Some changes can be for the better: Over the years, we've amassed many nice memories at Nikko Hotel's Toh Lee, but ever since Nikko turned into InterContinental, most of its restaurants have been refurbished & revamped, one by one.
The latest transformation: Toh Lee is now Tao, launched this week & looking better than ever, graced with a glittering opulence that's guaranteed to impress.
Tao's menu is as extensive as expected, made distinctive with playful twists on familiar favorites. The kitchen's no-pork nature becomes a trigger for experimentation, not limitations, as proven by this poached lamb fillet, 'bak kut teh' style (RM56++).
No pale substitute for the real deal: the meat's tender & robust-tasting, the herbal broth brims with bean curd & mushrooms, while the crullers feel fresh & crisp.
Move over, braised pork belly with yam: Tao replaces the pig with slow-cooked beef shank.
Pure pleasure, with preserved bean curd sauce clinging to every slice of the meat (as gelatinous as Wagyu beef cheeks) & the yam (as melt-in-the-mouth as mashed potatoes). Nevertheless, at RM56++, it's multiple times what the pork version costs.
Fried rice, fairly fragrant, laced not only with black sesame but bits of barbecued chicken that bear a sweet savoriness as satisfactory as that of pork char siew. RM38++. The magic formula might lie with Tao's chefs, who seem to be industry veterans with a wealth of experience.
Complimentary, plummy welcome tea. Service here strives to satisfy, mostly succeeding.
Gotta love a Chinese restaurant where Mint Martinis & Pina Coladas can be ordered.
There's more here to investigate, including the likes of Peking Duck rolls stuffed with the customer's choice of foie gras, truffles or eringi mushrooms. But that's a tale for another time.
Expect to read & hear much more about Tao Chinese Cuisine in the months ahead. We look forward to making marvelous memories here too.
Tao Chinese Cuisine @ InterContinental Kuala Lumpur.