Tucked right next to the Philippines embassy and just a stone’s throw away from Pavilion and the KLCC Convention is Maison Francaise, an elegant French restaurant situated in what was formerly a bungalow.
Dining area is separated in a few areas that used to be patio, living room, pool side, and so forth. Art works, white tablecloths, leather seats, fresh flowers; decoration is simple yet classy.
Maison Francaise at Changkat Kia Peng
Being at the less glamorous of KLCC area has its benefits, you can get here without having to go through any traffic bottle necks, and you never have to park your car more than a few steps away from the restaurant.
While dinner session is usually pretty busy, as the manager and chef mentioned, Maison Francaise is usually pretty quiet over lunch. So for this session, we sampled the lunch set priced at at RM59++ for 2-courses or RM75++ for 3-courses.
amuse-bouche came in the form of in-house smoked salmon
Even though it is a set lunch, we still started out with amuse-bouche, a bite size pre-appetizer selected and prepared by the chef. The in-house smoked salmon isn’t anything fancy, but carries a delicate smoky taste which we like.
duck pate, home-made mushroom soup
The lunch menu may change from time to time and usually carries a couple different options for each course.
Appetizer was between duck pate with truffle and walnut dressing and mushroom soup finishing with truffle oil and whipping cream.
The pate, with its inclusion of walnut dressing, is a little drier than your normal pan-fried duck liver, and should delight fans of this appetizer. Mushroom soup was beautiful, creamy, and those truffle oil really gave it an extra dimension which we love.
leather jacket with green olive & garlic, slow cooked beef angus
Main course was either fish or beef.
The fish option was leather jacket with green olives and garlic, braised fennel. The seasoning was perfect with accompanying vegetables positively enhanced the seafood.
The slow cooked Angus beef, an “oyster blade” cut, is meticulously prepared in seven hours cooking. The result is a piece of meat that’s so tender you can cut it with just using the fork. The flavour of the meat is not lost, and the supporting cast of root vegetables complimented the dish beautifully.
raspberry mousse temptation
To conclude the lunch set was the dessert in the form of raspberry mousse temptation, a cacophony of sour, sweet, and very rich creamy taste. I particularly like the tiny bulbs of raspberry “bubbles” that pops in your mouth.
Haze & KY at Maison Francaise
Maison Francaise is a pork free establishment that carries a good wine and champagne selection, the restaurant also serves liqueurs and espresso coffee.
I want to go back again.
5 Jalan Changkat Kia Peng
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.151256, 101.715215
Tel: 03-2144 1474, 019-243 1200
One of the trickiest issues pertaining opening a restaurant must be choosing a name for it. At The Steakhouse at Changkat Bukit Bintang, they took the easy way out and gave it the most straight forward name there is.
Fortunately, making up for what is lacking in the name, The Steakhouse manages to express pretty good creativity in the dishes we sampled last week over a food review session. We were left with a rather positive note.
The Steakhouse at The Whisky Bar, Changkat Bukit Bintang
The Steakhouse is located at perhaps the busiest street at night in KL that is Changkat Bukit Bintang. With a capacity of 40 pax, the restaurant is tastefully decorated and provide good privacy for discrete couple dining while able to accommodate slightly larger groups as well.
Service is swift with knowledgeable staffs, and I really like the ambiance there. Of course, we were on an invited food review, so your mileage might vary in this aspect.
Anyway, lets get on with the food!
deluxe chilled seafood mountain – lobster, oyster, tiger prawns, tuna sashimi
The session started off with a bang. The Deluxe Chilled Seafood Mountain (RM 158) is a pretty impressive dish, recommended for 2 pax sharing (I think you can easily share this with 4 pax), this big bowl of gastronomic dream comes with half lobster (Maine), tiger prawns, fresh oyters, and tuna sashimi. The seafood were fresh and the lobster especially delicious. Three types of condiments came with it, but they’re plenty good enough to consume as is.
beef carpaccio, shrimp cocktail, air dried Spanish beef ham
Following the seafood mountain, we have a host of other appetizers, most of which make excellent beer/wine/whisky companion. We had some red wine to go with these.
Beef carpaccio (RM 32) came with capers and thin slices of parmesan cheese, the taste reminds me of good quality tuna, and the portion is ample to go around.
Shrimp cocktail (RM 28) came with three very good size tiger prawns. I must say that perhaps the oversized prawns dictates that they be cooked more thoroughly, and thus the texture was a bit tougher than what I expected. I probably prefer it to be smaller.
Air dried Spanish beef ham (RM 38) had me fooled, for a moment I thought it was my beloved Parma ham with rock melon. Excellent pork free substitute, those who never try Parma ham due to preference or religion restriction must order this dish.
pan fried duck foie gras, escargot
Pan fried duck foie gras (RM 42) was executed with perfection, while not from the (often higher quality) goose, I really find no fault in this dish. Ciki agrees.
Escargot (RM 32) comes in half a dozen per portion and baked with garlic herb butter. Those who sampled find it commendable.
caesar salad with duck breast, scottish smoked salmon, baked portobello mushroom, lobster claw
Caesar salad (RM 26) here is a slightly more luxury affair than usual with the addition of smoked duck breast. The addition of meat really brings out the flavor of this otherwise rather plain salad.
Scottish smoked salmon (RM 32) isn’t any different from what you usually get from Japanese restaurants, though I find myself looking for wasabi and soya sauce, which is logically absent from a place like this.
I absolutely love the huge portobello mushroom (RM 26), baked with spinach and seafood. What I really want is someone to start making portobello burger with one single massive mushroom as the patty like what I had back in Cincinnati yonks ago, instead of the common version here with many tiny mushrooms.
mashed, chips, and sauteed potatoes
Steak comes with a choice of potato on the side. At Steakhouse KL, the choice is between mash, fries, and sauteed potato. Pick either and you won’t be disappointed, but if you chose the fries, you’re going to wonder if this was the recipe McDonald’s had when you are a little kid, they’re fantastic!
chilled & aged Black Angus rib-eye, tenderloin, and striploin, medium rare
And finally, after all sampling almost all the appetizers on the menu, we moved to the beef. Steakhouse serves chilled & aged Black Angus, and chilled Australian grain fed beef. The cuts available are medallion, tenderloin, rib-eye, striploin, and T-bone (only the latter). These are priced from RM 68 (grain fed striploin) to RM 108 (750g of grain fed T-bone).
We sampled tenderloin, rib-eye, and either striploin or medallion. The meat were perfectly prepared and properly rested before being served. It was juicy and full of flavor. I had quite a bit despite stomach being rather filled with the appetizers.
For those who likes their beef with sauce, there’s black pepper, red wine, mushroom, bearnaise, and BBQ sauce to go with. On top of that, there are also five different types of sea salt to season your steak with.
classic Italian tiramisu, baked cheese cake, ice cream, cheese platter
By the time we finished the beef, I was stuffed, but of course, the girls always have a different stomach for desserts, so our hosts brought us some.
Classic tiramisu looked messy but passed the taste test with flying colors. Baked cheese cake is suitably rich. Ice cream came in tall cocktail glasses with at least 5 variations to choose from. There’s also a decent cheese platter for those who insist on another product from cow.
chocolate fondue at the Steakhouse KL
Last but not least, there’s also more than decent chocolate fondue for that touch of romanticism, perfect for those who brought a lady who they want to impress. Reminds me of that time when I did the same at KLCC, sadly that place is defunct.
we certainly had a great time at the Steakhouse
We went away rather impressed at this outlet in Changkat. Competition at this street is always tough, but I believe the food here speaks for itself and believe that it’ll be one of the longer serving tenant here.
The Steakhouse KL
No.48, Changkat Bukit Bintang,
50200 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.14748, 101.70822
Tel: 03-2143 2268
Hours: 5pm to 11pm daily
Several weeks ago I was invited to a wine tasting event by Cape Mentelle at Neo Tamarind in KL. This was my second time to Neo Tamarind and my very first time trying Cape Mentelle wines. The invitation promises a great night of food and drinks, and delivered them magnificently.
Cape Mentelle wine and food pairing at Neo Tamarind, KL
Cape Mentelle is one of Margaret River’s ‘founding five’ wineries, and pioneered many of the region’s wine styles. The brand is a benchmark for the quality of wines from Margaret River, or in short, if you aren’t exactly well versed in wines but want to make sure you get something that’s appropriate for gifts for a party, this would be a good choice.
For the night, we were presented five wines from Cape Mentelle’s collections – Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2012, Chardonnay 2011, Cabernet Merlot 2010, Shiraz 2011, and Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 in that order.
prior to dinner, finger foods & Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2012
We started off with Sauvignon Blanc Semillon as apéritif and there were several canapes to go around. Black ink risotto with salmon roe, deep fried crisp calamari cajun, spicy sauce Angus beef, tataki with chili roasted rice, and tomato bruschetta. I think I had 2-3 servings of those Angus beef.
The Semillon was sweet and proved to be fitting as the first wine for the night.
steamed white cod with coconut herbs reduction, Chardonnay 2012
Unknowingly, I seated myself right next to the viticulturist of Cape Mentelle himself – Ashley Wood. His job is to ensure that Cape Mentelle grows quality grapes which directly affects the production of the wines. This requires extensive knowledge of soil type, diseases, pests, when to harvest grapes and more. Not exactly your backyard grape grower.
Our first of the four-course dish was the steamed white code with coconut herbs reduction, paired with Chardonnay. This was an easy pairing, citrusy and well balanced wine contrasts well with the coconut based sauce of the craft-fully prepared fish. I enjoyed this, and oh, the skin of the cod is faced down and was my favorite part of the dish.
roasted chicken with garlic bulb, Cabernet Merlot 2010
Next up was roasted chicken served with garlic bulb, whipped potato, apple sauce & chicken jus. Cabernet Merlot was the wine of choice to go with the poultry.
The wine was plenty fruity and carries a hint of red fruits, aniseed and tobacco bouquet. The chicken was perfectly prepared, smooth and smoky, and that garlic bulb was easy one of my favorite part of the entire dinner. It was just excellent execution that brought out the flavor of garlic without any of its harsh characteristics. I managed to convinced Eiling to eat almost half her portion even though she normally wouldn’t touch it.
The one other place I know which serves garlic bulb this way is the old school ramen shop at Wisma Central by the name of Tenka Daiichi.
roast duck breast with red cabbage puree & mustard sauce, Shiraz 2011
Duct breast is one of my favorite ingredients ever, and while the roast duck breast with red cabbage pureer & mustard sauce here looks excellent, the meat itself was a slight disappointment. I think a combination of having a very thick cut and slight under cooking contributed to the chewiness of the red meat. Good potential, and quite easily fixed though.
Shiraz is one of my favorite red wines, and the version at Cape Mentelle did not disappoint at all. The peppery and spicy palate has good depth and carries a rich nose of pepper and aniseed with berries. With this, I somehow finished the duck breast anyway.
grilled beef tenderloin with Eryngii mushroom, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
The fourth course was the grilled beef tenderloin with Ergyngii mushroom, scallion oil & beef jus. Medium rare and plenty juicy, the beef was a welcoming redemption after the disappointing duck breast, even though if I were to be critical, it was just a tad slightly overcooked.
Cabernet Sauvignon accompanied us for this last dish, a full bodied wine with good complexity, with black fruits, subtle flavours of chocolate, plum and aniseed and hint of oak on the palate. A very fine ending.
with Eiling and Wei Zhi, the dessert
No course dinner shall end without dessert, and so we had green tea crème brulee as the final dish.
This was also probably the last food review session that Eiling and I are sharing before she makes a permanent move to Belgium. Interestingly, she is also the one of my first “blog friends” when we met for the first time and went to Peony Garden 5 years ago (unfortunately that place has since closed down).
19, Jalan Sultan Ismail,
GPS: 3.15292, 101.70829
Tel: 03-2148 3200
Hours: lunch and dinner daily except Monday