Monday, February 09, 2015


It's the yee sang to rule them all - TAO's South African Lobster Tempura Yee Sang snagged the limelight as the ultimate show-stopper for InterContinental KL's CNY preview.
Diced into bite-size cubes and lightly deep-fried in tempura batter, the king of shellfish bestowed an opulent touch to the season's customary 'must have' salad. Complemented by finely shredded radish and carrot with assorted pickles:  papaya, cucumber, red ginger, onion, cucumber and leek, the colourful platter drew its varied textures from the inclusion of  jelly fish, pomelo sacs, sesame seeds, crushed groundnuts, fried flour crisps and salmon skin.
According to Chef Wong Lian You, he uses a treacly-thick concoction of plum sauce with apple jam and lime juice, and extra virgin olive oil for the salad. "Yee sang shouldn't be too watery so it's important to balance the equation of vegetable, fruit and pickles in addition to the sauce. We want to keep it moist and flavourful enough to whet the appetite."
Once you have savoured the perky nuances of the lobster yee sang, more indulgent offerings are in store should you choose to have TAO's Full of Joy CNY Set priced at RM2,288++ per table of 10 persons.

Hot on the heels of the regal treat comes Double-boiled Baby Abalone Dumpling with Caviar and Superior Stock. Mind you, the dainty, super-luxe parcel bearing different kinds of 'caviar': wasabi tobiko, black smelt roe, gold and orange capelin roe looks impressive enough at first sight. Tucked away in the centre of bouncy prawn paste and minced chicken filling is a whole baby abalone that's bound to leave you smiling from ear to ear. Special mention must be made of the clear, sweet chicken consomme which the chef has enriched with dried scallops, chicken ham and dried longans.
Lately, 'poon choy' or Fortune Pot is fast gaining popularity as a festive fave and it's easy to see why.Fit for a king, it comes packed to the brim with sea cucumber, dried oysters, sea moss rolls, roast duck, soy sauce-braised chicken, mushrooms, dried scallops, fish maw, prawns, 'money bags', pomfret fillet, Hokkaido scallops, beancurd sticks and yam. 

Lined with cabbage leaves at the base, the whole extravagant ensemble is smothered in crabmeat pumpkin sauce; its mildly sweet nuance melding wonderfully with the assortment of pricey goodies and giving them an irresistibly golden glow. You can enjoy these seafood on their own or with a bowl or two of steamed jasmine rice.

Deep-fried Golden Mini Ninko Buns accompanied by Chilled Bird's Nest with Hawthorn, Snow Fungus, Peach and Aloe Vera completed our sumptuous culinary journey. This dessert pairing is one of the most imaginative we've encountered. Kudos to the creative chef who thought of using ninko as a unique bun filling. Flecked with dessicated coconut, the semi-runny centre really floored us but it was a winning touch that left a sweet, indelible impression on us.
TAO's CNY menus are available from now until 8 March. Priced at RM148++ per person for a 7-course lunch and RM1,688++ per table of 10 for 8-course set dinners. Special yee sang variants, dim sum and premium dishes will also be served throughout the festive celebration.

For reservations, call TAO, 03-2782 6128. Address: InterContinental KL, Jalan Ampang, KL.


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