Tao, Chinese Cuisine, InterContinental KL

Tao Chinese Cuisine, InterContinental Kuala Lumpur

Words: Craig J Selby     Photos: Monica Tindall

Traditional Chinese feasts are a pleasure I have enjoyed since my late teens, living in mainland China. There is always something special about relaxing with friends in a private dining room, enjoying a subtle Chinese tea, and tasting ones way through multiple courses of stunning cuisine, each course adding a different layer of complexity and flavour to the previous.

Tao Chinese Cuisine

Tao Chinese Cuisine, at the InterContinental Kuala Lumpur, is one such treasure, where traditional virtues of hospitality still take centre stage, and where Chef creates spectacular Chinese courses fit for a King.

Tao, Chinese Cuisine, InterContinental KL
Tao, A Beautiful Setting

On a recent visit, The Yum List enjoyed Tao Chinese Cuisine’s “Set Menu II” (RM 228 per person) – there are in fact four, distinctive, culinary creation menus. Set in a private room with new friends, we were treated to some of the finest Chinese cuisine available.

It was a rainy night, Kuala Lumpur traffic was being its usual uncooperative self, and we were all running late. That didn’t phase the team at Tao at all – their professionalism and perfectionism shone through, even though we were a little ragged from the weather.

Set Menu at Tao Chinese Cuisine

For starters, we were served the “Tao Splendid Combination Platter” – a selection of delicate appetizers to get us in the mood to eat. The duck was excellent – tender and moist breast meat which just melted in the mouth. The crab claw croquet was exceptional – minced crab meat, lightly deep-fried. Claw optional. The birds’ nest dumpling is light and airy, with the crispy vermicelli noodle on the outside crumbling in the mouth at each bite.

Tao, Chinese Cuisine, InterContinental KL
Tao Splendid Combination Platter

Essential at any Chinese banquet is soup – our treat being a braised duo of scallop broth, truffle oil, egg white, and crabmeat. Not your typical broth, this soup had both depth and texture. Soft to the palette, but ever so tasty. The scallop broth was simple yet flavoursome, and mixing in the crabmeat and the egg white lifted the textures to give a hearty dish.

Tao, Chinese Cuisine, InterContinental KL
Duo of Soups

Fresh fish was next, with a whole steamed garoupa (head included – beware if you’re a little squeamish). Steamed with cordyceps flower, red dates, and shredded ginger, this firm fish was nicely cooked and absorbed the ginger well.

Tao, Chinese Cuisine, InterContinental KL
Steamed Garoupa

A favourite amongst The Yum List’ers was the spring chicken. Deep-friend whole spring chicken was infused with fermented shrimp paste. The chicken flesh was tender, with a delicious golden-brown batter created from the fry on the paste. Surprisingly the shrimp paste, which can often be quite pungent or overpowering, added only a subtle hint of its existence to the chicken.

Tao, Chinese Cuisine, InterContinental KL
Spring Chicken

The wok-fried soft shell crab offered good heat, being cooked with dried chili and fried garlic. The crab was subtle, mildly chewy, and generous in proportion.

Tao, Chinese Cuisine, InterContinental KL
Soft Shell Crab

A first for me was the braised assorted sea treasure. A selection of seafood delicacies, including fish maw, white fish, and other fresh seafood, this cacophony of seafood flavours was rather interesting. The softness of the maw had me thinking it was something else (until a kind gentleman pointed out exactly what it was), and the deep broth that accompanied it was rich in taste, and silky smooth. Fresh basil leaves were used to lift the flavours and add a freshness to the dish.

Tao, Chinese Cuisine, InterContinental KL
Braised Assorted Sea Treasure

Seafood fried rice signified the end of the main dishes. Generous chunks of assorted fresh seafood, pickled radish, and crispy fried garlic chips made for a very tasty dish indeed. A nice way to finish an intensely diverse meal with comfort food, yet still highlighting fresh ingredients and creating great flavour. The rice did not disappoint.

Tao, Chinese Cuisine, InterContinental KL
Seafood Fried Rice
Dessert with a Twist

Unusual for a Chinese banquet was dessert – homemade sponge cake with green tea ice cream and warm chocolate sauce. This gooey sponge got even stickier as the chocolate sauce melted the ice cream, creating a heavenly, colourful sticky mess of sweetness. I believe I had three slices – Caning too, if I’m not mistaken!

Tao, Chinese Cuisine, InterContinental KL
Sponge Cake with Green Tea Ice Cream and Chocolate Sauce
Mooncakes – Tao Chinese Cuisine

But the crescendo of the evening was the unveiling of Tao’s spectacular mooncakes. Ten individually curated mooncakes, covering traditional baked mooncakes, snow skin, and even a baked snowskin mooncake are on offer. The quintessential durian mooncake was proudly highlighted – interestingly enough with salted caramel chocolate to add intrigue. The marble snow skin was my personal favourite – a hint of almond permeated the snowskin, and the soft pandan paste complemented it perfectly.

Other options included sesame snow skin with Japanese purple potato and green tea, bamboo charcoal with assorted nuts, and roselle snow skin with cheese and spirulina. Certainly, the creative juices were flowing in the kitchen with these.

Tao, Chinese Cuisine, InterContinental KL
The Unusual Baked Snowskin
Tao, Chinese Cuisine, InterContinental KL
Tao, Chinese Cuisine, InterContinental KL
More Mooncakes!

Overall, a stunning menu, and a very comfortable place to bring friends and business associates for dinner. Tao is a great way to experience classic Chinese cuisine at its finest.

Reason to visit Tao Chinese Cuisine: Stunning classic Chinese cuisine, attentive service, fresh produce, unique flavours, beautiful setting.

Tao, Chinese Cuisine
InterContinental Kuala Lumpur
165 Jalan Ampang
50450 Kuala Lumpur

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  1. Nice setting, food looks good too. I wonder if it was a garoupa that we had that day, nice fish.

  2. What a pleasure to dine in such establishment. The food looks sumptious. I like all of them.

    Mooncake festival is just around the corner. I like snowskin mooncakes.

    Happy Mid-Autumn to you.

  3. Nice restaurant, delicious food and good looking mooncakes.

  4. The decor has a retro feel to it. Love the assortment of mooncakes.

  5. Hello, what a lovely place. The food looks delicious. I would like to try the duo of soups. The mooncakes are pretty. Have a happy day!

  6. We’ve dined here several times and indeed a very nice place. Love their mooncakes too.

  7. The food looks delicious, I especially like the look of the fish dish.

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