Many of the world’s most time-honoured cooking traditions and techniques come from the French, who were also responsible for developing the brigade-style kitchen set up found in almost every restaurant today. If you’ve never had proper French cuisine before, you’ve been missing out on an essential part of gastronomy and had best rectify that asap.
You won’t have to travel to the Land of Fromage though as KL has an outstanding selection of French restaurants, from casual to fine dining. Their menus contain a blend of beloved classics and new age fusion, all made to the highest degree. Bon appétit!
Nathalie Gourmet Studio
Past winner of the MIGF Golden Cauldron for Best All-Around Restaurant, Chef Nathalie Arbefeuille is a name that has become synonymous with fine French food. With a keen eye for detail and a flair for marrying the finer points of French cuisine with Southeast Asian fare, this self-taught chef has amassed a loyal clientele that counts royalty among its ranks.
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Her restaurant in Publika doubles as a cooking school (check out her cooking classes here) and base for a flourishing catering business where she supplies all manner of events small and large.
Nathalie Gourmet Studio
Where Unit A4-01-5, Solaris Dutamas, Jalan Dutamas 1, Solaris Dutamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur
Tel 03 6207 9572
Take a stroll along the vintage shophouses at The Row on Jalan Doraisamy and you’ll find plenty of dining options, but 2OX stands out from the crowd with its sophisticated yet understated ambience and affordable French-Mediterranean delicacies.
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Chef Phillip Murray Dominic heads the kitchen here and he takes inspiration from his culinary experiences around Europe, infusing Mediterranean elements into the restaurant’s menu without deviating from the original French flavours. Casual and cosy, this place will make you feel like you’re dining on the banks of the Seine.
Where 54G & 56G Jalan Doraisamy, 50300 Kuala Lumpur
Tel 03 2692 2233
two-ox.comEntier French Dining
Exciting flavours, fresh ingredients, creative cooking and a ‘nose-to-tail’ philosophy lie at the foundations of this forward-thinking French restaurant on the 41st floor of Alila Bangsar. Chef Masashi Horiuchi is the creative force in the kitchen, and he has designed a menu that incorporates every cut of the animal or part of the plant he uses while adhering to strictly sustainable methods.
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Most of the dishes here have been designed with a sharing concept in mind, cooked in a Josper oven for unbeatable flavours. The roasted cauliflower with Mornay sauce and Parmesan cheese is a particular highlight, paired perfectly with the whole chicken roasted in salt crust dough. You can’t really go wrong with anything from this meticulously designed menu though.
Entier French Dining
Where Level 41, Alila Bangsar, No.58, Jalan Ang Seng, 50470 Kuala Lumpur
Tel 03 2268 3819
entierfrenchdining.comBistro a Table
The longest-running restaurant on this list, Bistro a Table has established itself as one of Malaysia’s best French restaurants with a slew of awards to show for it. Chef Isadora Chai masterfully brings together modern French comfort food and local elements to create dishes that take taste buds to completely new places.
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Themed degustation dinners happen here on the first Monday of every month and these are always experimental in nature. Around the world in eight dishes, and manga-inspired nights have all featured. Next up: a Kampung Hipster night for something totally unique.
Bistro a Table
Where 6, Jalan 17/54, Seksyen 17, 46400, Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Tel 03 7931 283
If you’re after no-frills, classic French fare, this cosy restaurant should be your next port of call. Infused with an old-world charm that transports you to another time and place as you walk through its gates, French Feast offers hearty Gallic cooking that will satisfy souls.
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Arguably the best boeuf bourguignon in Malaysia can be found here, along with a duck confit and a range of house-smoked sausages steeped in vintage French cookery. Leave room for dessert (as hard as that may be!) because you’ll want to try the choux puffs with bourbon vanilla ice cream or caramelised apple and crème fraîche.
Where 20, Jln Tengkat Tongshin 50200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel 03 2110 6283
frenchfeast.com.myEnfin by James Won
Spread across two levels, Enfin by James Won is the definition of a fine dining restaurant at every level. The stunning interior is a visual spectacle that includes a landscaped garden, intimate private dining rooms and the Krug’s Chef Table (the only in Asia) that is the ultimate in luxury space.
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The cuisine is as refined as the setting, with Won using nothing but the best artisan quality products in his dishes, imported or locally grown organic. Diners can put together their own three-, five- or seven-course degustation menus, with dishes that often incorporate local influences. Perfect for a special occasion, Enfin will impress from start to finish!Enfin by James Won
Where Lot2.05, Level 2, Menara Hap Seng 1, Jalan P.Ramlee, 50250 Kuala Lumpur
Tel 010 288 7920