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CLOSED: Tao

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 12 reviews )
Hours

Closed

Contact 020-7287-3730
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40 Great Windmill Street (at Shaftesbury Ave), London, England, W1D 7LY

Small vegan food buffet restaurant close to Piccadilly Circus. Offers a variety of fresh vegetable dishes and some mock meat. Has fresh juices. Serves dairy ice cream. Reported closed/shut down to HappyCow Jan 2015.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Chinese, Thai, Buffet, Juice bar, Take-out

Reviews (12)

First Review by Gudrun

Really Disapointing - Edit

Asian hot and cold all you can eat buffet. Terrible staff. Do NOT go there if you have real food allergies.

The young female staff member was fixing stuff on the buffet and was rude and dismissive when I asked what the differnt things were. Acted like I was putting her out in a major way. When I asked something else she responded the same way each time. Dismissive and put out. Like I was dirt beneath her feet. (The issue was not related to language barrier).

Further I am allergic to mushrooms and was assured by another staff member that the spring rolls were without mushroom. Good thing I don't take things at face value and broke them in half to double check. If I had taken a single bite I would have been on my way to the emergency room.

At the end of my meal I quietly spoke to the male staff member. Told him we could have had an allergy problem and I would have sued and asked to speak to a manager to complain about the female staff member apparently the manger in in Hong Kong and not back for months. Didn't have a phone number to talk to the boss or senior person who works somewhere else.

MY ADVICE DO NOT GO TO THIS restraunt if you want service or politeness in any way

Pros: Reasonably priced, centrally located

Cons: Not safe for people with dietary issues, rude staff, no one in authority to talk to


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A quick filling meal! - Edit

We've been to several of the veggie chinese buffet places around London and generally enjoy what they offer - lots of soya chunks or fake meat dishes, noodles, hot and cold dishes and pancake rolls.
We went close to their closing time so there was a very end-of-day feel to the place (including staff mopping floors etc.) but the buffet still had the full range. A couple of the dishes looked like they had dried out on top so we avoided those - when you want a quick, cheap filling bite to eat last thing at night I don't think it's fair to expect everything to be perfect!
It wasn't the best buffet place we've tried - our favourite is the one opposite Camden tube station - but it did the job!

Pros: mostly vegan, cheap, quick


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nicely presented, good value - Edit

I took a small takeaway box for £3.50. Hot and cold items. Spring rolls, several mock-meat dishes, roasted potato wedges, noodle salads, seaweed, slaw. I thought it was tasty enough for the price.

Pros: good value


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If you really have to go there - Edit

This is all you can eat type buffet but choice is limited and everything taste the same. Chunks of soya are these cheap dried soya bits from any supermarket dipped in some sauce which taste like paper. I would not bother myself again with this place.


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Not Good - Edit

A friend and I decided to go out to celebrate her last night in London, but I really wish we had picked a different place. We paid £9.25 each (£6.90 for the weekend buffet price, plus £1.50 for a drink, and a 10% service charge for serving that drink) for lukewarm food that neither of us enjoyed.* Also, the only staff member upstairs stood in the corner and wasn't very concerned about how messy the buffet line became. I certainly won't be going back.
*I will say that the broccoli was warm and very delicious.

Pros: tasty broccoli

Cons: lukewarm food, uninterested staff


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Lunch time - Edit

I went here today, along with 4 carnivore colleagues. It's compact, though it was not busy when we went at around 1 ish. Less than 100m from Piccadilly Circus, we were expecting it to be busy with a touristy crowd, but they seem to have missed out on this gem.

The take out is good value, but we opted for a sit down meal. With a surprisingly large number of dishes to choose from, all of them with Chinese / South East Asian in influence, there's lots to go at.

There are cold salad type dishes as well as hot, along with noodles and rice. The hot included 5 or 6 soya 'mock beef' or 'mock chicken' style dishes which impressed and confused my meat eating colleagues. All the dishes have a good range of flavours, some having a welcome chilli kick. With the addition of various regional sauces and condiments, most tastes are catered for.

Pure veggie and with lots of vegan dishes, (I'm always concerned that south east Asian food may contain fish products), a good alternative to some of the Chinatown places. The orange juice was fresh squeezed, rather than from a carton, which is always a good sign. Desert was a fresh fruit salad, which is a great way to end the meal.

The staff were polite and friendly, but not intrusive. The only negative I can think of, is that they only take cash and not cards. (There are cash machines on Piccadilly Circus so it not a big deal.)

Pros: Good range of choices, Good price, Very central location

Cons: Might get a bit crowded, Cash only


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Too spicy! - Edit

This restaurant was a bit of a disappointment to me. There were relatively many options on the buffet, but several of the dishes tasted the same. The flavour was too spicy and actually unpleasant, and I ended up only eating from two or three of the dishes on the buffet.
The seating was narrow, although we later realised there were additional seating downstairs. Overall the interior gave off an impersonal impression, almost the feeling of a fastfood chain such as McDonalds. The register were in plain view beside on of the tables, which felt poor.
The staff were friendly though.

Pros: Friendly staff, Cheap

Cons: Too spicy food, Narrow seating, Impersonal interior


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Change the description, not 100% vegan - Edit

Hello,
I recently stayed in London on vacation at a hotel close to this restaurant. I visited it several times during my stay and i found it pleasant and it had a nice buffet at a nice cost.
The first time i came there I asked it everything was vegan and they replied yes everything is vegan.
Since I have been vegan for 12 years I've been thru a lot of weird experiences so Im always super careful when going to restaurants, so when I got to the dessert i asked again about the ice cream and they replied no sir, its normal ice cream. ???????

This restaurant should definitely not be displayed as "vegan".

The food was nice but this is important stuff that should be displayed on the menus etc.

Pros: Good price, Good location, Decent food

Cons: not 100% vegan, Oily


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Nice place, varied selection - Edit

My husband and I ate at this restaurant during a visit to London. We were impressed by the attentiveness of the staff and the many options available to choose from. The buffet was all you can eat and the owner was very kind in encouraging us to go for a second round.

My only complaint would be that the food isn't as fresh as in some other places for the mere fact that the restaurant seemed very empty. The owners were very proactive in trying to bring passers-by in but seemed to scare them off in doing so (i.e. by popping their heads out the door and addressing/spooking people who were admiring the food from the storefront display).

Pros: Good Value, Ambiance, Friendliness


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Good buffet vegan asian food - Edit

Really good place. All the food is vegan. I visited here while on vacation with my husband. We enjoyed the all your can eat buffet for lunch. Both of us were full with two plates. It was very quiet and every time people looked in the people who worked there nicely opened the door to invite them in. Unfortunately, many people seemed to run off when finding the "chicken" and "beef" are made of soy meats. That was sad. But if you like imitation "meats" and such this is a really good place. I was happy to have a number of different "beef" and "chicken" options to choose form mixed with some vegetable dishes.

The place has a great location. It's literally right off of Piccadilly Circus.

Pros: Quiet place, Great location, right off Piccadilly , Good value


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Asian buffet: good + inexpensive - Edit

This "eat as much as you can" buffet restaurant serves quite a variety of Asian-style food at a very low price: GBP 5.90 Mon - Fr until 5 p.m., GBP 6.90 at any other time (prices October 2012). Delicious food with lots of fresh vegetables, friendly service.

Pros: delicious food, good value, friendly staff


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