We've gone to a bunch of gigs at the Merri Creek Tavern this year; they don't run a kitchen so we've been testing out a few of the neighbouring restaurants for dinner. Taxiboat is our pick thus far. Its menu attributes various dishes to China, Mongolia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Korea; they're well-labelled for gluten-free, onion-free and garlic-free options. Most mains are available with tofu and faux-meat as well as the traditionally featured meats.
On this, our second visit, I was most impressed with the Mongolian faux-beef ($19.80, pictured above), which was thickly coated in a BBQ sauce both sweet and savoury, and served on a bed of fresh, lightly cooked broccoli, snow peas and capcisum.
At our table of four, we also shared the Pad Thai with tofu ($16.80, above left); not my favourite rendition of a dish I have a lot of affection for. The Kung Pao Chilli Tofu ($18, above right) was much livelier, with plentiful fresh and dried chilli and just enough sweetness in the sauce.
I think the most memorable dish on the menu is Roast Duck on Heaven ($19.80), which is available with excellent mock-duck pieces in a hoisin sauce, served in a spring roll-wrapper basket with a sprinkling of pine nuts.
The dessert menu also looks fun (pandan panna cotta, tropical coconut dazzler icecream), but it's a bit more restricted on the vegan options (typically one icecream flavour, vanilla on this visit). Nevermind! We're already well pleased to see high-quality mock meat teamed with colourful crunchy veges, all at a decade-old restaurant in Westgarth that the internet never made much fuss about.
Taxiboat was blogged all the way back in 2010 by the Eat Our Way Up High St Project; they were underwhelmed. More recently, it's received positive attention on Green Gourmet Giraffe, Gastrology, and The Penguin Eats.
94 High St, Northcote
appetisers, mains, mains, noodles & roti, desserts & specials
Accessibility: There are two steps up on entry; low tables, benches and seats are densely arranged inside. We ordered at our table and paid at a high counter. We didn't visit the toilets.