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Review: A prosperous culinary celebration at Tao Chinese Cuisine

Gearing up to Chinese New Year 2017, we’ve started visiting our favourite restaurants to see what their celebratory offerings are for the year. Just two days ago, we were at Tao Chinese Cuisine in InterContinental Kuala Lumpur to sample their Chinese New Year dishes for 2017. Executive Chinese Chef Wong Lian You and team selected a few specialties for us to try, and here’s some of our favourites.

tao chinese cuisine - yee sang
The yearly must-have dish is given a modern twist with the addition of passion fruit as a sauce.

We’ve seen many twists and turns when it comes to revamping yee sang and keeping the dish relevant and exciting, and this is one of the most palatable ones we’ve tried so far. Traditional yee sang ingredients are maintained, with the special addition of Canadian lobster claws, Hokkaido scallops and passion fruit drizzle. The lobster claws and scallops were incredibly fresh and juicy, while the passion fruit sauce brings a welcomed tanginess to the otherwise sweet plum sauce-based dish. If you think you’d prefer it less sweet, just don’t pour the full serving of plum sauce in.

tao chinese cuisine cny - prawns
These hot and crispy bites are sure to go like hotcakes so make sure you order enough to go around!

Coated with salted egg yolk and wok-fried with chilli and fresh curry leaves, the wok-fried prawns (Andaman Sea White Prawns) is a must-have when dining here. The prawns are served hot and crispy, with a tinge of spiciness from the chilli. A wonderful aroma is given off by the curry leaves, making this prawn dish extremely fragrant. The crunch from the deep-fried skin, the right amount of creaminess, spice and salt, will definitely leave you wanting for more.

tao chinese cuisine cny - dishes
Typical dishes savoured at Chinese New Year gathering dinners — steamed fish, braised abalone slices and glutinous rice.

We also had a taste of their Steamed King Tiger Garoupa with cordycep flowers, red dates and ginger; Steamed abalone with sea cucumbers and duo-coloured dumplings and Steamed glutinous rice with preserved duck leg, salted egg yolk and dried oysters. The fish was fresh and cooked to the perfect doneness while the cordycep flowers added a hint of sweetness with a texture like enoki mushrooms. The steamed glutinous rice is something a little different, which had pieces of salted egg yolk and strips of preserved duck leg which had quite an intense, salty flavour. The steamed abalone slices were soft and fresh, while the little duo-coloured dumplings on the side had a strong vegetable flavour and a lovely texture.

tao chinese cuisine cny - dessert
Nian gao takes a new form, literally, stuffed inside sweet potato balls then fried.

The desserts were very enjoyable. We had Deep-fried sweet potato ‘Ninko’ served with chilled aloe vera, peach and osmanthus Oolong tea syrup. For the former, nian gao is stuffed into a sweet potato ball and deep-fried, resulting in a lovely crispy outer layer that gives way to the sweet and sticky filling inside. In the background of this picture is the chilled aloe vera dessert. This was a beautiful finish to the meal — cooling, refreshing and somewhat guilt-free since Oolong tea’s in the mix. It had a floral hint and we loved that we could taste the Oolong tea in a dessert. It made for a special Chinese New Year twist to a sweet course.

If you’d like to taste their Chinese New Year specialties, there are quite a few to choose from. You could have a la carte dim sum lunch, or give the Abundance lunch menu a go at RM1,988 per table of 10 persons. If dinner is more your thing, choose from the four dinner set menus that similarly start at RM1,988 per table of 10 persons. Alternatively, dishes like the ones we tried can also be ordered a la carte.

The Chinese New Year 2017 menus and dishes are currently available until 12 February 2017.

Tao Chinese Cuisine, Level 1, InterContinental Kuala Lumpur, 165, Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +60 3 2782 6000

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