Feast of decadent flavours

Sea Grapes with Chia Seed Yee Sang at Tao Chinese Cuisine, Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur.

THE ubiquitous yee sang can be a good blank canvas to put a creative and fun spin on Chinese New Year festivities.

As such, Tao Chinese Cuisine at Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur decided to include sea grapes in its yee sang instead of the usual fish or meat.

Sea grapes, or umibudo in Japanese, is an edible seaweed in the shape of tiny bubbles or pearls, similar to fish roe. It is also known as green caviar.

Although the sea grapes do not have much flavour, they lend a fun, crunchy texture to the yee sang.

Executive Chinese chef Wong Lian You said the kitchen team decided to go with sea grapes to offer an alternative to meat and fish.

“Usually on Chinese New Year, everything is meat heavy.

“We want to incorporate the sea grapes as it is believed to have health benefits like Omega-3 fatty acids, ” he said.

The Sea Grapes with Chia Seed yee sang is available at RM98 (half set) and RM188 (full set). From Jan 8 to Feb 26, Wong and master dim sum chef Lo Tian Sion are bringing diners a feast of flavours to welcome the Year of the Metal Ox.

Tao Chinese Cuisine’s three set menus comprise Best of The Orient, Eastern Treasures and Opulent Prosperity.

The Best of The Orient set menu priced at RM208.80nett per person brings succulent seafood options such as Double-boiled Abalone, Walnut and Ming Mu Yu Soup, Deep-fried King Tiger Grouper with Garlic Lemon Sauce as well as Stir-fried Prawns with Garlic, Ginger and Superior Soy Sauce, to name a few.

The Eastern Treasures set menu is priced at RM248.80nett per person, highlighting a traditional Chinese New Year dish enjoyed by families — Steamed Eight Treasure Glutinous Rice — inviting good fortune for the coming new year.

The luxurious Opulent Prosperity set at RM298.80nett per person features a selection of premium ingredients.

One of the main highlights are the Roasted Hong Kong-style London Duck and Roast Chicken.

The London duck, a signature Tao dish, is specially imported from Ireland’s Silver Hill Duck.

“There is a technique in cooking the duck. I chill the duck, then hang it for three days and it is finally roasted to keep the flesh juicy, ” said Wong.

The duck was rich in flavour, with just the right amount of fat and perfectly crisp skin.

Wong’s signature sweet lychee sauce was the right accompaniment to balance the duck’s gaminess.Some of the best dishes from the three set menus were presented for our dining pleasure in a nine-course affair.

After tossing the yee sang, we savoured Double-boiled Morel Mushroom with Fish Maw and Sun-dried Scallop, Steamed King Tiger Grouper with Superior Black Garlic Soy Sauce, Deep-fried Prawns with Lychee Sauce, Simmered Fresh Chinese Yam with Crab Roe Gravy, and Truffle Sauce Fried Rice with Dried Sakura Shrimp, Crabmeat and Diced French Beans.

Chilled Snow Bird’s Nest Aloe Vera in Osmanthus Oolong Tea Syrup, and Deep-fried Sweet Purple Potato Ninko for dessert were the perfect finish.

The soup was satisfying and soothing with earthy flavours, while the fried rice was opulent due to richness from the truffles.

All takeaway items require a minimum of two days for processing of orders.

TAO CHINESE CUISINE, Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur, 165, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur. (Tel: 03-2782 612; email: foodandbeverage@intercontinental-kl.com.my). Business hours: 12.30pm to 2.30pm (lunch) and 6.30pm to 10.30pm (dinner), daily.

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

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