Maison Francaise, New Chef, New Menu
Words by Patricia Podersok
Photos by The Yum List aka Monica Tindall
The chic elegance of Maison Francaise can handily seduce a gourmand under the best of circumstances, but add a new chef to the mix and now you’ve added the ganache to your torte. When we were invited to preview some of his specialities last weekend, I was ready to be mesmerized. And I was not disappointed.
|Dining Table with Lovely Natural Light|
Thierry Le Baut made his debut at Maison Francaise just one month ago, and has wasted no time in personalizing the starters, the mains, the desserts, just about, well... everything. The full new menu will be unveiled next month. He brings to Maison Francaise a shiny length of experience married to an unpretentious demeanor. He entertained us with stories of culinary challenges and unusual client requests, many of them having to do with building sculptures out of sugar and chocolate. And by sculptures, I mean cars, animals, guitars, even bodies! We enjoyed his genuine humor and the obvious affection he holds for his craft.
|Chef Thierry Le Baut|
An architect of flavor and presentation, Chef Thierry began our degustation with an extraordinary tower of layered foie gras, thinly sliced apple, and smoked barramundi capped with a brulee topping of caramelized sugar. Each bite unfolded new dimensions of smoky, smooth, crispy, sweet, tart. The combination was sublime, melting the taste buds into puddles that you could make you pull out your gumboots and stomp around in all day.
|Tower of Foie Gras|
From towers we moved to ramps. The second course was a single spear of asparagus leaning across a perfectly browned sea scallop, adorned by a dollop of black caviar. Monica declared the crisp exterior and perfectly tender interior “the best cooked scallop in Malaysia.” The seafood lay upon a thin sheet of shallot reduction carrying just enough butter and white wine vinegar to deliver a subtle but fully-balanced flavor of earth and sea.
|Scallop and Asparagus|
The “ramp” of the second course made way to a house of cod, a solid wall of tender meat turreted by a golden crust. The landscaping included a lawn of green pea puree and parsley foam and the fruit of a single roasted tomato. A tiny forest of enoki mushrooms added texture and dimension to the plate and to the eye.
Next we sampled a brick of herb-and-nut crusted lamb, sturdy in flavor, but soft on the palate. The mortar that accompanied will forever be cemented in my memory: a lithe pasta pocket filled with luscious thyme cream that was like an herbal explosion to my tongue. It. Was. Just. So. Delicious.
Lastly, our culinary tour took us through a palace of desserts, a dazzling array of fruit, ice cream and chocolate. The volcano lava cake could possible make me enslave myself to the chocolate gods for want of another bite of its dark, gooey magic.
|Perfectly Executed Dessert|
Along with the meal, we enjoyed the house wines from the French label Lavila, available in cabernet, sauvignon blanc and the rosé Cinsault Syrah, which we found most pleasing to accompany a lunch fest. However, these three do not even scratch the surface of the depth of the wine list at Maison Francaise: the selection is pages long, mostly French, and can accommodate any taste or budget.
|Lavila Sauvignon Blanc|
|Lavila Cabernet Sauvignon|
On Sundays, Maison Francaise offers a table service brunch which may include mains like tender Black Angus oyster beef or the classic dessert creme brulee. It runs from 12 - 3pm at a fair price of RM188++ (free-flowing) or RM148++ (non-alcoholic). High tea is also served on Sunday from 1 - 5 pm for RM 8++. Last week’s menu included toasted brioche, cheese tartine and raspberry tart.
In the lower level of the restaurant, guests can enjoy Soiree, a bar area with views of garden and pool, comfortable stools and a daily happy hour, open from 5pm.
|Soiree - Maison Francaise|
Maison Francaise has much to offer anyone with discerning taste, and continues to be a winner with the arrival of Chef Thierry Le Baut. Welcome, Thierry!
Reasons to visit: Experience the artistry and architecture of Chef Thierry Le Baut, a sublime eating experience in an elegant atmosphere.
5 Jalan Changkat Kia Peng
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 21441474