Ong Chin Huat gets a first bite from some of the renowned French restaurant Les Bouchons’ signature dishes and leaves feeling full with a smile on his face.
Known for its French Steak frites in Singapore, where it has three outlets, French bistro Les Bouchons has finally arrived in the Malaysian capital, where it quickly has become the restaurant du jour among Francophiles and food lovers alike.
Conveniently located in the heart of town, opposite the iconic KLCC twin towers, Les Bouchons has brought quality and reasonably-priced French fare to a food-loving public in Kuala Lumpur.
Entering Les Bouchons, diners are swiftly transported into the ambience of a lively and popular French bistro, complete with background music of French crooners.
Comfy seating and velvet banquettes complete with chandeliers, and framed vintage French posters recreate a Parisian feel to this bistro while two private rooms, a wine room seating six persons and another one which can seat 12 with a large glass window looking into the kitchen, which can turn opaque is available for private dining.
Famous for its French Steak Frites (Steak and Fries), the menu of Les Bouchons is a veritable culinary journey through some of the best and most popular French dishes.
The starters at Les Bouchons are divided into hot and cold, with the Homemade French Ceps Soup with truffle Olive Oil and Homemade Crab Cakes with Aioli (Garlic Mayonnaise) taking top marks for their authenticity and flavourful tastes.
Among the cold starters, the Smoked Trout with Sour Cream served with toast was a refreshing dish as we the Cocktails de Crevettes (Prawn, salad, avocado and Marie-Rose sauce). But the star was most definitely the Terrine De Foie Gras “Maison” and Compotee D’oignon (Homemade duck liver terrine with onion chutney and toast), which we were advised to eat with a sprinkling of salt.
No one would come to Les Bouchons and not try their steaks, and their Grilled Australian Black Angus Beef Rib Eye with Vigneron Butter was a meal and a half. Succulent and juicy, the steak served with a free flow of homemade French fries certainly lived up to its reputation and didn’t disappoint.
But if you are not fond of beef, fret not because there are plenty of other main courses to satiate your appetite.
The Grilled Norway Salmon Fillet served with Vierge Sauce was done to perfection, with the tender salmon oozing juice at first bite, while the Traditional Roasted Half Garlic Chicken served in a casserole pot with butter sauce, confit garlic, and onions gives new meaning to the word comfort food.
According to Executive Chef Mickaël Cornac, who is based in Singapore, while all the outlets of Les Bouchons maintain a core focus on classic French cuisine, there are slight variations in the menu based on the location and local preferences.
“One of the standout dishes unique to KL is the Whole Grilled Spiny Lobster with Thyme and Garlic Butter,” Chef Micka, to whom he is often referred, says. “Other than this, we also offer prawn cocktails, Caesar salad, Lobster Mac and Cheese.”
Locally, Les Bouchons is led by Chef Prakash Rao, who has over 13 years of experience and has undergone extensive training in Les Bouchons’ various outlets in Singapore.
Complementing Les Bouchons’ delectable menu is its enviable wine cellar, which contains a selection of around 3,000 bottles of predominantly French wines, which are handpicked to pair with each dish.
With an outlet in Johor, why did they decide to open one in Kuala Lumpur too? “We chose Kuala Lumpur because it was a strategic choice for expansion due to its similarities with the Singaporean market and its growing reputation as a world city,” Chef Micka elaborates. “Our success and learnings from the Johor Bahru branch further encouraged us to explore opportunities in Kuala Lumpur.”
Describing the style of cooking at Les Bouchons as “deeply rooted in traditional French culinary techniques”, Chef Micka is the first to tell you that Les Bouchons is not a fine dining establishment but more of a casual and relaxed French bistro. But even then, he is quick to emphasise what they take pride in meticulously preparing each dish with a focus on showcasing the flavours and textures that make French cuisine so renowned.
A good case in point is the dessert selection, which would make anyone with a sweet tooth jump for joy.
The classic Crème Brülée has a light touch without being overly sweet, while a selection of the ‘tartes of the day’ spoils any pastry lover for choice. But the piece de la resistance must be the Crêpe Suzette, which is flambeed with Grand Marnier at the diner’s table side and served with Vanilla ice cream.
It’s a grand show of skill, talent and pure deliciousness and the perfect way to end any meal.
For more information on Les Bouchons Kuala Lumpur, please visit www.lesbouchonsmalaysia.com.
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