I was recently at Tao Cuisine Japanese Restaurant at E-Gate to check out the food. It embraces a new concept of eating in Penang (at least for Japanese food) with a all you can eat buffet during the evening. All you have to do is pay RM 48++ per pax and keep stuffing your stomach with the endless supplies of food. However, there is a penalty for wastage. For every 100g of wastage, you will be charge RM 10. Tao also offers a 10% discount for those who arrive before 6.30pm. A minute too late and you wont qualify for the discount.
Tao has quite a unique buffet system as oppose to other places in Penang. All you need to do is order what you want from the menu and food is serve to your table. To keep track of each order, a ticket is place on your table and once that order has been served, the ticket is remove. Ergo if you notice that you almost run out of tickets, it's time to order more. The buffet also includes a generous free flow of drinks. As such, you can order as much ice lemon tea, orange, peach tea or green tea as you want. Just make sure that you save some space for the real meal.
Here are some of the assorted dishes you can order from the menu:
Clams in spicy sauce.
Grilled salmon in teriyaki sauce.
Grilled lamb chops.
Grilled fish. The portion is huge and took a few of us to finish this.
California rolls. I noticed that they are packed abnormally with a lot of rice so just be careful about ordering too many. You wont have enough space to try the rest.
Fresh sashimi - consisting of assorted raw seafood.
Taiwan prawn mantis - they tasted lovely but unfortunately they came in small portions.
Steamed unagi - eel covered in seaweed and fish roe.
Fried bean curd in soya sauce.
Motoyaki scallops - they are topped with mayonnaise and baked for a few seconds.
Seafood and vegetable tempura.
Cheesy salmon roll. Quite an unusual combination for me.
Hyu yaki niku or beef. Very tasty.
Fried potato cutlet.
I think this has to be the oyster but I can't be too sure about this. I was busy eating away to notice the name or what's inside. :)
All in all, the food is great for the price you pay. Bear in mind that this is a buffet so you cannot make any comparison at all with any of the Japanese restaurants that you might have come across with. As a last note, the environment is nice, cozy and inviting (especially the decors inside - we had to see outside but had a nice view of the costal highway and the Penang bridge) and if you have a few hours to kill and a big stomach to fill, then Tao is definitely the place to visit.