By RIO ROSE RIBAYA
As the original was published on 11 September 2017
French restaurants aren’t as plenty as Chinese or Italian dining venues in the city. But that doesn’t mean Kuala Lumpur is running out of good ones where local and international gourmands can indulge in some classics. In fact, our beloved Garden City of Light has seen a couple of eateries offering great French comfort food opening recently.
This includes one of this year’s most stylish entrants, Brasserie 25, an upscale yet relaxed bistro that lays down a well-curated menu of traditional French dishes meant to be enjoyed in a casual setting.
With its red brick arcades and copper sputnik chandeliers hanging from a lofty ceiling, Brasserie 25 exudes a rustic charm that snatches your attention once inside the lobby of Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur. It showcases tan leather seats and dark wooden floors that subdue the swankiness of the huge space.
Guests who appreciate a more intimate lunch or dinner may choose booth-type seating right beside floor-to-ceiling glass windows that flood the place with natural light. Textured glass partitions framed in black metal pillars, which match long kitchen counters and tall columns of wine racks, separate these comfortable-looking couches that lend a relaxed vibe in the dramatic setting.
Attuning its posh interiors, Brasserie 25 whips up French fare that’s surprisingly laid back and inspired by fresh, locally produced ingredients. They burst with flavours that are perfect for lunch meetings, friendly high-teas, or a nice dinner with your significant other or the entire family.
Our feast began with the arrival of Camembert Roti Au Four or baked camembert garnished with minced black truffle (RM40). It comes with brown bread, which melted nicely with a distinct truffle flavour as well as comforting thick creaminess of cheese. While we found the Soupe a L’oignon or French soup with croutons and cheese comforting (RM50), it wasn’t as memorable as the Escargots (RM40) that was baked in butter. We only wish they used less garlic so we can bask in the freshness of the Burgundy molluscs.
Cabillaud (RM80) or pan-roasted black cod fillet with ratatouille ushered our mains, setting a good precedent with a good chunk of soft but saltier than usual fish that’s complemented by a sweet marinara sauce. We also liked the Confit De Canard (RM60), which is composed of crispy skinned duck leg that sat on top of the truffe mashed potato. Its meat was succulent, tender, moist, and wasn’t too greasy.
If you like creamy carbornara, then you will appreciate a hearty plate of Fricassee de Poulet a L’ancienne (RM60). It had a rich, creamy sauce with big chunks of button mushroom doused all over the chicken thigh. This combination sits on bed of Basmati rice to satisfy those with a huge appetite.
But out of all the dishes we tried, it was clear that Joue de Boeuf Braisee (RM120) or the braised beef cheek was our favourite. Digging into the duo of tender beef cheeks and the gravy of red wine, we experienced a harmony of taste that eventually developed into a catchy chorus of notes and textures coming from crunchy carrots, earthy mushrooms, sweet pearl onion slices and silky mashed potatoes.
It may be a bit pricey for casual French dining dishes, but we will definitely be back for the braised beef cheek and the black cod fillet among other hearty French comfort food. Remember to bookmark Brasserie 25 because it would definitely come in handy for special celebrations that don’t have to be fancy. The impressive space and warm reception from the staff would make a simple birthday treat, a family dinner, or just a normal lunch out a truly memorable one.
Brasserie 25, Ground Floor, Hotel Stripes KL, No. 25, Jalan Kamunting, Chow Kit, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +603 2038 0000