I had a date with celebrity Chef Sam Leong last weekend. He was only at KL for the last weekend and I was lucky enough to try his astounding contemporary Chinese cuisine at Tao, the stunning newly renovated Chinese restaurant at Inter-Continental Kuala Lumpur. An up close and personal dining adventure with celebrity Chef Sam Leong.
About Chef Sam Leong
With 26 years of culinary expertise and innovation has honed him to be Singapore’s very own celebrity chef. From becoming the executive chef of Jiang Nan CHun at Four Seasons Hotel at the age of 28 to being appointed as the corporate chef for the Tung Lok Group, Chef Leong has also collected multiple accolades named Best Asian Ethnic Chef of the Year at World Gourmet Summit Awards of Excellence in 2001, 2002 and 2004, Executive Chef of the Year, Chef of the Year in 2005 and Five Star Diamond Award. He also had the honour of serving world famous public figures such as former US Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton, Queen Elizabeth II of England and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.
Now he success progressed into the publishing world when he released his cookbook <A Wok Through Time>, <Sensations> and <A Taste of Home>. He is also now expending his portfolio to being a culinary educator, mentor, consultant, in addition to be an occasional and exclusive guest chef.
A new dining experience by serving the mains first then the starters and amuse bouche at last was an ingenious idea of Chef Sam Leong. Imagine a lengthy 13 course dinner that he served before and the guest especially the ladies tend to get full by the time they reach the mains. So he came up with this idea of serve the course in reverse order where the guest manage to savor the mains first.
Crispy Duck Confit Stuffed with Radish Cake and Mushroom Sauce
Our first mains of Crispy Duck Confit was delectable with crispy outer layer encasing a smoothy soft mashed radish and flavorful duck confit.
Char Grilled Wagyu Beef with Sea Urchin, Sashimi Wagyu Beef and Pan Seared Foie Gras
Coming up next was a platter of trio featuring two Wagyu beef dishes and a sauteed shimeji mushroom.
The grilled Wagyu beef was simply out of the world delicious stuff, I (or we) had a few minutes of silence concentrated on indulging it. The beef had a lovely charred layer however it was done medium well which I thought a little overcooked for a Wagyu beef.
This was my first time trying sashimi beef and it was indeed pleasant experience. The beefy flavor was light and the chopped ginger onion managed to slightly enhanced the flavor of it
A piece of luscious foie gras wrapped underneath the beef sashimi added a distinctive flavor to each bite.
Char Grilled Black Cod Fish with Wok Fried Eggplant in XO Sauce
A simple grilled Cod Fish crowned with pickled was nicely executed for its best original taste while the eggplant was soft and well-absorbed the XO sauce.
Slow-cooked Scallop Mousse in Spicy Thai Consomme
One might tricked by the “innocent” look of this clear consomme, had a sip and the surprise revealed! A familiar taste lingering in my palate, that’s Tom Yum! The consomme had a good balance of spicy and sour and the soft scallop mousse was another surprise awaited, literally melt-in-your-mouth.
Steamed Chawanmushi with Crispy Salmon Skin and Foie Gras
Foie gras definitely one of the Chef Leong’s favourite ingredient, also make appearance on the chawanmushi, the seared goose liver had liven up the steamed egg beautifully.
Chilled Home Made La Mien with Crab Meat in Hot and Sour Consomme
A cold noodle dish served in a sourish consomme, pretty interesting but not really accepted by some of the people (eg: me ) I still prefer my noodle served pipping hot ~
Cherry Tomato Sorbet Marinated with Salted Plum & Honey
I love the palate cleanser, refreshingly sour to washed down the richness of the previous courses.
Maraicbo Chocolate and Berry Sphere with Chinese Warm Chocolate Tea
I took quite a good few minutes admiring the dessert which presented in an aesthetically-pleasant manner.
While we still figuring out how to dig in the sphere, the waiter came with a pot of hot chocolate and poured over the sphere.
Melted sphere revealed the berries, crumble and more chocolate. The dessert was unquestionably attractive to the eye however the outlook outshone the taste by miles in my humble opinion. Maybe I’m not a chocolate fan? No faults on this but just more of a matter of preference.
Tao Chinese Cuisine formerly known as Toh Lee had a massive facelift recently not only the interior but an overall change in concept and dining experience, s spot mix of traditional and contemporary elements.
The main dining area with a spectacular cloud-like inspired ceiling gives an impression of dining under the stars.
I really can’t take my eyes on this and it was a sight for sore eyes, do you agree?
Tao is named after a peach tree originating from China and the restaurant is vibrantly and stylishly designed with that peach blossom theme.
Tao has 7 private rooms all named after the dynasties in China such as Qin, Han, Song, Tang, Yuan, Ming and Quan, each carrying a signature elements.
The spacious private rooms were tastefully decorated.
Exquisite antique teapot collection being displayed on the shelves.
PS: Some photos courtesy from ChasingFoodDreams
Tao Chinese Cuisine InterContinental Kuala Lumpur, 165 Jalan Ampang, 50450 KL. Tel: 03-2782-6128 Website: www.intercontinental-kl.com.my Facebook: www.facebook.com/intercontinental.kualalumpur?ref=ts&fref=ts