Showing posts with label French. Show all posts
Showing posts with label French. Show all posts

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Le Bouchon. Changkat Bukit Bintang, KL. Return Visit, Mixed Feelings.

(no pork served)

Le Bouchon has 2 "gourmet" set menus. During the previous visit here, I tried the RM148 menu and for this visit, I chose the RM 88 menu. The frontage of the restaurant has undergone a change and it now houses a pub called l'armitage at the entrance.


For starters I was served with Escargot de Bourgogne which was Burgundy Snails baked with fresh herbs. garlic and pastis butter. Not particularly remarkable, it was bland and the anise based pastis did not glimmer through the oily, buttery sauce. The herbs were slightly discordant and garlic overpowered the whole dish.


Next was the Terrine the legumés provençal au basilic or Provencal Vegetables Terrine, scented with Basil served with a raosted tomato vinigeraitte. This was fresh and lively sourish dish and filled with the right cadences to make this a lovely summer dish. Their terrine was a cold terrine, not baked and the dressing was a refreshing change.


I tried their chicken which was poulette grillé aux morilles, risotto aux herbs fraische et carottes caramélisées. The chicken was freshly succulent and well grilled with lovely mushrooms, and the carrots divine. But the Risotto was not of the correct consistency and overpoweringly salty and the chef was a bit heavy handed with the herbs. The taste is not unlike salty mushroom soup mixed with partially cooked rice.


Desserts was Tarte aux fraises et glaice à la cannelle, or fresh strawberry tart with cinnamon ice cream. Desserts heve never been a forte at Le Bouchon. The Pastry was slightly taut through still crunchy but the cinnamon was overpowering.

Overall dining experience was good, with attentive service. Maybe I caught them on an "off" day as the cooking lacked enthusiasm and the chef lent too heavy a hand in the herbs and salt. I would recommend the RM148 menu over the RM88 based on today's experience.

Le Bouchon
14 and 16 Changkat Bukit Bintang
Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
+603 2142 7633


Chef: Jerome Carrouee

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Frangipani. Changkat Bukit Bintang, KL. Fine French Dining. Part 2 : Main Course and Dessert.


(no pork served)

After a delectably wonderful start, it's now time to meet the Star of tonight's preformance.


Firstly, my palate was cleansed with a tart and tangy complimentary Orange Sorbet that was wonderfully light and refreshing.


Pan Roasted Duck Confit with Mustard Cream and Mashed Potatoe on a Crisp Potato Courrone. I purposely ordered this to compare between the confit I had at Hakka and Alexis. Confit means to preserve in French, and Duck Confit is usually prepared using the leg (Just like the salty chinese waxed duck, which is available duing Chinese New year Celebration). Usually the duck is cured with salt and spices (which may include cumin, nutmeg and pimento) and slowly basted in duck fat before preserving the confit in referigerator. Frangipani's confit was marvelous. The confit was panfried, with a delectably crispy outer skin, but the meat was soft and moist. Not greasy at all. As you can see, the duck was still plump and full, not shriveled. I actually asked the Manager how did they manage to maintain the succulence of the meat. Apparently the secret is to slowly poach the duck in it's own fat for 8 hours! Normal poaching time is usually 3 hours.

The small little clumps were Mustard Cream Sauce. And the duck sat on a bed of mashed potatoes which in turn sat on a ring of Crispy Potato Courrone. I found the Mustard Cream slightly too salty, as the duck had been cured in salt as well. Otherwise this dish was perfect. The wine you see on the top left of the Duck was the 2006 Zind Humbrecht Riesling. An unusual pairing, you may say, but 2006 was such a wonderful year for the Alsace region. And this wine did not disappoint. This medium bodied wine was big and fragrant, the bouquet was floral and some oranges and some pear. The Riesling was dry and acidic with a sweetish after taste.


Desserts are always a very indulgent treat that I look forward to after dinner. And the choices at Frangipani are marvelous. I ordered a trio, which was 3 types of dessert at tasty (minuscule) portions. It was minuscule to me because it was really good!


Dark Chocolate With Pistachio Terrine with Passion Fruit Mascarpone and Forest Berry Coulis. Terrine would be any food, usually loaf shaped made in a Terrine mold. This was again a beautiful creation. Lovely, rich dark chocolate. Just so slightly sweet, but more bitter than sweet. In the mouth, the stickiness of the chocolate blending with the rich creaminess of Marscapone is a sensation beyond description. I closed my eyes and I was reminded of my first love. The excitement of tasting something forbidden, the sweetness of a first kiss and the bitterness of rejection which is part and parcel of this lush menagerie we call life.


The French Toast with Rum and Raisin Sauce and Freshly Baked Apple was rich and came covered in a thin layer of caramel. The Baked apple was slightly tough. I should have tasted this first before the Chocolate Terrine as the richness of the Terrine overwhelmed the more subtle taste of the French Toast.


The last dessert forming the trio was Pistachio and White Chocolate Cheesecake with Irish tea roule, tasted pine nuts and Pistachio Cream filled Russian Cigarette. Lovely and decadent, this was The Dessert to end the evening with a blast. The cake was excellent. I've used up too many superlatives in this post and have run out words to describe this.

Overall dining experience was superb. lovely ambiance, good attentive service from fairly knowledgeable staff (but their accent can be a bit difficult to understand) and the food was marvelous. But prices here may seem a it steeper, and it will definitely be just an occasioanl indulgence.

Frangipani
25, Changkat Bukit Bintang
50200 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia

Tel: +6.03.21.44.30.01

Part One of Frangipani Post here.

Sean's Post here.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Frangipani. Changkat Bukit Bintang, KL. Fine French Dining. Part 1 : The Starters.

(no pork served)

Frangipani Restaurant
. Funny, I always thought that it was a bar, until Sean blogged about it. Totally stuffed yesterday from my indiscretion at Engka Portobello, I wanted something lighter for Dinner. Called up to make a reservation, and was surprised by the totally professional way they took my reservation. Positive signs! I was totally knackered from my second job, and wanted some gastronomic therapy. Some people get high from retail, and I get my kicks from food.


The lobby had a very industrial feel. Lots of steel and metal, dark, muted lights. Waiters in black and the door to the main dining area totally obscured except for a door handle. Slightly intimidating, but très chic.


The interior was fabulous. I've never seen anything like it in KL. A large, dark reflective pool in the centre with huge columns that allow you to play hide and seek with the other diners. Why is this place such a closely guarded secret? I felt as if I had entered the inner sactum, the holy of holies for foodies. I could have got down on my knees and kissed the ground. I was blown away.

The menu was extensive. One could sense that French Nouvelle Cuisine (although thought abandonned by some) had influenced the chef. Lighter sauces, emphasis on natural flavours, fresh ingredients from the local community incorporated in the menu to make for a new take on French influenced dining. An example will be Angus beef wrapped in betel leaves and cooked with buah keras! The menu is extensive. I was having palpitations and felt very excited at once. I was seduced and hope that the food will turn out the way I expected. Wine list is very extensive, with a lot of house pouring by the glass.


The complimentary rolls (huge choice of rolls served) came with olive butter which was herbal, minty and intoxicating. Lovely start.


Amusement bouche. Duck Mousse playing menagè a trois with light and crispy toasted wafers and a mini salad with garliced pine nuts. Duck mousse is made from duck liver. Creamy, but less opulent than foie gras, it was light and rich at the same time.


Complimentary starter of Leek Jelly and Tempura Prawns. The leek jelly was both savoury and sourish. Very refreshing, and almost functioned as a palate cleanser. The tempura prawns was nothing to shout about, though. Until this point, I was still enjoying the freebies and have not delved into the meal yet!


For starters, I ordered the Kumamoto Oyster with White Miso Vinaigrette. These Oysters were from Portland. Small (less than 5 cm), yet plump, this variant is usually flavourful and briney. Recommended for novices and sought out by seasoned oyster lovers, the version at Frangipani come with their signature White Miso Vinaigrette. The oyster I had were creamy, lush and filled with the flavours of the sea. The Miso vinaigrette did not overpower it, but complimented it in a lovely manner. Slight sourish with a beany taste together with lush smooth oysters, I was in Heaven!


Tired of the normal offering of escargot with cheese and garlic, I found the next starter to be refreshingly different. Presented with Sweet Pea Puree, the escargots were grilled with Basil infused Garlic and glazed with tart Dried Tomato and served with garlic peanut crumble. OK, you can't separate garlic from escargots. But the Sweet Pea Puree lent a very interesting play of taste, imparting a sweetish touch to the garlicy escargot and the peanut cruble enhanced the dish. Lovely! Standing ovation please.

I had the oyster and escargot with Billecart-Salmon Brut NV which was a lovely straw coloured non-vintage champagne with refined mousse and slow rising bubbles. The bouquet was definitely floral with Apricots and Pear. Rich, elegant and strong palate. Fresh and dry, it was a delightful companion to the starters.


Next: The Mains and Dessert, Contact Info. Click Here.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Le Bouchon Restaurant, Changkat Bukit Bintang, KL. Ducks and Scallops again.


Le Bouchon
in French means 'cork'. As in wine cork. When I enquired around and asked for suggestions for a good French Restaurant in Kuala Lumpur, two names keep popping up. Le Bouchon and Frangipani. Both are located opposite each other along the infamous strip known as Changkat Bukit Bintang.

Of this two, Le Bouchon is less intimidating as it has a quaint charm, and looks like a French countryside home. It has seen a change in Management and has a new Chef as well. The menu also has been reviewed, and is currently undergoing some fine tuning. The first two entrees I had was only added to the menu two days ago.

As I entered the restaurant, I was captivated immediately by it's simplicity and quaintness. Although the little goldfish pond that greeted me as I descended the steps looks a little bit tacky, the rustic, romantic interior in the main dining area soon made up for it.

Lots of old wine bottles were used to decorate this place, and lots of bouchons as well. The "Gourmet Menu" was something like a set menu, where you get to choose 2 entrees, a main dish and a dessert. I thought I'd try the duck and scallops again as I had this in Four Seasons yesterday and thought that it would be fun to compare it with meal with duck and scallops in a French restaurant.


The meal kick started with a bang. Gratin of Asparagus with Champagne Sabayon and Black Perigord Truffles. Sabayon is quite similar to the Italian zabaglione. It is made from beating egg yolks while simmering the sauce. In the wrong hands, it can be grainy, lumpy or too watery. Fortunately, the Sabayon sauce here is perfect. Light, fluffy and foamy (like a savoury souffle), yet rich from the cheese with a hint of bitterness. The sauce was flamed giving the top a bit of char, which is an unusual twist to the way this sauce is served. Black (Perigord) Truffle shavings were placed on top of the sour tomatoes which brings out it's earthy, mouldy, pungent yet captivating aroma very well.

The Star attraction of the night. Grilled sea scallops with Wild Mushroom Fricassee in Port Wine Sauce. The dish came with 3 pieces of medium sized scallops with the Fricassee in the middle. The Port Wine Sauce was exquisite. Smoky and aromatic, it enhanced the wild mushroom fricassee which was probably reduced in chicken stock? The addition of Salmon Roe, which is an unusual ingredient in French Cuisine, was imaginative and inventive. The roe provided a very contrasting texture to the dish and most importantly, when chewed, the exploding salmon roe blended so well in the sauce! Bravo!

Main course for the night was Mountain Honey Roasted Duck with Shallots Confit and Vegetables Fricassee with Sun Dried Tomatoes. The Shallot Confit was used only sparingly, and the Vegetables fricassee was not impressive. The potatoes were thyme flavoured. Duck breast was still moist and succulent. Unfortunately, this dish just tasted average compared to the lush and decadently flavoured entrees. The supposed main attraction was superceeded by the opening acts! If I were the duck, I'd probably throw a quacking bitch fit!

The Mango Tiramisu came with lots of cream and the Mango flavour was quite balanced. Marscapone Cheese was creamy. No complaints.

Cooking is an art. The harmonious blend of flavours with the myriad of cooking techniques, understanding the different temperament of the ingredients together with the regional differences of the ingredients is a challenge. Everybody cooks, my mom did cook a good pork chop. Imagination, Creativity, Cooking Technique and Presentation is what differentiates a great chef from a good one. It would be interesting to see what the future holds for Le Bouchon under it's new management. The first signs are already very promising.

Ah, yes! I nearly forgot the most painful part of the dinner. Total damage (including one bottle of Evian mineral water, one aperitif Americano and an espresso) was about RM 220. It will be just an occasional indulgence unfortunately.


Nuit d’Août

O Muse! que m’importe ou la mort ou la vie ?
J’aime, et je veux pâlir; j’aime et je veux souffrir ;
J’aime, et pour un baiser je donne mon génie ;
J’aime, et je veux sentir sur ma joue amaigrie
Ruisseler une source impossible à tarir.



August Night

O Muse! What does it matter, life or death?
I love, and want pallid passion, I love and want the pain;
I love, my desire for a kiss envelopes me;
I love, and want to feel it on my emaciated cheeks
That stream of love from an endless spring that could never dry up.


Latest Update (24th Sep 2009) here.

Le Bouchon
14 and 16 Changkat Bukit Bintang
Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
+603 2142 7633


Chef: Jerome Carrouee


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Unless stated otherwise, all the posts and food here is paid for by the Paranoid Android. He dose not receive any financial compensation for posting in this blog. The views expressed here are an opinion and as usual, taste is subjective and varies among people, time and mood as well! Please feel free to contact me at humanist dot philo at gmail dot com. Unless otherwise stated, the photos here belong to the owner of this blog. You are free to use it for any non commercial purpose. As courtesy, just drop me an email and credit the photo to the blog. Thanks for dropping by!

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