Dinner by Michelin Star Le Gavroche’s Chef Alexy Fuchs Malaysian visit

michelin star

It’s Chef Alexy Fuchs first visit to Malaysia and I booked a table for two on Saturday night at Mezze Bistro in KL, where he will be cooking for a week. I wanted to buy my better half a good dinner experience – it’s been a while since our last 2 Michelin star meal at Le Relais Louis XIII in Paris earlier this year and I thought it’ll make a nice dinner date.

michelin star kl

He came over to Malaysia to collaborate with the resident head chef of Mezze Bistro, Yves Pierre Renou, to showcase the cuisine from their home in Alsace, France. There is a similarly named restaurant in London by Michel Roux Jr. with Two Michelin Star dining. This Le Gavroche is located in Strasbourg, France and is helmed by the husband-and-wife team of Nathalie and Benoit Fuchs.

bread basket

Le Gavroche is a One Michelin Star establishment and Alexy Fuchs is their son and chef. I was really keen to check out the food since he is hand carrying a lot of French produce during his flight over so it’s an awesome chance to experience a Michelin star restaurant chef cooking in Malaysia.

Amuse-bouche

Roquette Gazpacho with Fromage Blanc and Endives / Beetroot Discs with Whipped Goat’s Cheese

Roquette Gazpacho

I really like this amuse-bouche. It’s an arugula gazpacho served in a cocktail glass, which I thought sounded really promising for the rest of the night. My better half was a little dubious about how rocket can work, considering the bitter taste of the leaves. It’s blended with fromage blanc (literally white cheese) which works very well in cutting down the sheer bitterness of the greens.

beetroot disc

I also enjoyed the little discs of beetroot that produced a nice little crunch with the creamy topping of goat’s cheese. The two goes very well together – the Alsace vinegar in the gazpacho balances the flavors in this two-component amuse-bouche.

Entrées

Seared Foie Gras with Roasted Peanuts (RM 85)

foie gras

This is foie gras that Chef Alexy Fuchs personally hand carried all the way from France. I couldn’t tell if it was duck or goose foie gras and even experts like Daguin have difficulties telling the difference unless they’re both plated side by side. We have been to France and both are called foie gras in France – foie gras de canard for duck foie gras and foie gras d’oie for goose foie gras. It should be noted that 80% of foie gras produced in France is now duck foie gras.

However, I was told that this is goose foie gras – the real deal – and I don’t doubt it. The lightly seared generous slices of foie gras is rich, silky, buttery and melt in your mouth. It’s rich and it’s fatty – the contrast between the browned crust and barely solid center is divine! It’s almost disappears on your tongue into creamy goodness as soon as you pop it in your mouth.

My dear chose this starter since I’ll have my own foie gras in the very classic French dish Tournedos Rossini as my main. I have eaten a lot of foie gras preparations – from pate to mi-cuit and all the way up to whole foie gras and I have to say that this rates as one of the better ones that I’ve had.

It’s no coincidence that Alsace is one of France’s great foie gras producing areas. Chef Alexy Fuchs flew in from that region, bringing the Alsatian foie gras in, so I’m glad we ate it! The apricots at the bottom of the dish went really well with the flavors of the pan-fried foie gras.

Monkfish Carpaccio with Fresh Herbs & Candied Lemon Marmalade (RM 64)

monkfish carpaccio

I love monkfish and I love raw monkfish even better! It has to really fresh to serve as a carpaccio instead of a ceviche. This is a dish I am 100% certain that Chef Alexy Fuchs prepared himself coz I walked into the kitchen while he was slicing the monkfish.

This is my entrée and I really enjoyed it. I saw that everyone else at the fully packed dinner service ordered the foie gras (probably coz proper foie gras isn’t very common here) but I was very happy with my monkfish carpaccio. I asked my better half to eat this before her starter coz the flavors are much milder and she gave her nod of approval too.

I actually preferred my monkfish carpaccio – the wonderfully intense citrus flavors in the marmalade dotted all over the plate makes it a joy to spear a few slivers of monkfish to smear on the candied lemon before letting the taste combination hit my tongue. It’s wonderfully balanced and a great entrée to my heavier main.

Mains

Beef Tournedos, seared foie gras, paired with summer vegetables confit & veal reduction (RM 160)

Tournedos Rossini

Beef Tournedos is an extremely classic French steak dish. Tournedos Rossini usually consists of a good filet mignon topped with a slice of fresh whole pan-fried foie gras. It’s the most expensive item on the menu but it’s something I wanted to order as soon as I saw it since I’ve had it before and it was awesome!

beef tournadoes

This rendition didn’t disappoint – the steak was cooked perfectly medium rare, with a nice and pink interior. It’s also very juicy and even my better half, who isn’t a huge fan of beef, enjoyed a bite from my mains. I like how the foie gras is placed over the dish – the buttery and silky pan-fried liver almost acts like a sauce when you slice a bit of it to go with a chunk of prime filet mignon.

I liked the mini vegetables garnishing the plate too, but the hero of the dish is hands-down the well cooked steak with a decadent slice of foie gras on top.

Pan-fried Turbot, served with bouillabaise, fennel and toast (RM 128)

turbot

This is my better half’s order. The turbot is excellent – moist and delicious! I like how it’s stacked on top of toast too. I felt the flavors worked very well and I only have one bone to pick (pun intended) – there’s cartilage left on the fish!

That’s usually an unforgivable sin in haute cuisine.

panfried turbot

I got it on my first bite when my dear cut some turbot for me to eat and had to gracefully spit it out on my napkin. She didn’t get any cartilage in the next few bites but caught some on the last bite. I felt that the prep cooks should have done a better job at this – it’s not bones at least, but it detracts from the overall enjoyment of the meal.

Quail stuffed with Crayfish, served with Potato Puree and Crayfish Coulis (RM 98)

quail crayfish

I decided to order ANOTHER main to share! It’s not everyday we go out for a romantic dinner with a chef from a Michelin star restaurant cooking so I thought it’ll be nice to stuff ourselves…and it was the best decision I ever made!

The quail is absolutely fabulous!

There’s no other word that does it justice. It’s our favorite dish of the night! The quail is deboned and seasoned to perfection (it’s really hard to get those small bones, trust me) and cooked just right. Overcooked quail is really inedible – check out the ignorant and lazy street vendors butchering the small bird at Pasar Ramadan and you might think quail is a tough, dry little bird. Wrong!

crayfish stuffed quail

It’s succulent and moist and I was pleased to see that it was still pink in the center. The crayfish stuffing was to die for – simply delectable. There’s a VERY generous amount of Rhine River crayfish inside the quail. Magnifique! Everything in the dish works well, from the mashed potatoes to the little crayfish for you to suck the head juices out of and everything is on the plate for a reason – to rock your world!

It certainly made our night! Best dish ever, compliments to the chef.

Desserts

Passionfruit Pannacotta (RM 22)

passionfruit pannacotta

This is my better half’s choice since she really enjoys eating panna cotta. There’s an intensely acidic passionfruit puree inside, which really wakes you up like nothing else! I felt that the two goes very well together and we both enjoyed this dessert – the panna cotta was just the right consistency too!

There’s also a quill of grilled pineapple that acts as a garnish which surprisingly tastes really yummy too!

It’s turns out that no one else ordered dessert around us – we were the only ones, which is a bit of a shame, considering it’s priced pretty well.

Pineapple & Mango Streusel with Coconut Sorbet (RM 35)

chocolate macaroon

This is actually written wrong on the menu. I was confused when the dish came to me. I asked the waitress if she got the order wrong and Ling Ang came over to tell me that it was the right dessert – the menu was printed erroneously. It’s actually a chocolate macaron (of sorts) with a coconut based filling paired with a passionfruit sorbet.

It’s a perfect dessert for people who doesn’t like sweet desserts – both the desserts are more acidic than sweet. However, I felt that the dessert was rushed out and I personally didn’t feel that it’s a very well made dessert. I was really looking forward to his Caramelized Brioche with Beer Poached Pear and White Cheese Sorbet (RM 30) but it was only available on Tuesday and Thursday.

petit fours

The two desserts we ordered were too simple with really basic flavor combinations. We enjoyed it, but we certainly *weren’t* blown away. I can’t help but feel let down after the awesome entrées and main courses. The complimentary petit-fours really saved the desserts department though!

chef alexy fuchs

You just have to remember that Michelin stars are awarded to the venue so there’s no white tablecloth service and all that here. A lot of the things they do locally is a faux pas in French haute cuisine – asking to clear tables before both parties have finished dining, not serving the lady first etc but I guess that’s a product of Malaysian culture. Once we got the great floor manager Ling Ang and the friendly and accommodating waitress Juney to serve us, it was smooth sailing.

700 dollar dinner

It’s not everyday you get to have a Michelin star restaurant chef come over and do a collaboration so I thought the experience was great and the food was good overall, especially the perfectly cooked stuffed quail! Our bill came up to a total of RM 711.10 for two without wine (we shared a bottle of San Pellegrino sparkling water) which is very reasonable for KL standards considering the food and chef.

mezze michelin

I nearly missed Alexy Fuchs trip over coz I didn’t check my email for newsletters – the lounge sends out the occasional update on food happenings which sometimes goes into spam. This isn’t an invited review by the way, that was done in the afternoon and it wasn’t my cup of tea. I paid full price for the dinner coz I wanted to have a romantic dinner with my dear and you can only get that intimate ambience on a fully booked Saturday night by reserving a table.

alexy fuchs

I also got to meet Alexy Fuchs – thanks to Ling Ang who let me into the kitchen to say a quick “Bonsoir” to the chef! He was really nice and down-to-earth and I put up an Instagram photo of us in my SixthSeal.com Facebook page, which he shared on his personal Facebook page and said something to the effect of “even 10,000 miles away, the people here knows of the famous Le Gavroche by Nathalie and Benoit Fuchs” and tagged his parents which I thought was a cool thing to do.

michelin us

It was great night out and we both enjoyed ourselves immensely! :)

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24 thoughts on “Dinner by Michelin Star Le Gavroche’s Chef Alexy Fuchs Malaysian visit”

    • Yeah, we actually had a really nice dinner! :)

      We’ll be paying about the same amount if we had a 1 Michelin Star dinner in places like Pétrus in London. I had a meal there just when Gordon Ramsay was awarded his first Michelin star there in 2011 (the Michelin Red Guide for 2011 came out late in 2010, around November or something like that). I still remember it was 65 pounds per pax for their set lunch, which was cheaper than most of my musical and theater tickets!

      We don’t have any Michelin star restaurants in Malaysia so I don’t mind paying prices like this when a Michelin star restaurant chef comes, since it’s an occasional thing and it’s fun to go out for a nice dinner for two.

      It was just cartilage at the end of the skin, but I would have thought any good prep or line cook would have cleaned it properly. Oh well, despite that minor issue, it was a very nice dinner out!

  1. gosh, the entrees and mains do look all explosively great! that looks like one of the most satisfying versions of tournedos rossini i’ve ever seen in kl, and the quail dish sounds super too! love your thoughtful perspectives and descriptions for each dish … oh, and the next time one of my buddies goes to france for a short trip, i’m gonna try to force him to hand-carry some top-flight foie back home for me! :D

    • We carried a lot of food back earlier this year too! :)

      I’ve always wondered about our customs – sometimes unpasteurized cheeses are okay, sometimes not. The rules are puzzling, but it’s not like we get secondary inspection anyway. Foie gras in France is really expensive too, it’s just a lot better than the RM 250 pate blocks here.

      The easiest type to bring back is the mi-cuit foie gras in jars but you can get fresh whole ones if you have one of the nifty “ice bags” (not sure what the proper term is – every gourmet purveyor has them – they’re like those ultra thing foldable plastic FedEx large envelopes which is padded with insulation and a layer of liquid that can be frozen to chill the contents) which lasts a good 12-24 hours, good enough for even the longest flight!

      Thanks for the kind comments mate, I do enjoy writing about this to remember the experience and to share it. Yeah, I really liked the Tournedos Rossini but the quail dish totally stole the show!

  2. I’ve never eaten such an expensive dinner before.. But guess it’s all worth it, the experience, the good food and all.. I’m laughing on your “I only have one bone to pick” and yes, I agree it’s a terrible mistake in a “high-class” & fine dining like this..Wah, you look formal in that suit, nice!

    • It wasn’t bone, it was just cartilage. :)

      Haha! I felt that the line cooks should have done a better job during prep and removed the skin at the ends where there will be bits of cartilage. It’s no big deal, it just detracts from the enjoyment of the dish since I expected really high standards.

      Oh yeah, I wore a dinner jacket coz when I called to make the reservation, we had the table for the night e.g. like how they do it in France. When you book lunch or dinner in France, the table is yours for the night, there’s no such thing as multiple slots for dinner there and you’re expected to wear a jacket and tie for dinner service for Michelin star restaurants.

      It’s not that strict for lunch but the dress code is a jacket and tie for guys in France so I went with the theme since it’ll be a Michelin star restaurant chef coming to do a collaboration.

      The Malaysian food scene is really casual though, most people don’t wear dinner attire and a lot of them don’t order the full entrée-mains-dessert course, opting for a shared main dish instead or just going for shared entrées and mains. That’s our culture, while sharing plates is virtually unheard of in France, they actually can divide certain dishes and portion them into two if you tell them you’re sharing in advance!

      Thanks for the kind comments! It’s just a dinner jacket, I lost my best suit at a car wash, of all places. No kidding, I actually mourn the loss of that suit coz it was bespoke – custom made.

  3. The dinner was great.Love it till the end even though the dessert was slightly let down because we somehow looking for more sweetness which the petit fours saved the night. Thanks for the surprise and lovely dinner,dear.

    • I’m glad you liked it dear! <3

      Yeah, I think the dinner was great overall, it's just the desserts that failed to impress - it felt like a let down, maybe coz it seemed rushed since there were late arrivals who were just having their mains and a lot of people didn't go the full 3-course and opted for mains and sharing plates.

      I was also puzzled as to why the service wasn't synchronized - the sorbet shouldn't have been sitting on the line waiting and melting while they got the dessert orders to us. The petit-fours were really good though, especially that dusted chocolate.

      It was still a delicious and great dinner though, really glad we went and had a nice evening out. I'll keep an eye out for future Michelin star restaurant chefs coming to KL dear! ;)

    • It’s actually quite reasonable for KL standards! :)

      I know restaurants that charge *a lot* higher and they don’t even have the talent of a Michelin restaurant trained chef to come and do a collaboration to justify their prices. I’ve always said that the price we pay for food in Malaysia (and Singapore) is a lot higher than people in Australia, Europe and the US pay for an equal quality of food, dollar for dollar.

      I’ve had meals at Gordon Ramsay’s Pétrus for just 65 pounds when he got his Michelin star there during my second solo Europe backpacking trip. It was cheaper than the price I paid for theater tickets coz I like to seat at the dress circle, where you can actually get an awesome view. You’ll pay around 400 Euros for two for a full degustation menus at Three Michelin Star restaurants in France so if you don’t convert, you can see how we’re paying so much more.

      That’s just the way it is over here, so I did expect to spend somewhere in that region, wouldn’t have minded if the bill was higher coz the meal was really good overall, I like Chef Alexy Fuchs menu. It was a very satisfying dinner – we ordered 3 mains for 2 people and I wanted to order another entrée too, but we didn’t have the stomach space. Heh!

  4. Honestly, I will pengsan if I receive the bill. Lol!
    But I guessed it is a worthy since it’s a special date for both of you and look at the marvelous food being served. Oh lucky girl, Yee Ling!

    • Yeah, we both enjoyed the dinner there and the service was great! :)

      We got a really inexperienced waiter (or maybe he was a busboy) at first but a friendly and bubbly waitress called Juney came to take over so it was all good after that. Plus, Ling Ang is the floor manager there, and she was very helpful with information about the dishes – I’ve known her since 2010 when she was working at a gourmet independent market.

      The price is actually very reasonable for KL standards – places like Alexis charges the same amount for a steak dish and Olive in Genting is double that. There are several other restaurants where you’ll run up a similar bill with lower quality food and none of the Michelin star restaurant credentials that Chef Alexy Fuchs brings so I thought it was a good deal.

      The prices and menu items were listed in advance so I already knew what I wanted to order and how much dinner would cost, which was why I mentioned the unusual brioche / beer poached pear / cheese sorbet dessert that was only available on Tuesday and Thursday. Haha.

      We went on a Saturday, and he was only here for a week. Glad we caught him.

      Thanks Azura. It was a good dinner, I wanted a romantic date for my better half and the food didn’t disappoint!

  5. Gosh this looks spectacular (even with the hiccups) and in my opinion the price is amazing, especially when compared to Australia and the US. You two seemed like you enjoyed yourself and are obviously very much in love – so much to be happy about :)

    • Thanks Sophie! :)

      Yeah, I’m really lucky to have her, and we’re very happy together. I make it a point to go for an overseas trip every year with her (it was Australia in 2013, Europe in 2014) and it’ll probably be Japan next year! I really want to try Sukiyabashi Jiro.

      Indeed! I know what you mean, we pay A LOT compared to most other countries for restaurants *in relation to* the amount we earn e.g. an (upper) middle class person in his 30s will probably earn around RM 10,000 – 20,000 a month here, but that same person is earning AUD 10,000 – 20,000 or USD 10,000 – 20,000 in Australia and the US.

      My sister used to work in New Zealand and although the tax is killer there (I think 40% of her gross went to taxes coz she was in the highest taxable bracket – she’s a cardiologist) her income is the same as what someone locally would earn, except it’s Malaysian dollars instead of New Zealand dollars.

      Thus, for a person in the US, like yourself, going to Alinea (for instance) would probably cost USD 600 for two without wine, and let’s say you earn USD 15,000 per month. That’s not too bad in relation to your paycheck, while over here, even *regular* restaurants will run you a bill of RM 600 and Alinea is a Three Michelin Star establishment.

      …and we don’t have the strong currency of our neighbor Singapore either so it’s worse when we travel abroad. That’s why I’ve always maintained that eating out well is cheaper in other countries so we try to make the most of it whenever we travel. Cheers!

  6. It’s a lovely thing you did for Ling . A romantic dinner for two is always good. Too bad about some hiccups on the food part.

    Guess the Chef Alexy Fuchs was very happy to know that there are people who knows how to appreciate his master piece in Malaysia

    • Thanks Kathy! :)

      Yeah, it’s been a while since we’ve had a nice romantic dinner together! We don’t get a lot of Michelin star chefs coming over and doing collaborations and cooking for the public too, so it’s a good thing we managed to catch Alexy Fuchs and eat his food.

      It was totally packed when we went on Saturday night – fully booked, we had our own table for the night and we saw that every other table was taken up. Reservations only, there was no room for walk-ins, so I’m glad I managed to secure a table for two.

      The service was really good too, with a waitress called Juney and Ling Ang helping out, which is very important too – a lot of times, restaurants in Malaysia don’t know the concept of service in a service oriented industry coz the general public don’t know better.

  7. Wa..you are really blessed with all these indescribably splendid Michelin starred food..I saw your former comment stating that you had enjoyed Gordon Ramsay prepared feast.Is there any difference between the food prepared by these two Michelin chefs?

    • Yeah, every chef is different! :)

      Gordon Ramsay doesn’t cook at Pétrus, at least not to my knowledge. I forgot the head chef’s name but it was one of his proteges. He owns and operates A LOT of restaurants and lends his “star power” (or celebrity chef status) to them but he doesn’t cook a lot nowadays from what I hear – he’s way to busy with all his enterprises, which includes a lot of TV as well.

      I’ll say Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants are usually very commercialized – that’s not to say they’re not good, but it’s a very different vibe.

      Pétrus also serves up French cuisine but I much prefered Chef Manuel Martinez’s cooking in the 2 Michelin Star Le Relais Louis XIII in Paris, France. The produce in France is better and Manuel Martinez is a proponent of Escoffier’s ideas about French cuisine (the guy who revolutionized French haute cuisine and father of modern French food movement).

      I have also been to a 3 Michelin Star restaurant in Wolfsburg in Germany and the vibe felt very similar to Gordon Ramsay’s Pétrus – commercialized. AQUA even sells Chef Sven Elverfeld’s cookbook (for a hundred Euros) in the restaurant, as does Gordon Ramsay…

      …while Le Relais Louis XIII is really understated, with tasteful art and decor, located in a very old building opposite where Picasso lived – the antithesis of commercialization.

      BTW, it’s much harder to get and maintain Michelin stars in France. There are restaurants in Hong Kong that jumped from nothing (not even Bib Gourmand) to 3 Stars in a single year, which is utter nonsense! In France, chefs work very hard to climb the Michelin star ladder, year by year, going from 1 star, worrying about losing their star, climbing to 2 stars after a few years before finally reaching the top (at which point they have to start worrying about losing a star if they don’t keep up).

      That’s why dining in France is so different than other Michelin star restaurants elsewhere – they really WORK HARD to keep up the standards so the food and service is impeccable – the Michelin stars are awarded to the restaurant for the ability (in part) to consistently put up good food and great service. I don’t think Gordon Ramsay even cooks in his while the chefs in France do (except maybe Robuchon, who owns too many restaurants to be able to do that).

      • Ohhh..that’s mean Gordon Ramsay does not cater the food himself but he lets his proteges to operate it.
        isn’t that there are strict imposing regulations and conditions on the michelin star rate?I mean,why restaurant in Hong Kong could be awarded the rank so easily?(may I ask?) o.0

        • Yeah, he doesn’t cook much anymore! :)

          He’s so involved in production now – Hell’s Kitchen, MasterChef, Hotel Hell, Kitchen Nightmares etc are all currently running and he’s the main guy in all of them, which doesn’t leave much time for actual cooking. I reckon he’s been hands-off for quite a while now.

          Yup, there are actually VERY strict rules about Michelin stars – at least in Europe, and most of all in France. However, Japan, Hong Kong and Macau are *very recent* markets for Michelin and there is some speculation that it’s much easier to get Michelin stars since Michelin wants brand recognition and they’re in the business of selling tires – that’s their main product line, after all.

          I’m not sure what to think of those allegations – but I do know there’s something dodgy about a relatively unknown place getting 3 Michelin stars in a single jump when independent food reviewers (like Andy Hayler – the guy who’s eaten in EVERY SINGLE 3 Michelin Star restaurant worldwide) has some very negative things to say about some of the Asian restaurants.

          To be fair, French haute cuisine and Japanese haute cuisine is very different – the 3 Michelin Star Sukiyabashi Jiro has notoriously bad service and you finish your meal in 20 minutes max so it’s judged differently…but still…

    • Yeah, that was my favorite entrée – the monkfish carpaccio! :)

      I managed to visit the kitchen and saw Alexy Fuchs slicing the monkfish too, before I ate my starter. I really enjoyed the quail dish too – the crayfish stuffing is divine and the quail itself was well seasoned and juicy.

      Thanks! I’m a little unsure about the layout – it’s mobile friendly, but that’s all I can say about it which is good. It’s a little space consuming at the edges and there’s not much customization options, unlike my previous theme. I’m a little unused to the way the breadcrumb (links to previous and next post) is at the bottom instead of the top and it’s so small – and there’s no way to change it, so I might switch to another one and keep the overall layout colors (although I do like myself a bit of red since sixthseal.com has always been red ;)).

  8. You are really a prince charming on the horse! You would do anything to keep her happy and that’s very good. Like my style, money is not important so long as you are happy and get the best. The food looks awesome and great. I am amazed with names like monkfish, pan-fried turbot and Seared Foie Gras!

    • I’ve always believed that it’s important to keep the romance alive! :)

      Yeah, money shouldn’t be hoarded, it should be spent on things which you like and enjoy and which enriches your life in some way or another.

      The food is great, and it’s not very often we get a Michelin star restaurant chef to come over and cook so it’s great to eat Alexy Fuchs’ food. He brought over most of the ingredients from France so it’s the next best thing to eating there.

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