Friday, July 31, 2009

A FINE FRENCH FEAST


New owner of Le Bouchon - Chef Jerome Carrouee

Le Bouchon – the little rustic restaurant tucked in a discreet corner of Changkat Bukit Bintang - recently underwent a change in ownership when its founder, Philippe Le Francois, decided to return to France and become a hotelier.

However, all is not lost for his outlet that has quietly built up a local following for its homely French fare. The eatery is now helmed by fellow countryman, Jerome Carrouee, a former chef who has spent 15 years in Malaysia. He has also worked in Taiwan, Penang, Mauritius and Bahrain before settling down in Kuala Lumpur.

Hence it is only appropriate that the menu is given a fresh makeover - to showcase the new owner’s culinary exploits and signature specialities. Otherwise, Le Bouchon has lost none of its charming trappings of a provincial French countryside restaurant.

Coming from a long family lineage of farmers, butchers and chefs, it is inevitable that Chef Carrouee became interested in food from childhood. As the new chef-owner, Carrouee has rightly chosen to return to his roots and decided to offer perennial delights that he grew up with.

“My family’s originally from Brittany but we also used to live in the Cognac region. So you’d find a mixture of traditional and modern specialities in the menu; with some dishes accentuated with touches of Provençe using fresh herbs and quality ingredients.”


While some people are up in arms over the consumption of foie gras (goose liver), I'd rather steer clear of mixing politics with food and am not about to pass up on the appetizer of Terrine de Foie Gras Maison (RM50++) or Homemade Goose Liver Terrine served with Fig Jam and Grilled Sourdough Bread. The huge slab of luxurious delicacy is simply out of this world! Spread generously on toasted sourdough, the rich and marble-smooth texture is guaranteed to hold you spellbound with its wickedly indulgent taste.


Balance your earlier extravagance with a mildly creamy yet tangy soup such as Soupe de Moules Noires au Safran et Légumes Aromatiques (RM20++). Suffused with the heady aroma and brilliant yellow of saffron (the world’s most expensive spice), the simplicity and delicate taste of the Black Mussels and Saffron Soup with Aromatique Vegetables are enough to warm the cockles of your heart.


Those with a penchant for fish will find Filet de Morue Rôti au Sirop d’érable et Piment, Asperges Vertes à l’ail, Beurre Blanc de Betterave (RM62++) a noteworthy catch. The Roast Cod with Chilli-Maple Glaze accompanied by Green Asparagus with Garlic and Beetroot Butter Cream Sauce veer dangerously close to being cloying but the piquant chilli-maple glaze helps tremendously to temper the overall richness. If you’re out on a dinner date, this dish’s baby pink sauce will certainly add to the romantic quotient.


Steak and potatoes lovers can relish Pavé de Bœuf Rôti , Sauce Bordelaise, Ratatouille et Pommes Sautées aux Lardons de Canard Fumé (RM98++) or Roast Beef Tenderloin with Bordeaux Wine Sauce, Ratatouille Vegetables and Sautéed Potatoes with Smoked Duck Bacon. Supremely tender and accompanied by an earthy red wine sauce, this speciality should give you no cause for complaint. Special mention must be made of the duck bacon which bears deliciously smoky and briny hints similar to that of real bacon.


Taste-wise, it is closely rivaled by the delectable Carre d’Agneau à la Croute de Fromage de Chèvre, Courgettes à la Fleur de Thyme, Pommes Dauphines épicées, Sauce au Cabernet Sauvignon (Rack of Lamb with Goat’s Cheese Crust, Roasted Zucchinis with Thyme flowers, Spiced Dauphine Potatoes and Cabernet Sauvignon Sauce, RM82++).


Cap off your dining jaunt here with the classic French dessert of Crème Brulée aux Framboises (Crème Brulée with Raspberries, RM18++). C'est magnifique!

Le Bouchon (pork-free)
14&16 Changkat Bukit Bintang
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 2142 7633
www.lebouchonrestaurant.com