Imagine yourself sitting in a bistro in Paris amidst the hum of chatter and laughter, accordion music piped through the speakers, and delicious food everywhere you turn. An experience in this cafe is much like any you would have in France.
1F28 & K2 Bangsar Village 2,
Jalan Telawi 1,
Tel: 03 2287 6566
Fuss free French bistro cuisine
Since it’s located in the mall you can’t have a late dinner or linger over wine and dessert. The kitchen takes its last order at 9:30pm.
Being half French I am always on the lookout for anything that resembles the type of food you would find there. Most French restaurants that open here however tend to border on being fine dining, or they at least attempt to place themselves at that level when the food clearly does not live up to the standards. Bistro dining is what I miss the most, simple fuss free food that is just delicious. Steak frites, a croque monsier, salads and pastries, these are the comfort foods I crave when I think about French delicacies.
The two month old T Fourty Two is part of the BIG Group that has recently taken over the Bangsar scene with Plan b. their edgy coffee bar, and the soon to open Ben’s General Food Store, which will specialise in wood fire oven pizzas and artisanal bread. They also own the funky furniture and design store Sunday’s in Bangsar Village 2.
There is another T Fourty Two in Empire Shopping Mall in Subang but the concept there is slightly different. “In that one we didn’t build our own kitchen so we were limited with the type of food we could put on the menu. In this Bangsar location we were able to make the kitchen to our own specifications which is why we are able to serve a wider range of food here,” the manager, Jeffrey explains.
To appease our rumbling tummies we started off by ordering the duck and pistachio terrine served with cornichon and pear chutney, the goat’s cheese on brioche, and the escargot puff pastry. The terrine was substantial and not too gamey. It was lovely to have with the pickled gherkins, which I don’t find often. I’m generally not a goat’s cheese fan as I find the flavour to be strong and too much to handle. Here though, it is delicate and on the brioche you find that each bite reveals a layer of flavour alternating between sweet, creamy, tangy, and buttery. I am very traditional when it comes to escargots, I prefer them in their shells doused with a generous lashing of garlic butter and chopped parsley. While this puff pastry was good it lacked the powerful garlic punch that goes extremely well with these plump chewy bites.
For the mains we decided to sample the sirloin steak served with fries, or frites as we French call it, as well as the veal, and a nicoise salad. We asked for the steak to be cooked to the temperature of blue rare, which is basically a nice sear on the outside and completely rare on the inside. This is the true test of any restaurant’s capabilities as overcooking a steak is a common mistake. This steak had a beautiful char on the outside but was blood red on the inside, perfect! When eaten alone it is slightly under seasoned, but when mixed with the accompanying sauces this makes for a good bite. The veal is tasty with the rich mushroom sauce and creamy mashed potatoes. Veal is not something that makes it onto menus very often in Malaysia so I am always happy to see it. The salads here come in generous portions and are packed with flavour. This is easily something a table could order to share with their main dishes.
To end the dinner on a sweet note we shared the fruit tart of the day, which happened to be a pear tart, and we also had a strawberry shortcake, and a chocolate and berry mousse. These are a good representation of the typical pastries you’d find in Paris. While they can’t ever match up to what you’d find there, they make the perfect replacement when a flight to France is out of the question.
Jeffrey tells me that teatime here is popular; many show up to have the special high tea menu for two. For RM50 you can indulge in a selection of cured salmon and egg mayonnaise sandwiches, a choice of cake from the display counter, freshly baked scones, as well as homemade cookies, macaroons and chocolate truffles. These come with a choice of coffee or tea. Yummy!