Caviar & Waffle Specials For The Brunch Squad At Entier French Dining
Full of fealty for his Francophone mentors, Masashi Horiuchi never strays too far from his classical chef training. But while Entier's executive chef may abide by methods that are à la française, much of the restaurant's innovative ingredients hail from Malaysia's own shores... or waters.
Cue T'lur tropical caviar, a hot commodity appearing on menus left, right and centre. The Tanjung Malim export is even responsible for birthing Entier's new brunch menu. From an audible appetiser of escargot croquettes to freshly shucked French white pearl oysters, some of the best bite-sized morsels here come topped with miniature toupées of caviar. The former, a clever repackaging of escargots au beurre persillé, are unequivocally delicious flavour bombs. As for the oysters? Flown south from Penang, the molluscs paired with quail's egg and caviar prove that freshness triumphs over a European postcode.
While pairing fried chicken with waffles is sacrosanct in the American South, Entier hopes to set a new precedent with other proteins. The panoply of culinary proceedings includes waffles served with duck confit, flank steak tartare, cured salmon or Maine lobster.
Wonderfully outfitted with individual 'wells,' waffles, unlike pancakes, crêpes or French toast, hold sauces — or runny egg yolk, as in the case of the steak tartare — exceptionally well. Chopped chives and crunchy beetroot cut through the richness of the raw, red meat.
The most ordered dish on the brunch menu, Entier's duck confit is blanketed in a sticky ginger glaze — every mouthful is equal parts sweet and savoury, fleshy and fatty. It is also thanks to this dish that we make a new epiphany, that jackfruit and foie gras make fast friends. We are told that the chef used to prize French fowl before discovering Bidor duck. And that's one of our favourite things about him — despite being quite set in his ways, Horiuchi is open to switches if it means making a better dish. The chef plays his ingredients like a jazzman, riffing and side-slipping, but never once deserting the underlying beat.
The chef plays his ingredients like a jazzman, riffing and side-slipping, but never once deserting the underlying beat.
Horiuchi becomes comically giggly while attempting to tell an anecdote about boba; it gets to the point where we, his audience, are also rocked by silly, spasmodic laughter. What he finds ludicrous is this: having reached new heights of popularity, Japan's bubble tea industry has purportedly come under the Yakuza's control. [We researched this claim, which turns out to be true.] The chef’s mother even begs him to bring home bagfuls when he returns to Fukuoka.
But I digress: Adding boba to one of the brunch dessert waffles might seem like a cheap way of capitulating to the current bubble tea craze, but the combination and contrast of chewy tapioca balls, cubed mango and homemade coconut ice cream has us going back for seconds.
Having nothing to do with waffles or caviar, several of Entier's signature dishes also appear on the brunch menu — a heartfelt request from regulars.
Equally enjoyed by blue- and white-collar workers, steak frites is a go-to at any good French restaurant, including Entier.
All orders of the Bavete steak are topped with eggs of a sunny disposition and served with some of the best fries in town. Our suggestion? Spear the yolk with a French fry, smear the golden stuff across the flank, and add a smear of smoky Romesco sauce. Your order will come with a side salad, but vegetables aren't always invited to the party.
Entier's chief concept is reflected in this dish. The restaurant’s name means 'entire,' 'whole' or 'complete.'
— Tay Hui Ying, group brand development manager of Platform Hospitality Group
Fergus Henderson would approve: Nose to tail eating is put into practice with the Fish & Chips. A self-contained dish in both senses of the word, the flower grouper is split down the middle, stuffed with wispy, crispy kale and showered with snow-like Parmesan.
Perfect breading snugly hugs the fish like a bespoke suit while a half wedge of burnt lemon lends acidity and smoke.
As someone who usually snubs fish and chips, believe me when I say this: deep-fried food has never been so well executed. You'll have to taste it to believe it.
Visibly tanner since we first met him, Chef Masashi is ever the Energizer Bunny; we spot him striding around the restaurant 3 or 4 times in under an hour, apprehensively checking in on his customers' well-being.
A terrifying and rewarding experience, being a chef means putting yourself and your creations at the mercy of public scrutiny. But as someone who has successfully whipped off the white tablecloths to go the rustic route, Horiuchi need not sweat the small stuff. All we can say is he's doing a fantastic job.
- Photography Khairul Imran