fl3hdahwfuhjshkjhfsjk hshfjhjh… Yes!!! My fingers are so excited and restless that I can hardly type straight! Please excuse any typos in this one…
A few nights ago I had the privilege of dining at Dust Thani’s Asian restaurant; TAO with my bestie. The menu consists of three sections; Chinese, Japanese and Indian with some Thai and Malaysian inspired fusion elements as well.
First, we served three complimentary amuse-bouche’s from the three respective countries. They were quite tiny, but packed with flavor and culture.
Then we ordered some Salmon Sashimi and Assorted Tempura for a light Japanese starter. The sashimi arrived and lo & behold there was a huge, fresh Shiso leaf hugging the salmon slices. Shiso leaves are not easy to find in Egypt. I remember when I had my restaurant, I once asked a produce purveyor how much they cost and the price was almost 150 EGP for just 10 leaves. The fact that Shiso leaves can only be served fresh, meant that if I had only used one or two leaves every 3 days, then the cost per leaf or two would have translated to the full amount of 150 EGP for my restaurant. That is extortionate and that was over 5 years ago before the economic catastrophy we are facing nowadays. This leaf is from the mint family and it has a subtle spearmint flavor that really brightens up the aroma of the fresh fish. The Tempura also came with yet more pleasant surprises. Three large shrimps (slightly overcooked in my friend’s opinion), another Shisho leaf and fresh Shiitake mushroom! Again, these mushrooms are really hard to cultivate outside of Asia and I heard that some micro farms grow them here in Egypt but never got a chance to see them myself.
For our mains we went classic with a dish of Sweet & Sour Chicken and a Black Pepper Beef along with the unmissable company of steamed rice. The chicken was seriously good with just enough sauce to coat the battered nuggets and some crunchy vegetables. The beef however, was the real showstopper in my opinion. It was so incredibly tender that I literally never had to chew. I am not sure if it was Wagyu, but I doubt it because it was from the Chinese menu. 🙂
With two full bellies, we still couldn’t just walk away without looking at the dessert menu. To avoid the indecisiveness that usually followed by guilt and refusal to have dessert, I immediately ordered us a Matcha Ice-cream and some Steamed Custard Buns. The Custard Buns came with a side of dragon fruit Rubik’s cube and the ice-cream was served in a fancy glass with some mixed berries on top.
Honestly, I don’t think I ever had a better Asian experience in Egypt than at this place. And yeah.. of course it’s not easy on the wallet, but I truly believe that was it was totally worth every single bite.
PS: Thank you R.H. for the lovely gesture! 🙂