CLEO Eats: The CNY Opulent Set At Tao Chinese Cuisine

If you’re a Malaysian, you’ll be very familiar with the famed ‘lou sang’ toss that comes with every Chinese New Year festive period, along with the festivities that go with it. Of course we all love the abundance of mandarin oranges, catch up with families and friends and spending that quality time together.

And if you’d like to savour one last yee sang for the year, then you have to try the Soft Shell Crab Yee Sang offered at Tao Chinese Cuisine at Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur which will be etched in your memory until the next Lunar New Year.

This year, Chef Wong Lian You and his team brought together some of their best creations in curated festive experiences all rolled up in nine courses for you to enjoy. What’s great here is that your Muslim and Hindu friends can all join in as the set menus are pork-free and beef-free.

The delish Yee Sang before the golden Soft Shell Crab made its entrance

TeamCLEO had the opportunity to try the Opulent 9-course set menu. First up, the Soft Shell Crab Yee Sang came out and it was the highlight. As the wait staff talked us through the symbolism of each ingredient (whatever golden meant more ‘gold’ or more $$$, and we were totally in on that!), then begun the ritual of “tossing” the yee sang really high to get in all sorts of Huat.

When you savour a yee sang, usually it has the crunch of the crackers, the fresh, zestiness of the vegetables countered by the softness of raw salmon. In this case, there’s deep fried salmon skin and fried soft shell crab that guarantees a crunch every time you bit. The Hakka Lei Cha sauce is also so deliciously sweet but sour and gives the dish a well-balanced flavour.

The next course (which is actually the starter, when you think about it) is Double-boiled Chicken Soup with Fish Maw and Baby Abalone. The soup is very well-rounded and robust, while the abalone gives it some bite and fish maw of course gives it texture.

The main courses, clockwise from top: The vegetables, duck, prawns, fish and rice wrapped in lotus leaf

Then, out come the main fare: Tao’s Roasted Duck, Hong Kong Style, Steamed White Sultan Fish In Superior Soy Sauce, Tok Alang Style Wok-friend Tiger Prawn, Braised Sea Cucumber, Mushroom, Crab Roe Paste and Vegetable and Steamed Rice in Mini Lotus Leaf.

Tao’s Roasted Duck, Hong Kong Style

The duck, roasted to perfection, is a great way to start off your journey and prep your palate. We really liked the steamed fish – a river fish – because it has a lot of soft meat to savour. Warning though, there are a lot of bones but who cares when you’re surrounded by family and friends, making your lunch or dinner experience super raucous?!

Steamed White Sultan Fish In Superior Soy Sauce

A highlight were the tiger prawns which had a sweet dark sauce that pairs really well with the softness of the prawn. The vegies and the sticky rice in the lotus leaf were also delicious – be surprised as to what’s within the lotus leaf as you unpackage it. It’s sticky, savoury and has hints of salted egg in it.

Above: The pan-friend ninko; Below: and the bird’s nest

Then comes dessert — oh we hope you’ll have room for it. They will serve you Double-boiled Snow Bird’s Nest, Glutinous Dumpling, Lemongrass Brown Sugar Syrup as well as Pan-Fried Ninko, Sesame Seeds, Salted Bean Paste Dumpling. The Bird’s Nest was a delight — so light, fresh and a perfect way to tie everything up (and the dumpling spills forth with a fine red bean paste.

The ninko was one of our favourites — a fried dessert that just really embodies everything so decadent. It has savoury hints with the fried parts that are crisp, and you bite into a soft chewiness that’s light and sweet at the same time.

All in all, probably a food journey we knew was opulent, but perhaps didn’t realise had the level of detail or care in every step of it. We would go back for more (Soft Shell Crab Yee Sang, we’re eyeing you…).

Set menus are still available now until 8 February 2020.

Harmonious Set Menu: RM 1,988

Opulent Set Menu: RM 2,388

Abundance Set Menu: RM 2,788


Tao Chinese Cuisine at Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur

Address: Level 1, InterContinental Kuala Lumpur 165 Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur

Reservations: 03-2782 6128

For more info, log on to