Monday, July 27, 2009

Le Bouchon - Dining with a French flair

Thanks to BigBoysOven, I was given the opportunity to do my maiden food review in KL. It was truly an eye-opening experience, to share the dining room with fellow bloggers as well as the press community.

Arriving at Le Bouchon's quaint restaurant required some level of alertness since it's located at the corner with a not-so-distinct signboard. Even Xin missed this place though she passed by. I was lucky because a friend had once shown me this place before when we happened to drive around so I knew where to look at.

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Le Bouchon at Changkat Bukit Bintang

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Perfectly set table

Stepping into the restaurant, one would be welcomed by the rustic surroundings and furniture. The theme of interior decoration was of wood and there was even a fireplace! Not to mention the large array of wines that was placed in the reception area. However, walk further in and you'd be charmed by the dining area which was tastefully decorated with homely French interior, giving you the much needed coziness away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The numerous Tatler's awards hanging on the wall gave reassurance that this restaurant was a-cut-above the rest.

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Fancy a table for two?

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Fireplace

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Wine array

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Tatler awards

The dining tables were perfectly set with complete cutlery and meticulous arrangement. The small bouquet of white roses (my favourite) in the middle of the table gave it a personal touch.

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White roses centrepiece

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Impeccable table setting

After snapping pictures around the restaurant to our hearts' content, we finally settled down and waited for our meals to be served. We began our culinary voyage with these small and delicate cookies that whetted our appetite. No information was given on what those cookies were made of, but there was a hint of foie gras somewhere in between the layers, I'm sure. :) The rolls of bread were fresh from the oven, slightly firm on the outside but warm and fluffy inside. If I wasn't saving my tummy for the next courses, I would have taken two of these rolls.

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Cookies

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Warm bread

Done with the tidbits, we were served with the first appetizer for the night, Terrine de Foie Gras maison (Homemade Goose liver terrine served with fig jam and grilled sour dough bread) RM50++. We were told to eat the foie gras with the freshly toasted bread but I took my first bite just on the foie gras alone. It was sublime! The texture was soft and smooth, unlike that of peanut butter, and it literally melted in my mouth. It was very flavourful without being overpowering. Add that onto the bread and an equilibrium was reached. Rich, smooth and flavourful foie gras with warm, toasted bread. Do not be fooled by the modest size of the foie gras for after a few more mouthfuls, the richness began to kick in. I highly recommend this dish to be shared by two persons, not to mention the intimacy that it would bring by scooping foie gras onto each other's bread. :)

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Foie gras terrine

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Sour dough toasted bread

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Foie gras terrine and fig jam on sour dough bread

Second on our list was the Soupe de moules noires au safran et légumes aromatiques (Black mussels and saffron soup with aromatique vegetables) RM20++, something lighter that provided a much needed contrast compared to the aforementioned rich starter. The soup was creamy but never thick, and each mouthful was packed with the goodness of fresh mussels. It definitely cleared our palate and left us in anticipation for the next course.

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Black mussels soup

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Creamy but light

Continuing on our culinary adventure, the Filet de morue rôti au sirop d’érable et piment, asperges vertes à l’ail, beurre blanc de betterave (Roasted cod fillet with chilli-maple glaze, green asparagus with garlic, beetroot beurre blanc sauce) RM62++ was served. I was blown away by the absolute thickness of the piece of fish, not to mention its amazingly smooth and flaky texture. Kudos to Chef Jerome for bringing out the best of this fish and for doing it the justice that it very much deserved. The meat was firm without being hard, and every bite was just a pure delight. The beetroot-induced sauce gave it the unique pink colour and provided the refreshing twist to the otherwise ordinary taste of fish. Simply genius.

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Cod fish fillet

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Fresh cod fish

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White wine to be paired with white meat

Taking a break from our 5-course dinner, I took a stroll outside of the restaurant to note that there was an area for al fresco dining, if you wish. As expected, more wooden furniture that complemented the French homely theme of the restaurant. There was even a mini fish pond for your viewing pleasure.

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Al fresco dining

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Fish pond

Following our cod fish was the Pavé de bœuf rôti , sauce Bordelaise, ratatouille et pommes sautées aux lardons de canard fumé (Roasted beef tenderloin, Bordeaux wine sauce, ratatouille vegetables and sautéed potatoes with smoked duck bacon) RM98++ . This, my friends, is the epitome of steaks. The pinnacle of culinary art. The steak was done to perfection, never a minute over- or under-cooked. Best of all, no signs of bloody streaks at all (sigh of relief), and yet never tough. Each bite of the exquisite steak was savoury and left us desiring for more. At this point of time, after going through 3 courses and already feeling full, desiring for more of the steak spoke millions for the quality of it. Worry not about the waistline nor the cholesterol meter for that matter, for one never gets to eat steak as good as this very much in a lifetime. Make no mistake, I declare this the best steak that I have ever had.

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Best steak (Credit: www.foodpoi.com)

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Steak done perfectly

Finally, to end our beyond-satisfying meal, was the Crème brulée aux framboises (Crème brulée with raspberries) RM18++. Creme brulee on its own, is nothing to boast about, but the ingenious Chef Jerome combined it with raspberries hidden at the bottom that would tantalize your taste buds with its strong soury tang. The top layer was sweet and hard, followed by the soft and smooth custard and ending with the sour raspberries. The effect was a decadent 3-in-1 experience when one eats the 3 layers together. Definitely a twist compared to the more commonly found sweet desserts that might leave you feeling too full for good.

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Creme brulee

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Soft and smooth creme brulee

Some camwhoring ensued:

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witch and Chef Jerome

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Chef Jerome presenting the new menu

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witch with Sidney from BigBoysOven

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Clockwise from top left: Louis, witch, Xin, Ken and Jessica

This was an additional dish of lamb and asparagus that were presented for photography purposes. Carre d’agneau à la croute de fromage de chèvre, courgettes à la fleur de thym, pommes dauphines épicées, sauce au Cabernet sauvignon (Rack of lamb with goat’s cheese crust, roasted zucchinis with thyme flowers, spiced dauphine potatoes, Cabernet Sauvignon sauce) RM82++. My, even the name is a mouthful itself.

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Rack of lamb

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Asparagus

Once again, may I present to you:

Le Bouchon's New Menu by Chef Jerome Carrouee

APPETIZERS
Terrine de Foie Gras maison

Homemade Goose liver terrine served with fig jam and grilled sour dough bread

RM50++

*****


SOUP

Soupe de moules noires au safran et légumes aromatiques

Black mussels and saffron soup with aromatique vegetables
RM20++

*****


SEAFOOD

Filet de morue rôti au sirop d’érable et piment, asperges vertes à l’ail, beurre blanc de betterave

Roasted cod fillet with chilli-maple glaze, green asparagus with garlic, beetroot beurre blanc sauce
RM62++
*****


MEAT

Pavé de bœuf rôti , sauce Bordelaise, ratatouille et pommes sautées aux lardons de canard fumé
Roasted beef tenderloin, Bordeaux wine sauce, ratatouille vegetables and
sautéed potatoes with smoked duck bacon
RM98++

*****


DESSERT

Crème brulée aux framboises

Crème brulée with raspberries

RM18++


Chef Jerome has really brought my senses to a brand new degree, setting outrageous standards which would be hard to beat by other restaurants. It was indeed a great honour to have tasted the works of art from the chef himself, while opening my eyes to what French cuisine had to over. This is definitely a must-visit for food critics and food lovers alike. A well-deserved 8-time Tatler award-winning restaurant.

Le Bouchon Restaurant
14 & 16, Changkat Bukit Bintang,
50200 Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia.
Tel. no.: 03-2142 7633

10 comments:

email2me said...

I miss my COD Fish and Tazmanian beef steak! So good and tender

Irenelim said...

Wow, the presentation of the good was really good... got to save up for a meal there. :)

Big Boys Oven said...

wow After a careful study of that picture, I realised that I am aging very fast lol! :)
Oh I need more of those tazmanian beef!

xin said...

ahhhhhhh the beef!!! what can be better with great company and great food right? ;)

khengsiong said...

Oh boy... I'm jealous of you, man...

J2Kfm said...

wow .... meeting the superstars of the blogosphere eh? :)
what a meal. and hey!

that Lumix bag's exactly like mine! hahaha.... i carry the strap sideways though.

Neo said...

This is the place to bring my girls to!

ck lam said...

A very nice review...:)

thenomadGourmand said...

The creme brulee is really good!
Havent tried their mains yet tho, got to save like a year for that!
congrats on yr new domain coming up!

ronelM said...

wow im really awesome place i want to visit there on of this days btw thanks for sharing it