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Bon Appetit!

In celebration of Bastille Day, the national day of France, we embarked on a culinary journey through KL to bring you best in French food.

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Bon Appetit!
Photo: iStock

French Products

Gourmandines 
If you’ve just moved to Malaysia and your pantry is crying out for authentic French products, give Gourmandines a go.
 
Established in 2005, Gourmandines is an online grocer offering fine food products from Europe including quality food products at the best prices from France. The idea of Gourmandines came about when there was a demand for French ingredients at Chef Jean-Michel Fraisse’s cooking classes at the French Culinary School of Asia

Besides imported goods, Gourmandines offers artisanal breads, sausages, smoked fish and cured meat for supermarkets, restaurateurs and everyday buyers. While there are plenty of products to choose from, Chef Jean-Michel says their most popular product is their balsamic vinegar. Other in-demand food includes their range of pastas, tomato sauces, sardines and anchovies in cans.   

Chef Jean-Michel is very particular about the quality of ingredients and uses products from Gourmandines for his own restaurant, French Feast. The online grocer has plans to bring in more organic products this year so keep an eye on the site for new food and the latest promotions. There is also a smaller range of canned and bottled good sold at Urban Picnic, which is a city-centre café run by Chef Jean-Michel. 

Also try: The Little Mart

Photo: French Feast/Facebook

Casual French Dining

French Feast
What happens when you strip a fine dining restaurant off its glamorous venue, meticulously set tables and expensive menu? You get a restaurant serving honest food that keeps diners coming back for more.

After the unexpected closing of La Vie En Rose due to a landslide, founder Chef Jean-Michel and Chef Mickael Cornutrait reinvented their ideas of a French restaurant to create the casual and rustic French Feast. Veering away from the fine dining scene, it’s all about quality and taste here. “You go to a fine dining restaurant for an experience, but most of the time, you don’t remember what you have eaten. That’s why we are not a fine dining restaurant. Instead, French Feast focuses on classic French food in a rustic setting,” Chef Jean-Michel explains.

Typical French food is the star here. If there was just one thing you need to try, it would be their Toulouse-style cassoulet or the very classic beef bourguignon. Moving forward, Chef Jean-Michel has plans to develop the first floor of the former residence-turned-restaurant into a space reserved for wine drinkers and lighter food, a gastro bar if you will. He admits his ideas and how he runs a restaurant are pretty old school; but we’re certain it’s the right way to preserve the authenticity of French cuisine.

Also try: 

Cocott’ 
Level 1 - Unit 1, Greens Terrace, 
Jalan Wan Kadir 3, TTDI,
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2712 4481

Rendez-Vous
100 Lorong Maarof, Bangsar,
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2202 0206

20X
54, Jalan Doraisamy, Chow Kit, 
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2692 2233

Yeast Bistronomy
24, Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar,
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2282 0118

Photo: Enfin by James Won/Facebook

French Fine Dining

Enfin by James Won
While some like it simple, there are those who insist on the finer things in life. That’s where Enfin by James Won comes in.

Founded by Chef James Won, this classy restaurant upholds the values of using homegrown, organic produce for their opulent French dishes. The menu rotates monthly to take full advantage of the seasons’ best produce from both sea and land; so it’s always a different dining experience each time you come. 

At heart, the restaurant is a fine dining establishment with an artisanal soul, which means almost everything is created from scratch from the bread and ice cream to curing their own seafood and meat. Not only are 90 per cent of their ingredients sourced locally, they have also embarked on a Farm to Table project in Cameron Highlands for their fruit and vegetables. 

Good news for vegetarians looking for lavish French fine dining as there’s a full degustation menu specially curated for vegetarians. We’re also impressed by the restaurant’s philosophy of caring for the environment which means only sustainable ingredients are used. 

What’s French food without French wine? The award-winning sommelier team at Bar Enfin boasts a stellar list of alcoholic beverages that’s sure to impress. Plans for expansion are underway with a restaurant and bakery opening this year in Penang.

Also try: 

DC Restaurant by Darren Chin
44 Persiaran Zaaba, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-7731 0502

Maison Francaise
5 Jalan Changkat Kia Peng, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-21441474

Nathalie’s Gourmet Studio
Unit A4-01-5, Solaris Dutamas, Jalan Dutamas 1, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-6207 9572

Photo: Paul Bakery

French Bakeries 

Paul Bakery, Patisserie, Café and Restaurant
French food would not be complete without its magnificent breads and pastries. If you’re looking for traditional French baked goods, we’re sure the 127-year-old bakery franchise Paul, will satiate any craving. 

Seeing a market in Malaysia, Paul recently opened its doors at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur. And if you’re wondering if it will live up to the famous flagship in France, Managing Director, Jean Pierre Erba, explains that the bakery tries to retain its original identity while only tweaking a few of its recipes to take advantage of the freshness of some of the local ingredients. Rest assured your favourite breads and pastries are made the old fashioned way!

Just like the other franchises abroad, Paul’s best sellers here are their croissants, pain au chocolat and baguettes and the grilled croque-monsieur. “What makes our product different is the quality of our (pain de mie) bread. We have a very specific recipe for this white bread, and it is a very old recipe. It’s very crunchy on the outside as it has been toasted and very gooey and cheesy on the inside”, says Jean Pierre.

Paul is also proud of their traditional-sized macaroons; aside from bite-sized ones, Paul also offers big macaroons that are known to be the original size of macaroons at France back in the day. As the bakery bakes their breads and pastries in small batches throughout the day, rest assured that you’ll always get the freshest baked goods here.

Also try: 

Kenny Hill Bakers
Lot I-1A, Taman Tunku,
Bukit Tunku, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-6206 4111

Lepidor French Boulangerie Cafe & Bakery
38G, Block C, Zenith Corporate Park, Jalan SS7/26,
Kelana Jaya, Petaling Jaya
Tel: 018-230 4008

Related: Food For Thought: Chef Mickael Cornutrait
Related: 2OX


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