Showing posts with label pepper. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pepper. Show all posts

Saturday, September 01, 2018


See yellow, blue, black, green and brown this Mid-Autumn Festival at Tao Chinese Cuisine. Three seductive snowskin creations, an inventive Shanghai-style savoury version and six classic baked variants by Dim Sum Chef Lo Tian Sion will be the siren’s call for mooncake enthusiasts this year until 24 September.
Now making the festive confection is no pie in the sky as Chef Lo demonstrated at the media preview. In his quest to up the ante and to fend off competition, Taiwan’s famed scallion pancake — a popular street snack — arises as the ingenious inspiration behind Chef Lo’s latest showstopper of Shanghai-inspired Baked Black Pepper Smoked Duck Meat with Yam (RM43 per piece).
We reckon it’s a dome-shaped pie in disguise; a savoury temptation with a come hither filling of crushed black pepper, smoked duck and yam mash. Just a mere bite of that feisty black pepper flecked bombshell and you’d be turned on your head by the zingy hot accent and tastebud-teasing textures that veer between powdery-soft and buttery-flaky. Like any proverbial gem worth its salt (pardon the pun), this unconventional showstopper is only available for dine-in at Tao Chinese Cuisine to preserve its optimal taste and texture.
Enrobed in a sunny yellow, unbaked glutinous rice flour skin similar to marzipan, the sensuous sweetness of the durian and oats paste playfully piques the palate as winsome Snowskin Durian Paste & Oats Mooncake (RM43). For durian-loving devotees, the almost guilt-free, indulgent delicacy is bound to leave them moonstruck.
Chef Lo then uses bird’s nest and butterfly pea flower to compose a pretty snow white, Marble Snowskin with Butterfly Pea Flower & Bird’s Nest Mooncake (RM43). Rife with streaks of eye-catching blue, the lotus paste at the sweet treat core also flaunts a baby blue hue with bits of bird’s nest lending luxe taste appeal.
Meanwhile, discover a matcha mooncake made in Mid-Autumn heaven with the debut of Snowskin with Japanese Green Tea and Cherry Jelly (RM31). Imported cherries are lovingly transformed into the mooncake’s tantalising sour-sweet heart in the pleasant embrace of astringent bitter-sweet green tea paste studded with longans and green tea-nuanced skin.
True to the ‘once you go black, you’d never go back’ maxim, the bewitching Black Sesame Bamboo Charcoal with Single Yolk Mooncake (RM27) will leave you spellbound with its nutty, savoury sweetness.
Like true love, the endearing charm of time-tested variants such as White Lotus Paste with Single Yolk (RM27), Pure White Lotus Paste with Nuts (RM25), Red Bean Paste with Nuts (RM25), Pandan Lotus Paste with Single Yolk (RM27) and Traditional Mixed Nuts (RM31) can still hold their own and are unlikely to wane amidst the onslaught of omnipresent competition for the hearts and palates of Mid-Autumn Fest celebrants.
Tao also dresses the mooncakes up to the nines in elegant black and red gift boxes adorned with gold stamped peach blossom motifs at no extra cost, with a minimum purchase of four mooncakes.

For more information, please call Tao Chinese Cuisine, tel: 03-2782 6128 or email:

Saturday, November 25, 2017


Sangria is always a good idea. Especially after battling rush hour traffic. Two carafes of the boozy drink boosted our spirits as we sat down to a much anticipated dinner at Bait. Sibling outlet to the one in Bangsar, this new outpost is already reeling diners in...the place was humming with a palpable sense of conviviality the weeknight of our visit.
Executive Chef Logan Terence Lopez promised us a feast and proceeded to exceed his side of the bargain. Living up to Bait’s core focus that is fresh seafood, Chef Logan opened his showcase with a sumptuous selection of imported Oysters from Ireland and France. 
Freshly shucked and served on half shells, the molluscs were meaty and slippery succulent, teasing our palate with delicate nuances of the sea. We savoured some au naturel and slurped others up with a dash of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Hot on their heels came a succession of tapas-style Small Plates that would please Captain Jack Sparrow. Our dining party were hard pressed to choose our faves but we fell hook, line and sinker for the dark-as-night Cuttlefish (RM30 nett) braised in squid ink gravy with pan-fried polenta. The textural contrasts of this unique ensemble raised them a cut above the rest.
Stuffed with paella & cheese, the bright, robust flavours and myriad of textures of Baby Squid (RM28 nett) in paprika sauce conjured up cheery images of sunny Spain.
Eggplant Maghmour (RM16 nett) - Lebanese moussaka enlivened with smoked tomato ragout and mashed chickpea proffered complicit appeal with Garlic Melba Toast (RM10 nett). Smeared with garlic cream, grated nutmeg and chilli flakes, the crunchy slices hit the spot for us. 
Another feeding frenzy followed when servings of Soft Cheese Bruschetta (RM15 nett) with cherry tomato coulis, mozzarella & basil,  Patatas Brava (RM22 nett) with spicy tomato pesto and sautéed beef chorizo and  Prawn Mango Salad (RM26 nett) featuring watercress, grilled prawns, Indian mango & honey mustard dressing appeared at our table.
Miraculously, we managed to put away the delicious Stuffed Lamb (RM30 nett) in roasted sweet peppers, blue cheese sauce and balsamic glaze too. Who could withstand such irresistible accents of smoky sweetness, rich savouriness and muted tanginess in one go? 
For me, the prized catch at Bait has to be the Baked Sole (RM79 nett). The flatfish's natural sea-sweetness proved good quality ingredients rarely need superfluous "dressing" but anointed with  garlic, chilli & Spanish parsley, it was sublime. The supporting cast of cherrystone clams floated our boat further.
Despite my valiant attempt, I couldn't take to the sourish Wild Mushroom Soup (RM25). My palate just refused to accept the unwelcome presence of carrot, celery & tomato in the earthy broth topped with cheese espuma.
Gastronomic salvation appeared in the form of Fettucini Squid Ink (RM62 nett) with baby squid ragout, smoked pepper and bottarga. Never mind the ebony-black mess - the pasta tasted so lush and silky, we lapped everything up instantly.
After such highs, the Grilled Perch Souvlaki (RM48 nett) with roasted pepper, tomato gravy and coriander dip was underwhelming. It was artistically presented and deserved a chance to be sampled under normal circumstances.
For the office crowd, Bait dangles great value lunch deals to draw them through the door. Starting from RM29 nett, options include Perch Fillet Fish & Chips to the moreish Set Lunch of Jumbo Prawn Curry Laksa (RM49 nett) consisting of gluten-free rice noodles, spiced Nyonya curry and fresh vegetables or Wagyu Beef Steak (120g) Sandwich with melted raclette cheese, sautéed mushroom and dill pickles. The set lunch includes appetiser or soup of the day and coffee/tea/soft drink. 
For reservations, call BAIT INTERMARK, tel: 03-2181 1268. Address: Lot G-19, Ground Floor, The Intermark, Jalan Tun Razak, KL. Biz hours: Daily from 11am to 11pm

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