Traversing Oriental heritage in tastes





Toh’s meticulous attention to detail and creativity in presentation delight not only diners’ tastebuds but also their sense of sight and smell.

Toh’s meticulous attention to detail and creativity in presentation delight not only diners’ tastebuds but also their sense of sight and smell.

WHEN one pays compliments to a chef for his creations, it is often because of how the dishes appeal to the tastebuds.

Chef Tokukatsu Toh from Tokyo, Japan, does more than treat the palate with his creative style, as he is known to impress the sense of sight and smell.

Meet the Japanese master chef who was flown in as guest chef at Mandarin Oriental’s Lai Po Heen.

Each of Toh’s presentation was a feast for the sensory system as he cleverly infused creative elements into his dishes.

The splash of colour to all his dishes incorporating the vibrant shades of vegetables, caviar and edible flowers was simply delightful.

One of the fish dishes presented was infused with jasmine smoke, showcasing Toh as one who places emphasis on details in his cooking.

Toh presenting his limited edition signature Egg & Chicks for dessert.
Toh presenting his limited edition signature Egg & Chicks for dessert.

Guests can savour his dishes which are currently available for lunch and dinner at Mandarin Oriental’s Lai Po Heen restaurant until April 14.

The Tokyo-born chef is of Chinese and Japanese parentage and is no stranger to both Chinese and Japanese cuisines.

Toh is the third generation in his family to venture into Cantonese cuisine and he has had over 20 years of experience serving at numerous reputable restaurants in Japan.

“I naturally pay more attention to culinary details, thanks to my Japanese work ethic and I have mastered authentic Cantonese recipes through my years of learning experience gained in Beijing, Hong Kong and Taipei,” said Toh.

He hopes to impress the restaurant’s guests with his culinary skills during his short stint in Kuala Lumpur.

Among the more impressive dishes Toh prepared for our dining pleasure during lunch was the Pan-fried Beef Loin. It was garnished with vegetables such as edamame, red chilli and finely diced capsicum. This dish was served with mild sweet and sour sauce in the form of a jelly.

The medium done tenderloin, about half a palm size, was soft and juicy with the gelatinous sauce complementing the dish perfectly.

The Brothless Japanese Tantan Noodles is ideal for those who like noodles.
The Brothless Japanese Tantan Noodles is ideal for those who like noodles.

Guests were further intrigued when waiters brought in the Jasmine Smoked Golden Pomfret With Honey dishes covered using upturned martini glasses.

The honeyed pomfret was infused with smoke derived from jasmine leaves, all enclosed under the martini glass.

Upon lifting the glass, the sweet fragrance of jasmine permeated the air.

The lingering aroma of sweet jasmine was obvious as we tucked into the fish.

Noodle lovers are encouraged to try the Brothless Japanese “Tantan” Noodles.

The portion is perfect for those on a low-carb diet as it allows guests to fully savour the noodles with minced chilli chicken cooked in generous portions of oil and peanut. This dish is slightly spicy leaving a slight numbing sensation on the palate as an aftertaste. Nevertheless, it was another great dish by the chef.

For dessert, guests can opt to upgrade their set menu with Toh’s limited edition signature Egg and Chicks.

The lunch menu for a minimum order of four diners is priced at RM318 per person. The Imperial Treasure dinner menu for a minimum order of four diners is priced at RM468 per person.

The Emperor and Empress dinner menu for a minimum order of four diners is priced at RM538 per person.

LAI PO HEEN, Level One, Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur City Centre. (Tel: 03-2179 8885) Business hours: Noon to 2.30pm (Monday to Friday), 10.30am to 2.30pm (Saturday and Sunday); 7pm to 10.30pm, daily. Pork-free.

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

Central Region , Eating Out