When you think of French food, you’ll always exclaim “It’s so good!” Now get ready to exclaim it once again during Good France – or Goût De France, as the French say. Cooked up by the acclaimed French-born Monégasque chef Alain Ducasse, Good France is a celebration of the spirit of French cuisine around the world where 3000 chefs across 5 continents will serve 3000 menus on the 21st of March to eager gourmands.
Now in its fourth year, the global event takes place in Malaysia once again with menus from 18 of the best French restaurants across the nation. Of course, it’s simply not possible to dine at all 18 restaurants in one night. So The Peak presents our top three favourites that will tantalise your taste buds and fill your spirit with the warmth of a good French meal.
CHEF DARREN CHIN
Words aren’t enough to express how much we enjoy DC Restaurant’s menu for Good France.
Hinting at the beautifully choreographed balance of flavours to come, a prelude of Belon oyster on a bed of cucumber granite, chive oil and fermented rhubarb readies the palate.
This is soon followed by the ocean-fresh catch of the day air flown from Hokkaido, and then Chef Darren Chin’s signature takao cold somen topped with bafun uni is served. An homage dish to Paul Bocuse, the recently departed master of French cuisine, follows next where diners are presented with local “Kerisi” red mullet where its scales are crafted using potato.
The star of the entire meal, though, is a gorgeous 16-hour slow roasted lamb rack accompanied by potiron squash, triveso endive and a creamy jackfruit seed puree. A true feast for the senses, a beautiful smell rises from the dish when presented, followed by a bite that meets all expectations.
Of course, a good French meal is only complete with a selection of French cheeses – and DC Restaurant has some of the best selections in town.
Suffice to say, we highly recommend that you make a reservation to enjoy this beautiful choreography of fresh ingredients, meticulous technique and wonderful flavours.
Chef Darren Chin has created 3 special menus for Good France available only from 20th to 25th March.
ENFIN BY JAMES WON
CHEF JAMES WON
For Good France, Chef James Won and his team have whipped up an astounding sensory experience that beautifully melds the world of produce and spirits together. A staunch advocate of farm fresh ingredients, his degustation menu is crafted from some of the best organic produce in the country, sourced from his very own Farm Enfin in Cameron Highlands, Pahang.
The first step into his farm-to-table realm begins with an intriguing amuse bouche that resembles a plot of land in a farm. You’ll see crispy baguette “twigs” sprinkled with fermented chilli powder and an ethical foie gras mushroom sprouting from a bed of edible “dirt”. Paired with the house cocktail of Enfin fermented Bario Rice Wine, it’s a fantastic medley of flavours as the nutty notes of the rice wine sets a base for the amuse bouche to awaken the palate.
Continuing with the journey, you’ll begin to notice the presence of local influence on the French dishes as a sublime Hokkaido scallop is served. Taking a bite, you’ll get a whiff of familiar smells and flavours in this dish inspired by the iconic Penang laksa. Prawn noodles, salted fish, compressed cucumber and laksa oil surrounding the scallop come together to gently remind you of the Malaysian influence on the fantastic French cuisine. And what else can you expect to pair with this marine dish besides a bubbling glass of Krug Grand Cuvée, Reims, France?
Following this is an exquisite dish where dehydrated coconut meringue pieces form a roof over a bed of sea urchin, chive blossoms, leeks and charred carrots in chicken fat and honey. Before proceeding to dismantle the structure, we urge you to take a moment to breathe in the aromas of the briny sea urchin meeting the rich, meaty one of the carrot. This flavour is multiplied by tenfold on the tongue and despite its relatively unassuming facade, the depth and complexity of this dish is simply breathtaking. Needless to say, the Krug champagne is a divine companion.
After a pleasing palate cleanser of a kumquat-coated yogurt and olive oil ice cream with a wasabi centre, it’s time for the plat. This is where Chef Won’s expert Michelin French training shines with his love for local produce. He presents his own iteration of the classic coq au vin. An organic chicken slice sourced from Broga, brown meat drumstick, chestnut and truffle fondant are accompanied by wildly creative gravy of fermented wild Bario red wine. The resulting dish is simultaneously heart-warming and exciting to the palate.
Alas, the journey comes to an end with dessert. But oh what a sweet end it is! Out comes a decadent le petit-Antoine a la Enfin made with no eggs, sugar or gelatine. Despite the absence of a sweetener, the chocolate layer slice is pleasing to the palate due to the superb quality of Ethiopian cacao beans blended by the chef himself. Of course, Chef Won has another surprise up his sleeve, pouring out a generous glass of Hennessy X.O to end the journey of the senses.
The Good France dinner degustation menu at Enfin by James Won is available until the 31st of March.
CHEF FLORENT LESCOUEZEC
Naturally, one of our top selections for the best French dinner would have to be a restaurant literally named a French house, Maison Française. French-born head Chef Florent Lescouezec has crafted a truly authentic meal that’s cooked right from the heart.
The meal opens with a “Lanaurdie” duck foie gras custard presented with Barigoule artichoke and slices of green apple. The heart-warming combination results with a bite that begins with a creamy, buttery flavour that ends with a fresh crisp.
Next comes a slow cooked rump of lamb is served over a pesto and mint sauce and topped with a golden anchovy crunch. While the presence of the anchovy to a meat dish may be confusing to some, this combination is one typically found in the South of France where salt is withheld and the anchovy is used to salt the meat instead.
Then, it’s time for a heady selection of French cheeses. Imported from L’Hexagone especially for this Good France dinner, the fromage comes from the talented hands of MOF Christophe le Meunier. Amongst the French cheeses available for this one night are an 18 month comte, Bourbonnais and crèmeux des Citeaux with truffles.
Dessert is a delightful mix of salted caramel macaron with white chocolate and bourbon vanilla crème brulee paired with the most fantastic cardamom sherbet. The addition of torched citruses is certainly a brilliant move as it cleanses the palate after the rich cheese course.
Make your reservations at Maison Française now as this menu is available for one night only on the 21st of March.
For the full list of participating restaurants and menus for Good France in Malaysia, click here.