Eat Drink KL: Cafe de Paris @ Pavilion

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Cafe de Paris @ Pavilion

Bringing a slice of its namesake city to KL's Pavilion mall (buttressed by a bit of the Eiffel Tower), this French-inspired bistro bids 'bon appetit' with a sweeping menu that spans bouillabaisse to boeuf bourguignon.

Cafe de Paris is a fun new venue, spearheaded by the folks who run La Boca Latino Bar on the far side of Pavilion's street-level Connection corridor of restaurants.

At first blush, this place might appear gimmicky, but its menu renders reassurance of Cafe de Paris' aspiration to authenticity; start with sourdough, served with Lescure French butter & Bonne Maman preserves (RM12).

The ideal introduction to Cafe de Paris begins in the morning; breakfast is served 8am through noon. Items include a Dr Seuss-approved plate of scrambled eggs _ turned a potentially garish green with pesto _ accompanied by turkey ham on toast (RM19).

Cafe de Paris' current version of the classic croque-madame (RM22) is a little less cheesy than expected; certainly more Hollandaise than Gruyere, risking condemnation from conservatives.

What's for lunch? Cafe de Paris' tartines prove pretty tasty, with three very cheesy ones (making up for the croque-madame's lack of it) costing RM19, thickly topped with the likes of camembert cheese, walnuts & fig jam, or roast beef, blue cheese & caramelised onions, or tapenade, feta cheese & olives.

Vintage Brittany sardines (RM29), aged in the can with olive oil for several years; firm-fleshed fish, with what might be considered a marginally more mellow flavour compared to typical sardines.

Camembert makes a comeback in fine fashion, baked to warm, creamy softness with vermouth liquor, thyme & garlic. RM28.

Cafe de Paris takes pride in its patisserie-style display, with treats provided by a Le Cordon Bleu-trained pastry chef.

Chocolate seizes centre stage; surprisingly, the eclairs miss the mark though, tasting a bit too mass-market, without sufficient depth of flavour or sumptuousness in texture.

The Paris-Brest fares better, with choux pastry & praline cream. But ultimately, the customers who enjoy this best might be the ones who're fortunate enough to order it at its first-day freshest.

Macarons here range in flavour from salted caramel to pistachio, scoring a solid B (or possibly a B-plus) for satisfaction.

What impressed us the most: The Parisian Fairy (RM28), a total knock-out, the most potent absinthe cocktail we've experienced in KL, mixed with gin, lemon juice, pineapple juice & simple syrup.

Cava or coffee? The former remains mercifully available till very late (it's possible to head into Cafe de Paris past midnight & still plead for a full meal, particularly on weekends); the latter's labelled an 'Asterix,' a single espresso with equal parts milk (RM9).

Cafe de Paris features some lovely table & wall art, enchantingly evocative.

Cafe de Paris
Lot 3.06.00, Level 3, Pavilion, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur

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