The Ultimate Guide To French Restaurants In The Klang Valley
Because the Tatler Dining team is composed of Francophiles, we've put our heads together to name our favourite French restaurants that act as a passport to 'la Gaule' and its glorious culinary offerings.
2OX reminds us that there is more to France than just Paris and Burgundy. Soupe à l’oignon, Escargots à la Bourguignonne and Coq au Vin feature on the menu and pass the test, but it's the southern French / Mediterranean specialities that really grab our attention. A comforting classic, the Ratatouille à la Provençale is reinterpreted by Chef Phillip Dominic, who aims to lend French cuisine a lighter but still luxurious touch.
2OX | 54G & 56G Jalan Doraisamy, Kuala Lumpur | +603-2692 2233 | +603-2692 2233 | Online reservations | Open daily, 11.30am - 11pm
2/10 Bistro à Table
French cuisine? Oui, but chef-patron Isadora Chai does not allow categories to restrict her creativity. An ever-evolving menu is probably the only constant at this modern French restaurant tucked away in Section 17, Petaling Jaya. For instance, foie gras is also on the menu, but instead of fruit chutney, it is paired with grilled figs, crumbled feta and air-dried duck prosciutto. Furthermore, the tarte Tatin is revamped with caramelised guava and served with balsamic vinegar ice cream. Not to mention, it is one of the very few places in the Klang Valley where you are able to enjoy an extensive cheese platter complete with quince paste.
Bistro à Table | 6, Jalan 17/54, Seksyen 17, Petaling Jaya | +603-7931 2831 or +6011-1036 5888 | Online reservations | Open daily, 12noon - 3pm & 6 - 9pm
TATLER TIP: Tarte Tatin or upside down apple tart is named after Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin, a pair of sisters who first served it at their hotel in the 1880s.
ICYMI: Chef Isadora Chai On Motherhood: A Story in 5 Dishes
3/10 Brasserie Fritz
Brasserie Fritz recently reopened it doors at Troika Sky Dining and is now nestled between Cantaloupe and Claret. It is near impossible to begin an evening here without a Bloody Mary and half a dozen Fines de Claire oysters, especially when the setting is reminiscent of a quintessential Parisian bar à huitres (oyster bar).
While the mains are comprised of brasserie staples such as Steak au Poivre and Mussels à la Fritz, the desserts are left to the whimsies of pastry chef Ivan Ong. Rum Baba is served with stewed pineapple and a rich pineapple compote for a tropical touch, and crème brulée is removed from its usual ramekin and set atop vanilla ice cream and vanilla sponge before being flambéed with cognac à la minute.
Brasserie Fritz | Level 23A, Tower B, The Troika, 19, Persiaran KLCC, Kuala Lumpur | +603-2162 0886 | Online reservations | Open daily, 6pm onwards & every Saturday, 12noon - 3pm
Housed in a castle built of glass and steel (Troika Sky Dining), Cantaloupe (yes, like the fruit) was constructed with an indoor 'moat' surrounding a podium, and affords a bird's eye view of KLCC and its surroundings. The kitchen shirks à la carte offerings in favour of four- or six- course dégustations—all the better to give you a better idea of executive chef Christian Bauer's culinary creativity.
If it's still available, get the Spring Salad of Egg and Confit Tuna; creamy cured yolk, meaty bonito and milk curds collide to create a flavour bomb in your mouth.
Review: Curate Your Own Dinner Experience At Cantaloupe
5/10 Château Dionne
Château Dionne's origin story deviates from that of its competitors in the Klang Valley, which were established by French expatriates who fell in love with Malaysia or Malaysians who fell in love with France. For no other French restaurant in the Klang Valley follows in the footsteps of a successful sister restaurant in Shanghai.
Restaurateur David Lim, who opened a string of wine bars called Denise Wine in the noughties, found an able partner in Chef Andy Choy, who turns out all sorts of good eats, from Rougié foie gras with hazelnut crumble to lobster surrounded by a vivid kale velouté. But the two dishes that we dream of even now are these: the Coquilles Saint-Jacques embellished with purple cauliflower florets and the masterfully executed soufflé presented with a mysterious numbered placard—the kitchen has kept track of every single soufflé served since the restaurant's opening in July 2020; ours read 2961!
TATLER TIP: The four-course 'menu decouverte' or discovery menu priced at RM398++ per pax is the best way to get acquainted with Château Dionne's signatures, although there is also a four-course classic menu as well as a six-course tasting menu respectively priced at RM298++ and RM688++.
Château Dionne | 24G, Jalan Medan Setia 2, Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur | +603-2011 2333 | Online reservations | Open daily, 12noon - 3pm & 6 - 10pm
6/10 Chez Gaston
Chez Gaston is only a stone's throw away from Yeast but boasts a world of a difference. Both might be casual, but the former can be described as more homey.
Head chef Florian Niger, a native of Brittany, has set out to make authentic French cuisine affordable to everyone without compromising on ingredients or taste. The poached sting ray with lemon butter and the monkfish with saffron sauce and black rice are just a few dishes that reflect the Breton chef's affinity for seafood.
Chez Gaston | 12G, Jalan Bangsar Utama 9, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur | + 6011-3993 0036 | Open Tue - Sun, 12noon - 2.30pm & 6 - 10.30pm
7/10 Entier French Dining
A two-time Top 20 winner at the Tatler Dining Awards in 2020 and 2021, Entier French Dining owes its success to the passionate team behind Platform Hospitality and a Japanese chef who is equal parts creative and conscientious. Masashi Horiuchi, who trained with greats such as Joël Robuchon, cares so much about his customers' enjoyment that it's not unusual to see him sneaking a peek of the dining room from the kitchen.
Entier French Dining's food recalls the kind of post-nouvelle cuisine that Robuchon is remembered for propagating—not quite as light as Paul Bocuse's nouvelle cuisine but with heightened attention to seasonality and international inspiration. Expect freshly picked produce from Cameron Highlands interspersed with 'whole' or 'entire' animals (hence entier) such as Anxin chicken and josper-grilled fish.
Related: Why Malaysians Are Subscribing To TAF Meals, A New Food Delivery Plan
8/10 Le Gourmandin
Duck's the word at this casual chic French bistro that serves Salad Gersoise with Dry Duck, Duck Mousse with Truffles, Croque Monsieur with Duck Confit, Duck Ravioli à l'Orange, Tagliatelle with Sliced Duck and Mushrooms—you get the gist. And it's no wonder the chef harbours a soft spot for the water bird: Occitanie in the South of France, which is credited as the birthplace of the cassoulet, is where Chef Firmin grew up before crossing paths with his current restaurant partners.
Despite the heavy red velvet curtains and white tablecloths, Le Gourmandin is laidback enough to dress down but not so casual that you can't enjoy proper wine service.
Le Gourmandin | Solaris Dutamas / Publika Shopping Gallery, D4-G4-01, 1, Jalan Dutamas 1, Kuala Lumpur | +6011-6970 7473 | Open Tue - Sun, 11am - 10pm
A little trivia about how Sabayon got its moniker: during EQ's previous incarnation as Hotel Equatorial, Swiss restaurant Chalet served a dish dubbed the Sabayon du Chalet aka "the dancing dessert"—waiters would whip the egg-based dish into shape while doing a little jig.
Although the staff are less light-footed these days, Sabayon has other strengths in sync with today's dining culture. By incorporating local ingredients such as T'lur caviar and Milky Whey cheese where they can, the swanky restaurant justifies importing other premium ingredients like Skrei cod from Norway and foie gras from France.
While the modern European places a strong emphasis on French wines and cuisine, it also celebrates the English tradition of a Sunday roast, although this isn't like any other Sunday roast we've experienced elsewhere: for RM578 per adult, one enjoys a free-flow of Champagne Barons de Rothschild, Gallagher oysters said to grow in the cleanest waters in the world, and slabs of meat sliced from roasts so large they require being wheeled around on trolleys.
TATLER TIP: Giving one the impression of being surrounded by stars, the elevator entrance on EQ's 51st floor serves as a popular backdrop for selfies on Instagram.
Sabayon at EQ | 51st floor, Equatorial Plaza, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur | +603-2789 7777 | Online reservations | Open daily, 12noon - 3pm & 6 - 11pm
Decked out with dangling copper pans that give off a rustic feel, the open kitchen at Yeast Bangsar provides an inviting peek into your food preparation.
By day, Yeast is a boulangerie with a mouthwatering selection of pain (bread), viennoiserie (yeast-leavened baked goods) and pâtisserie (sweet pastries) that also serves French classics such as Croque Madame or Oeufs en Cocotte. Come evening, however, it turns into a chic bistro serving elevated French cuisine, from Magret de Canard to Poulet Confit.
Yeast | Bangsar: 24G Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur | +603-2282 0118 | TTDI: 125, Jalan Aminuddin Baki, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur | +603-7732 4888 | Open daily, 8am - 10pm
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