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TAO CHINESE CUISINE,
INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL KUALA LUMPUR,
165 Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2782 6000
Business hours: noon to 2.30pm, 6.30pm to 10.30pm, daily.
Pork-free.

FAMILIES looking for traditional Chinese meals with a modern twist to usher in the Year of the Goat will be delighted to enjoy authentic flavours at Tao Chinese Cuisine.

Uniquely crafted by award-winning executive chef Wong Lian You, the “Full of Joy” Chinese New Year menu promises premium seasonal dishes infused with a deeper sense of unity and good fortune.

“This is my first time making poon choy.”

“I do not usually prepare it as it is quite time consuming as each ingredient is prepared separately before it is combined. But this year I felt it would be a great addition to try,” he said, adding that it took six hours to prepare the main course.

Rooting back to his skills sharpened by top notch Hong Kong chefs during his 15 years of experience and prior training, Wong explained the auspicious values behind the special dish.

“During the late Song Dynasty, the poon choy was formed when the villagers were asked to serve the emperor and his army.

Fruits of the sea: The South African lobster tempura yee sang is interestingly decorated and presented.

Fruits of the sea: The South African lobster tempura yee sang is interestingly decorated and presented.

“Each one of the locals brought one ingredient of the finest quality to be cooked together in one pot. All the villagers would then eat the dish together from the same pot, fostering good ties between them,” said the chef who began his culinary journey at the age of 19.

Beginning with the exquisitely presented South African Lobster Tempura Yee Sang, Tao’s assistant manager Jess Tay artfully announced each ingredient to be collaborated within.

“Five spice powder for prosperity, pepper for all wishes to be granted, olive oil for good luck, peanuts and sesame for gold at your doorstep, crackers for high salary and promotion, honey plum sauce for happiness in relationship and lobster for all your needs to be fulfilled,” she uttered eloquently, while carefully incorporating each ingredient for us to toss happily.

Wong said crispy salmon skin was also incorporated for the fish element and olive oil was used as a healthier alternative.

Excellent pairing of succulent lobster pieces with the crunchy appetiser, made the communal dish an absolute treat for stomach and soul.

Next was the Double Boiled Baby Abalone Dumplings with Caviar and Superior Stock, which consisted of four different types of caviar from Norway and Japan.

Delicately placed in the lotus design dumpling, the secret of the rich flavourful stock is in its elements comprising 10kg of chicken meat, dried scallop and white pepper, steamed for four hours before it is served.

Tasty tradition: The Fortune Pot comprises 15 ingredients namely sea cucumber, dried oyster sea moss rolls, roasted duck, soy chicken, mushrooms, dried scallops, fish maw, prawns, moneybag, pomfret fillet, Hokkaido scallops, cabbage, broccoli, bean curd stick and yam in crabmeat pumpkin sauce.

Tasty tradition: The Fortune Pot comprises 15 ingredients namely sea cucumber, dried oyster sea moss rolls, roasted duck, soy chicken, mushrooms, dried scallops, fish maw, prawns, moneybag, pomfret fillet, Hokkaido scallops, cabbage, broccoli, bean curd stick and yam in crabmeat pumpkin sauce.

Layered thrice with 15 premium quality ingredients in a specially prepared golden broth, the fortune pot or poon choy is first layered with cabbage, broccoli, beancurd stick and yam, followed by sea cucumber, dried oyster sea moss rolls, roasted duck, soy chicken and mushrooms and finally at the top-most layer, dried scallops, fish maw, prawns, moneybag, pomfret fillet and Hokkaido scallops.

Doused with a crabmeat pumpkin broth, an original recipe of Wong which provided a stunning golden glaze and creamy texture, the dish was a hearty meal served with a side of fragrant steamed jasmine rice.

The Deep Fried Golden Mini “Ninko” Bun served with refreshing and nourishing Chilled Bird’s Nest with Hawthorn, Snow Fungus, Peach and Aloe Vera drink made the meal more meaningful as the sticky deep-fried glutinous bun is said to hold meaning for its consumer to stick together with their partner as life progresses.

Available until Mar 8 for lunch and dinner, the Full of Joy Chinese New Year set is priced at RM2,288++ per table of 10 at the pork-free restaurant.

This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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