Taxi Kitchen in the city centre is an unexpected gem, set right in the middle of the glorious diamond ring that is Melbourne. Being in the heart of the city, one would automatically be wary—tourist traps do exist, they will get you, and it will hurt—but regardless of it’s prominent and scenic position on the river side of Federation Square, Taxi Kitchen serves up some top class, authentically Melbourne dishes.
What is authentically Melbourne, you ask? Well it begins with an freshly grilled slice of amazing, which has been marinaded in a house-made awesome-sauce, a side of multicultural inventiveness, a garnish of unique, on a bed of no-holds-barred quality, and a waiter that is proud to be serving food in one of the best foodie cities going around.
But loyal—ahem born and bred Melburnian here—imagery aside, Taxi Kitchen is lifting it’s game by the meter, and charging mates rates for one helluva ride. The menu offers a wide variety, starting with some tangy bite-size appetisers like Tempura Cauliflower Blossom and Bass Straight Scallops. There’s a great fusion of Asian techniques and ingredients across the board at Taxi, mixed in with some more traditional Italian and European flavours. Entrees are fresher than fresh, with an Heirloom Tomato, basil and burrata salad that is sweet and flavourful enough to stand by itself. Also on offer is a generous portion of sake washed tuna with soybean pesto and daikon salad, and some Smoked Petuna Ocean Trout with capers, egg yolk, parsley and radish (note, may be too pretty to eat).
One dish that looked, sounded and seemed like it really shouldn’t gel, was the Candied Pork with coconut salad and red nam jim. Safe to say it was phenomenal. Imagine small blocks of rich, tender and sweet pork belly, in a red sauce (that seems to be tomato based—don’t quote me on that) but also reminiscent of sweet n’ sour. Add some Vietnamese mint into the mix, and you’ve got one heck of a party.
Some great large dishes to look out for include an impressive whole baked barramundi which needs no coaxing away from the bones, and a slow roasted lamb shoulder with thyme jus, that just melts in your mouth and puts your grandmother’s recipe to shame. The Castlemaine Szechuan Duck is rather a stand out though, again evoking strong Asian flavours with fresh orange and an accompanying hot Vietnamese mint salad.
You may be thinking it all sounds so good, you don’t know how you’ll fit it all in? Well make sure there’s extra space in the boot of your cab (and by cab I mean stomach), because the desserts are impressively impressive. A Passionfruit Soufflé with a caramelised white chocolate centre and banana ice cream, is one that will have cooks, chefs and foodies alike oohing and ahhhing, but the Dark Chocolate Parfait with macadamia nut and honeycomb crumble is one perfect for the chocaholics. A quirky version of a frozen lemon meringue pie also doesn’t disappoint, and looks pretty as a picture.
All the food on offer at Taxi is great for sharing, and a super way to maximise the amount of flavours and exciting tastes you can sample. A wise foodie once said that sharing is caring. Oh it wasn’t a foodie that said that? I’m sure they would be a foodie if they lived in Melbourne and dined at Taxi Kitchen.
Rated out of 10
Federation Square, Melbourne
(03) 9654 8808
Monday to Saturday, 12pm till Late
Sunday, 11am till Late
All images copyright © Megan Osborne, please do not use without permission.