You'll be rewarded for experimenting with your choices at Tao Garden.
Free your senses from desire with authenticity.
by Carey Sweet
from Phoenix New Times, May 15-21, 2003, pg 57
Berry Hom could do fine without another trip to Sky Harbor Airport, thanks very much. What with the heightened security there, and the never-ending construction in the area, it's an ordeal to navigate the sludge of traffic circling the terminals. But Hom does it, day in and day out, picking up the deliveries of seafood flown in fresh from his suppliers in Canada, Seattle and Los Angeles.
Hom has no choice. As co-owner of Chandler's new Tao Garden Chinese restaurant, he'd have some truly unhappy souls to answer to if he didn't make the effort. Me, for example. When I come in, and it's often since I discovered his wonderful place at Alma School and Warner, I expect fresh fish. So fresh, it's alive when I order it. So spunky, I can see it cavorting about in the three tanks mounted in the
wall of Tao Garden's entry. So pristine, it tastes of pure sparkling ocean or stream.
Hom would also have some explaining to do to another customer, whom he can't name but can identify by appetite. This gentleman comes in faithfully, Hom tells me, on a mission: to eat his way through each and every one of the menu's more than 210 dishes. So far, he's managed 45 different plates. A guy this fanatical is not someone a restaurant owner wants to meet in a dark alley after shrugging and saying, "Sorry, no fresh fish today, it was too much of a hassle."
by Nikki Buchanan
from Phoenix Magazine, Best New Restaurants, October 2003, pg 105
Two visits can’t begin to do justice to Tao Garden, which offers 142 menu items, including 13 chow meins, 10 soups, nine hot pots, six tofu dishes and a partridge in a pear tree (actually, a braised duck with greens, and it’s delicious). Nevertheless, two visits are enough to tell me that this is one terrific Chinese restaurant - clean, friendly and completely accessible.
Seafood, Tao’s specialty, comes in every form imaginable, including live lobster and crab, scallops (awesome with egg white sauce), prawns (try with crispy fried milk, if you dare), squid (offered with yellow chives, preserved mustard greens or a spicy salt and pepper blend), clams, oysters and catfish. Yeemon Hom, who co-owns the restaurant with her husband, Berry, and their chef-partner Heung Ming Fong, points out that some specialties, such as seabass or tilapia, change with the seasons, which is just as it should be.
When I mention to Yeemon that the clientele seems to be primarily Chinese, she agrees. “I think the Americans haven’t heard much about us yet.” I’m doing my part to
2050 N. Alma School Road, Chandler
read more of this review at azcentral.com
Seafood so fresh it's still swimming is the specialty of this wonderful, no-frills spot. You'll need to check out the markerboard -- the helpful staff will translate for you. Among the denizens of the deep you may encounter: scallops, oysters, geoduck, lobster, rockfish, tilapia and gorgeous crab in black bean sauce.