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Tag / french cuisine

The weekends before heading up to Mt. Kinabalu (will post that entry soon), we had the good fortune of having a proper French dinner at Rendez-Vous.

Rendez-Vous Traditional French Restaurant at Bangsar
Rendez-Vous Traditional French Restaurant at Bangsar

Situated at Lorong Maroof, the tagline for Rendez-Vous is “Your traditional French restaurant in Bangsar”. The restaurant does not pretend to be a fine dining establishment, but at the same time they do run it the “proper” way, utilizing imported ingredients in Chef Benjamin’s creation of succulent, seasonal dishes, maintain a comprehensive wine list, and having well trained staffs.

like all good meal, we started off with a simple amuse bouche
like all good meal, we started off with a simple amuse bouche

Impressively, they manage to do this at a price point that is accessible to most, with the three-course menu starts at RM 69 (four-course RM 115, five-course RM 159). Main dishes are priced from RM 36 (stuffed chicken) to RM 89 (ribeye), again, rather reasonable.

cocktails, and “Meli-melo de rillettes de poisons”
cocktails, and “Meli-melo de rillettes de poisons”

Our first starter for the night was “Meli-melo de rillettes de poisons” (RM 23), or duo of seabass and tuna mousse served with baguette and crostini bread. I’ve had tuna mousse before, but seabass was my first, and I must say the lighter and more refine taste works out pretty well in this.

We also had a couple cocktails to get the mood flowing. If you have specific preference, do tell the in-house mixologist as he’ll be more than happy to customize a cocktail to your taste.

“Escargots a la Bourguigonne”, Narrow Valley Souvignon Blanc
“Escargots a la Bourguigonne”, Narrow Valley Souvignon Blanc

Second starter was the snails with parsley and garlic butter sauce in vol au vent, or “Escargots a la Bourguigonne” (RM 28). This doesn’t come with any shells (they’re recycled shells at any restaurants anyway) and the garlic butter sauce gives the snail meat a really smooth and buttery texture which was really complete with the Souvignon Blanc pairing with its contrasting mild acidic taste.

“Foie Gras de Canard”, Porto Cruz Tawny
“Foie Gras de Canard”, Porto Cruz Tawny

Then there was “Foie Gras de Canard” (RM 48), or duck foie gras de terrine, port wine and spices, mushrooms flavours. We had this with Porto Cruz tawny, a sweeter drink that complements the really rich starter pretty well. I though the bits of smoked duck breasts adds to the complexity of the dish and break the monotony of those blended liver.

“Fillet de daurade en croute”, Colombelle Coeur de Gascogne wine
“Fillet de daurade en croute”, Colombelle Coeur de Gascogne wine

We shared a couple different main dishes between the two of us, starting with “Fillet de daurade en croute” (RM 58) or seabass filet, creamy carrot puree and avruga caviar, citrus vinaigrette. The fish was cooked just right those caviar really does add a dash of luxury to the dish. I did enjoy having the citrus with the fish more than I thought I would, quite a bit of revelation really.

We had another glass of wine to pair with our main dishes, but I’d be lying if I tell you I know anything about.

"Poulet façon cocotte", or stuffed chicken with French mash potato and creamy mushroom
“Poulet façon cocotte” – stuffed chicken w French mash potato & creamy mushroom

The 2nd main dish was their cheapest on the menu – “Poulet façon cocotte” (RM 36), or stuffed chicken, French mash potato and creamy mushroom. I was rather curious on how they manage to prepare the chicken into a big ice hockey puck shape, but it was easy to eat. The poultry was quite moist and succulent. It is a modest dish but one that is more than decent if you’re not into fancier dishes.

Other main dishes available here includes pork belly, pork blood sausage, braised beef chunks, pan seared lamb, and a few other fish dishes.

Fromages - Seasonal selection of French cheeses
Fromages – Seasonal selection of French cheeses, Bonpas Côtes du Rhône

We bridged the main dishes and desserts with a selection of cheese (RM 29 small, RM 46 big platter) to go with Bonpas Côtes du Rhône. If you’re a cheese lover, you’d definitely enjoy this, the brie was really soft and rather strong, but my favorite was the blue cheese, positively pungent and really really strong. It’s a bit like durian, you either love it or you despise it.

“Delice au chocolat et caramel”, “Tarte au citron meringue”, Le Contesse Prosecco di Treviso Extra Dry
“Delice au chocolat et caramel”, “Tarte au citron meringue”,
Le Contesse Prosecco di Treviso Extra Dry

By the time we reached desserts, I’ve already had way too much alcohol & food in me, but we were still presented with two plates of beautifully crafted dishes it was tough to resist.

Delice au chocolat et caramel” (RM 22) was  as expected, rich, smooth, and not overly sweet, while the “Tarte au citron meringue” (RM 17), or lemon tart with hard and soft meringue was perfect if you don’t want something overly heavy to end the night. The tart was quite light and fluffy.

Haze & KY at Rendez-Vous, Bangsar
Haze & KY at Rendez-Vous, Bangsar

If you haven’t had proper French cuisine due to price or you’re not one of those who likes to dress up for a fancy fine dining meal that lasts 3 hours, Rendez-Vous is a place you need to check out.

rendez-vous bangsar direction

Address:
Rendez-Vous Traditional French Restaurant
100, Lorong Maarof, Bangsar Park,
59000 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.132636, 101.673110
Tel: 03-2202 0206

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
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
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
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
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
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
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.

map to Maison Franciaise at Changkat Kia Peng

Address:
Maison Francaise
5 Jalan Changkat Kia Peng 
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.151256, 101.715215
Tel: 03-2144 1474, 019-243 1200
Webmaisonfrancaise.com.my

When you are in the F&B event scene long enough, things can get a little bit predictable, and sometimes even boring, uninspiring. The Kronenbourg French Art of Culinary at Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie was entirely unlike those events.

Kronenbourg 1664 - The French Art of Culinary at Nathalie's
Kronenbourg 1664 – The French Art of Culinary at Nathalie’s

Carlsberg Malaysia sure knows how to a proper party. While waiting for everyone to arrive, we were handed ice cold Asahi Super Dry, and servers fed us tiny tid bits to get the appetite going.

I found the in-spoon crème brûlée particularly yummy, well, cos it had foie gras as one of the ingredients. There were also green apple espuma, popcorn truffle scramble egg, and marinated salmon tart in herbs mousse. This is how you keep guests happy even while waiting. We also took the opportunity to social around a bit with like minded people.

French Style King Fish Maki
French Style King Fish Maki

Onto the dinner, our first dish was an exquisite Western interpretation of the popular Japanese dish – maki. The French style King Fish Maki is served with preserved lemon mousse, mesclun salad, balsamic and lemon dressing.

The fish was imported, the maki was fresh, a bit zesty, and never once lost it’s French root even while visually looking more like it’s Oriental cousin. Imagine Bérénice Marlohe (of Skyfall) in a kimono.

Kronenbourg 1664 was the beer paired with this dish.

Hokkaido Scallops and Foie Gras Duo
Hokkaido Scallops and Foie Gras Duo

Sticking with seafood, the next dish was Hokkaido Scallops and Foie Gras Duo, Green Cabbage. The dish was cooked with Kronenbourg 1664 and served on cabbage broth emulsion.

Scallops and foie gras are two of my favorite ingredients, and the combination of them two? Excellent. I did feel that the cabbage was perhaps just slightly too hard, I’m nitpicking.

Floating Somersby Apple Cider Sorbet, Roasted Venison Tenderloin
Floating Somersby Apple Cider Sorbet, Roasted Venison Tenderloin

Floating Somersby Apple Cider Sorbet proved to be just the palate cleanser we need before switching from seafood to red meat. The sorbet was sweet and delightful, and I really love the super thin apple slice that comes with it. Exquisite.

The meat dish of the day was Roasted Venison Tenderloin, celeriac puree sauce with chocolate flavors, hazelnut tuile & thyme polenta. This was paired with Grimbergen Ambree. Another lovely dish, the bitter sweet tasting beer complimented the meat very well.

French Blue Cheese, Dry Fruits Chutney
French Blue Cheese, Dry Fruits Chutney

We started winding down French blue cheese and dry fruits chutney. The blue cheese pungent as any good blue cheese should, with fruits chutney giving it the opposing sweet taste. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but I love blue cheese.

Homemade Brioche "Pain Perdu"
Homemade Brioche “Pain Perdu”

Unfortunately, every dinner has to come to an end, and this session was concluded with Homemade Brioche “Pain Perdu” (toast), vanilla custard sauce, apple and pear tarte tatin, with a serving of Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc ice cream.

By then, my respect to chef Nathalie’s capability was well entranced, and I know that I will be visiting this place again in the future.

Kronenbourg Blanc, MPO musicians
Kronenbourg Blanc, MPO musicians

All throughout dinner, musicians from MPO plays a light tune at the background, with Soren, the Managing Director of Carlsberg Malaysia giving his short introduction to each dish and beer pairing in between. It was one of the best such events I’ve ever attended, thank you Ee for the invitation.

Asahi Super Dry, Somersby, Kronenbourg Blanc, Kronenbourg 1664, Grimbergen Ambree
Asahi Super Dry, Somersby, Kronenbourg Blanc, Kronenbourg 1664, Grimbergen Ambree

map to Menara Taipan, Kuala Lumpur

Address:
Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie
Menara Taipan, Jalan Puncak
50250 Kuala Lumpur
GPS3.15232, 101.70633
Webcuisinegourmetbynathalie.com
Tel: 03-2072 4452

Several weeks ago we headed to Singapore for a little one night escapade to catch a concert (thanks Michelle for hosting for the night!), and that was right after a short weekend diving trip at Tioman (will write later). It was our first “proper” concert – Snow Patrol.

Le Bistrot du Sommelier, Singapore
Le Bistrot du Sommelier, Singapore

We arrived at the venue of concert, Fort Canning, a couple hours ahead of time, and hungry. Since we somehow managed to secure a free parking space right outside the entrance (this is Singapore, it was like striking lottery), we were content to just walk around and find something that resembles dinner.

That’s how we ended up outside Le Bistrot du Sommelier, a pretty classy looking restaurant with loads of wine glasses on the  tables by the side, alfresco style.

red wine braised beef cheeks with carrots and mushrooms, parley potatos
red wine braised beef cheeks with carrots and mushrooms, parley potatos

At this point we can’t be arsed to walk anymore, we asked for a table and got one outdoor since it’s fully booked indoor. Guess it’s a pretty popular place.

A look in the menu convinced us that prices are good if you’re earning Singapore dollars, but a bit of a stretch of us Malaysians. We ended up ordering two specials on the chalk board, after our very informative and super helpful waiter with a French accent did his best in explaining what they are. Our server’s name was not Jacques, it was Faizal.

Very impressive, Faizal.

beef tenderloin tartare served with french fries
beef tenderloin tartare served with french fries

I ordered red wine braised beef cheeks with carrots and mushrooms, parley potatos (SGD $30). It came in a little clay pot with the potato on the side. The beef was properly braised you could cut it with a dull spoon, the stock had a strong aroma of red wine and carrot so soft old toothless lady could eat it without any denture. It was marvelous.

I also particularly like how they prepare the potato, with small chunks of sea salt sprinkled atop, so instead of a uniform taste, you get a tiny burst of saltiness now and then, worked well.

the dishes were delightful

the dishes were delightful

Haze too was very happy with her beef tenderloin tartare and french fries (SGD $32). The beef was beautifully prepared, and tasted equally awesome. It was juicy, raw, and came in a very generous portion as well. French fries tasted just like any French fries, this being a French restaurant didn’t make it any different.

KY & Haze at Singapore, just before Snow Patrol concert
KY & Haze at Sg., just before Snow Patrol concert. I already looked stoned from all the driving

We were well satisfied with the food at Le Bistrot du Sommelier, the only thing better was the service from our waiter, a splendid experience, and certainly will return to try out some of their other stuff (this time will bring a bigger wallet I guess).

Later I found out this place is one of Michelle’s favorite restaurants as well, no surprises there. 😀

map to Le Bistrot du Sommelier

Address:
Le Bistrot du Sommelier
53, Armenian Street,
Singapore 179940
GPS: 1.294807, 103.849445
Tel: +65-6333 1982
Web: lebistrotdusommelier.com 

and it was an awesome concert, Snow Patrol rocked hard
it was an awesome concert, Snow Patrol rocked hard, again I looked a bit stoned

Snow Patrol’s concert was way awesome as well. Gary Lightbody really knows how to connect to the crowd, I wished the show was a little longer than the 18 song set list. Fort Canning is an excellent venue for concerts as well, the stage was set up at the bottom of a slope so you get an unblocked view to the stage as long as the person ahead of you isn’t a head taller.