If you have been following my social media updates, you might have noticed that I have started writing articles for The Malay Mail’s Weekend Runner. Who would have known a little food blogging could have gotten me here? I have many people to thank, and you know who you are. Meanwhile, here’s the full article if you haven’t got a copy of Weekend Runner.
Tucked away in the hill of Changkat Kia Peng, just a stone’s throw away from KLCC, a beautiful abandoned mansion converted into a chic French House, thanks to the vision of owner Sainy Chun. This establishment is truly an urban gem. A little representation of Paris in the middle of Kuala Lumpur.
It’s all about details at Maison Francaise, and we are not even talking about the food yet. Blessed with plenty of natural light, the decor is classical French while relatively minimalist, with a monochrome colour theme, fresh roses on the dining tables, elegant chandeliers, and French accordian music in the background. There is also a pool area downstairs which is only open for functions and events. Looking out the windows or balcony, a sea of green with partial view of the sparkling Twin Towers is a sight for sore eyes.
Headed by Chef Franck Lamache, whose accomplishments include his stints at the 3 Star Michelin, Crillion hotelin, Paris (Les Embassedeurs), Alain Ducasse and Le Taillevent to name a few, you can expect nothing but well-executed authentic French cuisine here. Yet, contrary to what we know about French cuisine, Chef Franck focuses on light, refined and healthy cooking style, hence we can enjoy our meal without worrying too much about our waistlines.
Service staff are well-mannered and attentive, without being disruptive, making the dining experience such a pleasure. They were truly on top of their game. Now to the food. Amuse Bouche came in a form of light and airy Monk Fish mousse accompanied by tangy tomato coulis, showcasing Chef Franck’s delicate touch with seafood, while the vegetarian Amuse Bouche played safe with several mouthfuls of earthy mushroom soup, elevated by a touch of truffle oil.
With increasing numbers of health conscious diners, it’s always reassuring to know that there are more than just salads for the vegetarians. The vegetables terrine with kalamata olives and goats cheese struck a chord with my vegetarian lunch company (Frank) with its vibrant colours and classic provencal flavours.
The terrine consists of delicate layer of red capsicum, zucchini and tomato, pairing extremely well with the aromatic chopped olives, peppery arugula, and the rich goats cheese.
The Smoked fish platter is one of the signature dishes at Maison Francaise. Arranged beautifully on a black slate, it was almost too beautiful to eat, a masterpiece actually. Smoked inhouse, the paper thin slices of fish were delicate and less salty than store-bought variety, although the co-star of the show was the refreshing and delightful cucumber salad.
Vegetarian Risotto is not actually on the menu but can be requested. Topped with a parsley pesto and supported by tomato coulis, the creamy grains were comforting, to say the least. Simplicity at its best.
It’s not easy to do justice to black cod as it’s such a delicate ingredient. Chef Franck kept it simple by pan frying and finishing in the oven, then pairing the fish with well thought out accompaniments: Heady Lobster Bisque, Quenelle of mash with mushrooms, Vibrant Pesto, Slightly crunchy vegetables for textural contrast. Crispy skin and buttery flesh, the black cod was textbook perfect.
Maison Francaise offers very affordable High Tea daily from 1pm-5pm. So instead of dessert proper, we got to sample a variety of teatime treats and the Canele de Bordeaux was a clear favourite with a caramelised shell, fluffy interior and custardy centre. Also superb was the roasted figs, lemon madeleines and the refreshing apricot sorbet.
Whether it’s a romantic date for two, a girly hangout in the afternoon, a business lunch, even a wedding dinner, Maison Francaise has it covered. More than its good look, it has the potential to become one of the best French restaurants in Klang Valley.
5 Jalan Changkat Kia Peng
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Tel No: 032144-1474
Fax No: 032181-2664
E Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday to Sunday: 11.00am – 11.30pm (last order)