Maison Francaise, the new French restaurant, that is located in an unassuming little spot in the center of KL, cannot fool the underground gourmet.
Oh yes, they are pretty astute about these things, and will always sniff a great new dining spot out, not unlike how a bloodhound sniffs out the slightest hint of a trail.
Hidden further up the lane on Changkat Kia Peng, one might think one wandered up the wrong residential street, if one did not know better. Painted a no-nonsense stark white, this high end, fine-dining French restaurant is almost as much of a cool fashion statement, as it is a restaurant.
Once you’ve had time to walk around the establishment, from floor to floor (there are three floors), room to room, you will begin to fathom, how a monochrome color palette can be a striking scheme for a restaurant. The rooms feels big and bright and light bounces nicely off the walls, just by choosing a stark white paint, and introducing black accents via furniture and accessories. With so much natural light hitting the rooms, it is no wonder at all that Maison Francaise has a tranquility and serene atmosphere about it. From the word go, we are in love with the place.
The three floors in the restaurant are divided, into a modern chill-out, cigar area upstairs, the main dining area in the middle, and a pool and lounge/party area downstairs.
The Oasis Lounge.. secret garden of Masion Francaise – a great place to host private parties
Nature surrounds this bungalow in the shape of huge trees, and if you look over the balcony, you will see a spectacular and breathtaking view of KLCC. In terms of location and aesthetic value, Maison Francaise truly has a lot going for it.
And if you think the beauty ends there, you are wrong. Where the food is concerned, the french cuisine served here is top notch as well. In the capable hands of Executive chef, Chef Franck Lamache who has worked in many renowned outlets such as 3star Michelin, Crillion hotelin, Paris(les embassedeurs), Alain ducasse and Le taillevent to name a few, the menu here at Maison Francaise has really taken flight.
Chef Franck Lamache likes to pursue light, refined and healthy cuisine yet all his dishes are truly authentic French cuisine. That’s not to say that his food is not unapologetically decadant. It is.. but it just isn’t overly heavy.
If you can wrap your mind around superb, high quality ingredients and classical French techniques, employed to wonderful effect, served up against a stylish black and white dining space, with tasteful modern crystal chandeliers, then you would have arrived at Maison Francaise.
al fresco dining
Well enough praise for this place already. On to the fine food, and fine wines..
Roasted Tiger Prawns in Rosemary sauce paired with the LaVila Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Succulent, humongous tiger prawns, about the size of my palm, bursting with flavour and served on a bed of ratatouille, was a decadent starter. This delicate vegetable stew, cooked till tender, of eggplant, zucchini, tomato, onion, garlic and seasonings of basil and thyme, was to die for. Served with a crisp, zesty, aromatic French Sauvignon Blanc, each mouthful was an event in itself. Off to an amazing start.
Foie gras terrine with onion and apple chutney paired with the LaVila Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
The foie terrine at Maison Francaise is one of the smoothest and creamiest I have ever tried. Its unctuous flavour is boldly brought to light, rather than stifled by the sweet onion and apple chutney. This was paired with the LaVila Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 which was tannic, with predominant aromas of blackcurrant, berries and pepper. It had a nice acidic finish that cut through the creamiest parts of the foie, like a hot knife through butter. Another fantastic match.
Sauteed Dover Sole with meuniere sauce made with butter, parsley and lemon juice paired with the LaVila Sauvignon Blanc 2011
The fish was a bit of a let down. Considering the price tag on the Dover sole, some might find it a tad overpriced for it was literally skin (a bit of meat) and bones. Probably not as acceptable in Malaysia as say in Europe, where people like to be served the fish with bones in it, so I am told. I am talking fine dining of course.
Grilled beef tenderloin with green peppercorn sauce paired with the LaVila Syrah 2011
As the trend for healthy living escalates nowadays, restaurants are taking the cue in serving healthy selections from their menu. Even the French.
Rather than dressed in a overly rich and creamy sauce, this beef tenderloin served a perfect medium rare was dressed in a light, sauce of green peppercorns. I enjoyed the temporary burn that each mouthful imparted – I was walking the fine line where pain and bliss merged to be one. Also the best grilled mushrooms I’ve eaten all year. Flavorful, buttery and loaded with its own meaty juices. Oh, definitely a winner.
Paired with the LaVila Syrah 2011whose trademark flavour is black ripe fruit and concentrated black olive in perfect balance, this was definitely a well paired wine that could possibly mature into something even more redolent in a couple of years.
Cheese tray – a selection of Camembert, Goat cheese buche, Pont lebeque, Munster and Rocquefort, paired with the LaVila Syrah 2011
Of the cheeses, my favorites were the Sheep’s milk Blue Cheese and the Camembert. Super creamy, outstanding fromage. Can’t say I’ve had anything that tops these. In true French fashion, the volume of food we had consumed was not huge, and yet the richness of the dishes had left us feeling perfectly replete.
Selection of Dessert Sampler for two persons – lemon tart, savarin chantelly , chocolate mousse, craqueline with montelimar nougat paired with the Vin D’alsace Pinot Gris
A fantastic selection of sweets.. And an exceptional white wine, the Vin D’alsace Pinot Gris. Here you see great dedication to sweet wine-making, as this wine, a Sélection de Grains Nobles, represents the harvest of many shrivelled, botrytised grapes, picked by hand on a berry-by-berry basis. Anyone who alleges this wine doesn’t have at least an equal pedigree to a top Sauternes must have forgotten to take their Bordeaux blinkers off. It was a fantastic dessert wine that really enhanced the tartness in the lemon tart, and the deep chocolaty flavours in the mousse. It was also the perfect match for the rich chantelly and montelimar nougat. We couldn’t ask for more.
We were fortunate that day as there was a wine and champagne tasting session going on, hosted by Geovinum
Here are some of amazing wines we tried at Maison Francaise – (L – R) Alsace PINOT GRIS Selection De Grains Nobles, Alsace PINOT GRIS 2010 Silber medal in Mâcon 2011, Alsace PINOT NOIR Instant Rosé, Cremant D’Alsace Brut Blanc de Noirs.
The Alsace PINOT GRIS 2010 Silber medal in Mâcon 2011 is the perfect match for fish and white meat as the wine has subtle smoky notes of ferns and apricot.The Alsace PINOT NOIR Instant Rosé made from Pinot Noir, is fruity with flavours of strawberry and gooseberry shining through. It’s versatile and fun, and pairs well with roast meats, pizza and lasagnas. This is a great wine to give to your loved one on Valentine’s day, because it looks pretty too! And the Cremant D’Alsace Brut Blanc de Noirs that is made from a selection of Pinot Noir grapes and is full of aromas of fruits and spices. It is the perfect match for french hors d’oeuvres and the ideal companion at parties.
And finally, we tried the Taittinger Brut Réserve (Vintage). This champagne has a high proportion of Chardonnay in the blend giving it elegance and finesse. It has fine, pale gold bubbles and aromas of biscuit and brioche. 40% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir, 25% Pinot Meunier. Champagne is largely down to preference, but even I was hit by the zing of this cuvée. Light, dry and zesty, it was instantly refreshing. Gough, Geovinum’s knowledgeable wine and champagne connoisseur delighted in telling us that all of their Champagnes are sourced from small, family-owned producers. There is of course a time and a place for good old Bollinger, but trying something different like the Taittinger Brut Réserve is really rather exciting (not least because it will enable you to blag an expert opinion at some dinner party down the line).
Oh, I could drink this endlessly and never tire of it!
All in all, Maison Francise is a terrific place for great French cuisine. Sophisticated and elegant, this glamorous venue is the perfect setting for a business lunch or a romantic dinner. Having said that though, it is fine dining, and the dress code of the restaurant reflects their ambiance and style, without being overly stuffy.
Chef Franck Lamache’s food is grounded in the classics but offers bold touches of creativity and enthusiasm – the French House fuses fine food, with modern interpretations without overdoing it. Dining in this white and ivory space with tasteful touches of art pieces is like feasting in a bright, modern living museum. Every detail, from doorknobs, chandeliers, to artful menus, has been considered, but there is no tortured sense of design for design’s sake. A perfect 10 in our books.
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Add: Maison Francaise
5 Jalan Changkat Kia Peng
50450 Kuala Lumpur Tel No: 032144-1474
Fax No: 032181-2664
E Mail: [email protected] Business Hours
Tuesday to Thursday: 12.00pm – 10.30pm (last order)
Friday to Sunday 12.00pm – 11.00pm (last order)
Monday Closed. Website For the Wines: Gough Chong, Director of Geovinum Sdn Bhd, A-G-07, Merchant Square, No.1 Jalan Tropicana Selatan 1, PJU3, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor D.E. Email: gough [at] geovinum [dot] com Tel: +6012 2191 197; +603 7883 0688