You don’t have to go to France: let France come to you. At 2OX Bistro and Bar along The Row@Jalan Doraisamy, KL, one can find authentic staples common in every French household – just like how Maman used to make them.
Head chef Thierry Le Baut, who has over 16 years of experience in cooking French cuisine and has been in Malaysia for the last three years, explained that there was no ‘fusion’ or tweaking of flavours to suit local tastes. If you’re having a rilette or a pate here in 20X, rest assured that it’ll taste the same as it does in France. This is probably one of the reasons why the resto is so popular with expats.
When we came by for lunch, the place was quite empty. Clean and comfy, the decor was modern but cosy, with a bar area and a skylight which allowed sunlight to filter in.
Chef Thierry was super friendly, and we talked about his travels around the world, learning about the cuisines in each country. He says he was inspired by his mother’s cooking when coming up with the menu for 2OX.
For appetisers, we started off with the Pate de Maman (RM40) or Mother’s Pate. Presented on a wooden board, there was a thick slab of pate – a mix of minced meat, fat, liver and herbs such as onion, garlic and parsley. The mix of fat and lean gave it an amazing texture and flavour that was both juicy and salty,perfectly complemented by the sour, tangy pickles and crunchy crackers.
The Duck Rilette (RM38) came in a little glass jar, and sides similar to the pate, namely crackers, salad and pickled items. This was, Thierry professed, one of his favourite dishes. Hard to make, since it requires the meat to be cured, salted, cooked over low heat, shredded and raked before blending. The duck was mixed with pork for a fatter, melt-in-the-mouth taste that melted on our tongues.
This is everything. You’d think : salad? psh. But this was in a class of its own.
Dubbed Toasted Goat’s Cheese with Tomatoes and Walnuts (RM38), the dish was made up of fresh spinach leaves topped with two slabs of slightly-melted goat cheese. Unlike conventional cow cheese, these had a sweeter and stronger flavour with a creamy, tart aftertaste. The walnuts and ham lent it extra texture and flavour. Definitely get this if you’re at 2OX!
The Fusilli Pasta with Rocket Salad, Tomatoes, Peanuts and Pesto (RM22) felt wholesome, as there were slices of tomato, peanuts and creamy pesto sauce. Felt that it needed a bit more salt though.
Another must-have is the house signature dish – Beef Oyster Blade (RM88). Cooked for seven hours in low temperature, the meat was so tender it literally fell apart with just a gentle slice from the knife; and the meat melted inside the mouth like butter.
The Chicken a La Basquaise (RM55): huge portion enough for two, served piping hot with tender meat and veggies, soaking in its own juices
To wrap up the meal, we went for desserts, and they were equally as good as the earlier dishes. The Lemon Tart Meringue Everinne (RM15) had a nice fluffy layer on top with swirls of brown coming out of the sweet, snowy white meringue, while the bottom was a base of sour lemon curd. When scooping both up in the same spoonful, one can feel the sweet and sour dancing on your tastebuds.
My personal favourite was the Dark Chocolate Mousse (RM15) because it wasn’t too sweet as chocolate desserts are apt to be. Thick, rich and creamy, it also had a smattering of crunchy chopped nuts on top.
Last but definitely not least, a French classic: the Creme Brulee (RM15).Torched to create a crinkly caramelised crust on top, the creme brulee was soft, bouncy and full of eggy flavour at the bottom.
We thoroughly enjoyed our food and the experience at 2OX. Might be a bit hard on your pocket as the mains are all RM50++ and above, but I think it would be a great place for celebrations or just to indulge in some real French food once in awhile. There is also a three course set meal for RM88+. Service is prompt, professional and it gives you the feeling of fine dining at relatively affordable prices.
2OX FRENCH BISTRO AND BAR
56, The Row, Jalan Doraisamy,
Tel: 03-2692 2233
Business hours: 12pm – 12am (daily)