My pre dinner cocktail funnily named Man Sherbert was delicious. Out waitress was friendly enough if a little nervous and had a mental block when it came to describing the degustation menu as she forgot what the main courses were and struggled to list all nine of them.
The vibe of the restaurant is nice with comfortable seating and lighting dim enough to create atmosphere but not so dark as it becomes hard to see things. I felt comfortable sat there and certainly began to think that if the hat was down to ambience I could see why this place had one and Nobu didn't.
We started with a tuna sashimi amuse bouche. The tuna was fresh and the dressing was soy and sesame giving it a Chinesey slant. It was tasty but not something so memorable like the yellowtail sashimi at Nobu.
Next came a piece of rare beef sushi. The beef was soft and tender and the garlic chip was a nice touch but the chilli was indistinguishable and the whole piece lacking a depth of flavour. I suggested a touch of soy whereas Steve thought a wasabi or horseradish mayo would have lifted it and I'm inclined to agree. So whilst the first two courses were good, they weren't impressing too much.
Next came a barramundi brandade with a cucumber and mint salad and a wasabi mayo. The dish was well presented. The barramundi brandade is effectively a fishcake. Sadly it was very salty and I think barramundi is too delicate a fish to make into a fishcake as the mashed potato overwhelms the flavours. The overseasoning was helped when the fish was eaten with some of the salad and the mayo but the memory of the dish is one of salt.
Crispy snapper followed and the snapper was very crispy. I think it bordered on being a touch overdone but Steve enjoyed it. The lemongrass broth was light and the accompanying seafood; mussel, scallop and king prawn were very nice.
Our main course was roast duck with a Vietnamese salad. I found the salad a bit meh and left most of it. The duck was nice enough but I've had better for less moolah.
Dessert was a light chocolate soufflé and vanilla ice cream. Fairly mainstream but the soufflé was done well and the ice cream rich and creamy.
Petit fours were served but I'd had eaten enough by then.
In summary, I'm glad we went to Taxi. It's a nice place to dine but the food failed to impress. It was nice enough but in a city like Melbourne where good food is everywhere, being average isn't enough and the fact it was half empty on a public holiday probably speaks for itself.