Ever since Taiwanese dessert spot Taro Taro opened up in Vic Park last year my mother and I have been planning on dropping in to try it out. My mother is from Taipei and has a high expectation for the dishes that come from her homeland.
After some grocery shopping at Kongs nearby and a quick lunch at Ten Ten, Jeremy, my mother and I decided to finally give the place a go - though we weren't sure what to expect given the mixed reviews.
First impression of the place when we walk in is that it looks really bright and welcoming. The counter is open which lets you look into the preparation area, and there's a scattering of white tables with bright green chairs.
The menu is extensive, offering a selection of Taiwanese desserts, milk teas, fruit teas, icy drinks and traditional food items such as braised pork and fried chicken. Since we're all full from lunch we bypass the food (though the fried sweet potato balls sound yummy) and pick items off the drinks/desserts menu.
Jeremy chooses a large Ice Blended Taro drink which comes as a creamy, startlingly purple beverage. One sip in, and it tastes good. I'm surprised by how nice it tastes - though I probably shouldn't seeing as I adore yams so much. It makes for a strangely delicious drink, but not something I could have too much of.
I choose a Passionfruit Green Tea with added sago in the regular size. I drink bubble tea at least once a month so I'd like to think I'm pretty aware of what makes a good serving. And this for me, definitely did not meet the brief.
The tea is way too sweet, and the sago too chewy. For me, it seemed like this sago had been cooked a couple days earlier and not that day. I ended up sadly drinking the tea and leaving the sago untouched after a few trial bites.
My mum decides on the Taro Taro Signature Herbal Jelly Ice. it comes out with taro balls, taro and sago pearls. It comes out and I can tell from her face as she takes her first bite that she's disappointed.
Like my drink, the sago is hard and difficult to chew; the taro not as flavoursome as it should be. The whole dish lacks that excitement that when done right it can have. She gets about halfway through it before deciding to give up and leave the remainder behind. I feel so bad for her because I knew she'd been looking forward to trying something here that she has eaten in her home country.
All up, our experience at Taro Taro was not such a good one. While the staff were pleasant and the restaurant clean, the quality of the desserts and drinks for me wasn't what I had wanted. I wouldn't mind trying the savoury food here, but I doubt that I'll bother coming back after our experience today.