For those who are more familiar with the American way of life, these are popularly known as ‘pot stickers’. These ‘stickers’ in particular are filled with a shredded amount of spicy Peking duck, spring onions, garlic and mushrooms. In my honest opinion, this dish is lovely and light, but needs a little more seasoning to bring out the flavour to its fullest potential, which is undoubtedly there.
But Goa being Goa, and our love for the sea being what it is, one could not possibly go without ordering the Prawn Mandu. This Korean style steamed dumpling is stuffed with prawn, shitake mushroom, tofu and spring onions, and served with a Korean dipping sauce, which is highly reminiscent of the peanut-flavoured sauce on a satay platter. It’s simple, flavoursome and probably my favourite of the evening.
The same can be said of the Prawn Dim Sum Mushrooms. Unlike conventional dim sum, here the stuffing that goes into the dumpling is stuffed into the inverted caps of button mushrooms, which are then steamed. It is a perhaps unusual dish, and moreover difficult to cook. I would prefer mine steamed a little less than what I received, but the flavours are all there, and it is an undoubtedly delicious dish.
If there’s one thing I’ve noticed, it is Goa’s love for what they refer to as ‘Schezwan’. Across cuisines, people ask for a dollop of the sauce with any snacky dish they’ve ordered, even a cheese naan. Sigh! Hence this next dish is one which I personally think the state of Goa will love; Chao Shou. This Sichuan Chicken Wonton is a throwback to the classic Chinese wonton, and is filled with minced chicken, spring onions and mushrooms, before being tossed in Sichuan sauce.
There is no doubt that there are vegetarian options for those that ‘swing the other way’, the non-meat one i.e. There are vegetable stuffed mushrooms nearly identical to their prawn counterpart mentioned earlier. In similar vein, there are also pot stickers in a vegetarian variation, but I still find that the duck is a big miss.
Dessert has far from missed out on making its way on to this menu, with a Steamed Lemon Curd and Coconut Dumpling finding its way on to the roster of the festival. Filled with creamy lemon goodness with a dash of grated coconut for lift and texture, this one just ends the meal on a sweet note, with a lingering hint of tang.
All in all, this menu is different from what most Pan Asian restaurants in the city have to offer, and is one that will be on offer for a very limited period of time. So what are you waiting for? Go…now…
The Dim Sum festival at Tao has a little something for everyone, but the chicken dishes are very commonplace. The recommendation is to venture into the off-beat, as it will yield better results.
Located on an off-shoot of central Panjim, yet on the main road that leads to Miramar, it is an ideal place for a quick stop for lunch, and parking is hardly ever an issue.
The average cost of a meal for two (minus the libations) would be an approximate of ₹2,000 (at the time of publishing this review).
How to get there
A-1, Pinto Arcade, Opposite Panjim Gymkhana, Campal, Panjim, Goa 403001
Food is a huge part of any culture and for me, chancing upon a good meal is synonymous with having a great day. The What’s On My Plate series of posts is where I discuss food, great places to eat, and anything gastronomically moving. This could be anything from a great place to eat, to an obscure kind of food, to an origin story. After all, there is no love like the love of eating.