[Penang, Malaysia] Authentic French bistro fare at π—§π˜„π—Ό π—™π—Ώπ—²π—»π—°π—΅π—Άπ—²π˜€, Bishop Street

Back to Two Frenchies for a steak-frites dinner this evening. There were 4 of us so we ordered a Tomahawk steak, essentially a massive on-the-bone rib-eye. Chef Bruno Guillon took only 20 minutes to transform this:

… into this:

He served it with pommes frites, rosemary roasted potatoes and a decadent truffle mashed potatoes. Three sauces were provided: a red wine sauce, a pepper sauce and a fines herbes sauce.

Best steak dinner I’d had in quite a while. For starters, we’d also shared a platter of cheeses, ham and pickles.

5 Likes

Had my first meal of 2020 at Two Frenchies - now just a bit over 2 years old, and packed with regulars.

We started off with chilled Kir Vin Blanc (4 parts chilled dry white wine, 1 part creme de cassis) for aperitif.

The terrine de foie gras here was sheer indulgence, and probably the only time in 2020 I shall permit myself to partake this. It’s served with onion confit and some very good French bread.

That was followed by a bisque de homard - very good, though I’d personally prefer a generous splash of Armagnac to give the dish a lift.

And this was what I came for: baked gammon ham with a sherry-honey glaze. It’s served with an apple compote spiced with nutmeg, cloves & cinnamon, a baked potato with sour cream, bacon & chives, and an extravagantly-rich creamed spinach. I could eat this every day!

We ordered the two β€œspecial” desserts on the menu, and enjoyed them both:

Chilled summer fruit soup, with poached kiwifruit, strawberries and grapes in a pear-peach puree.

Île Flottante Pralinée - a wispy, light meringue flaoting on a sea of Crème Anglaise, topped with crushed nuts praline. Gorgeous.

4 Likes

Do you have winter? At first, I thought it was strange to see this, but then you are in a tropical country.

None at all. :joy:

1 Like

My first time back at The Two Frenchies since Malaysia lifted its COVID lockdown last week, allowing dining in at restaurants with some strict social distancing SOPs in place.

We started of our lunch with roasted tomato soup - simple, and done very well here.

We then progressed to the Escargots de Bourgogne, served with some good French bread.

One of our main courses was the ever-dependable coq au vin. I cooked this dish myself at home, been doing it for ages, but I could never get this done exactly right the way Two Frenchies’ chefs did. Maybe one needs some Gallic flair to carry it off.

The other main course was Two Frenchies own creation, the Duck Parmentier - intensely-flavoured minced duck (not duck confit, nor pulled duck) topped with rich buttery mash-heavy cream and baked. It was simply the best thing I’d tasted in the past 3 months (of lockdown)! :joy:

We were rather full by then, but who could resist a choux a la creme, served with berry coulis. Decadent.

It’s certainly good to be back!

6 Likes

Christmas Day lunch at my go-to spot for good French food in George Town. It’s fully-booked today and Monsieur Guillon does not disappoint with his cooking. If anything, I think his food has gotten better, compared to when Two Frenchies opened 3 years back.

Our lunch today:
Appetizers:
:large_orange_diamond: Verrine of eggs, sour cream, finely-chopped onions and lumpfish caviar

:large_orange_diamond: Rillettes du saumon - poached salmon, smoked salmon, cream cheese, sour cream and dill

Mains
:large_orange_diamond: Seafood vol au vent - The vol ua vent was light, flaky and crisp, as one expected it to be. Penang, being an island, afforded extremely fresh seafood, and the prawns, scallops, mussels and other seafood blanketed in creamy dressing here tasted stupendous.

:large_orange_diamond: Traditional Christmas ham, with sherry-vinegar sauce, pureed carrots and salad - best place in town for a good ham, served exactly as I wanted it to be: moist, tender and porky, with sweet, caramelized skin.

:large_orange_diamond: Boeuf Bourguignon - one of the restaurant’s signature dishes, melt-in-your-mouth beef, cooked till the meat obtained that savory-sticky deliciousness, bathed in an unctuous sauce with deep, mellow flavors, ringed in by buttery potato mash.

Dessert:
:large_orange_diamond: Pineapple confit, pearl tapioca pudding and whipped coconut cream, served with coconut gelato and Langue de Chat cookies - this new dessert was delightfully tropical, with the tanginess from the pineapple tempered by the creamy richness of the coconut cream and gelato, whilst the sago pearls provided an added textural dimension. It was a beautiful dessert.

Always good to be back at Two Frenchies, where one can find one’s old favorites, and yet be surprised by good new additions to the menu.

DSC01644

DSC01647

6 Likes

I made Vol-au-vent for lunch this week. For the filling I used sweetbreads, boletus, Speck and full fat raw cream. Very rich.

Stay safe!

2 Likes

That sounded absolutely divine! :yum:

Here ya go


.

.

1 Like

You always make such luscious-looking dishes, and these ones looked positively, sinfully delicious. :yum:

1 Like

Thanks.

Sweetbreads are the most expensive offal. Besides the exquisitely rich taste they come only in one set in each animal (only the young ones). The whole lobe from a calf weighs about a pound (400 grams). These are the reasons why sweetbreads are expensive.

I ordered them from β€œmy” organic butcher, the bag in the photo above is around 1 kilo (50 euros!). That makes them more expensive than any cut of meat I can by in this country. Anyway, I cooked them sous vide first. Easy and fast way to prepare this offal. Then I portioned the cooked sweetbreads and froze. It’s so rich you’ll only want a small amount each time.

2 Likes

Yes, sinful indulgences. You wouldn’t want to consume too much anyway! :yum:

1 Like

Day 550 since Malaysia started its Movement Control Order (MCO) back in 18 March 2020.
We were back to Two Frenchies today for some of our favorite bistro dishes, and Bruno Guillon and Cedric Delmotte’s bastion of Gallic fare in George Town didn’t disappoint.

  1. Puy lentils soup, topped with crisp-fried garlic chips, for starters

  2. Toulouse-style cassoulet, with salted pork, cannellini beans, pork sausages, duck leg, tomato, garlic, carrots, onions and bouquet garni, topped with bread crumbs

  1. Iberico pork chop, served with creamed spinach and pomme purΓ©e (mashed potatoes)

  1. Creamed spinach

  2. Pomme purΓ©e (mashed potatoes)

  3. Left: Valrhona chocolate cake, and right: French-style apple tart (tarte tatin)

1 Like

Comfort food at best. I don’t think I can finish the meal, had to stop before the purΓ©e. :laughing:

I love cassoulet, like the Toulouse-style with duck. Never had one with breadcrumbs though. Like also the Castelnaudary-style: goose confit, pork shoulder, knuckle, skin, pork sausage, white beans from Lauragais, the soup base is made with pork bones and poultry carcass, onion, carrots.

There is also a version from Carcassonne, which may contains red partridge and mutton. I’ve never tried this one. Cassoulet is probably a dish that is inspired by Arabic dish mutton stew with board beans. The white beans is originally from South American, so the early versions of cassoulet used board beans which origined in Europe.

There is also a debate on which bean to use. LOL :laughing: :rofl:

1 Like

It does seem quite similar to this recipe provided by Food & Wine - it calls for a 1/4 cup of bread crumbs?

1 Like

I remembered Paula Wolfert in my eGullet days! She gave out her CanelΓ© from Bordeaux recipe for interested people to test and modified the recipe before finalising in her book.

As for breadcrumbs, as long as the cassoulets are good, crumbs or not, I want them all. According to purists especially those from Castelnaudary, it’s not necessary to sprinkle breadcrumbs before putting into the oven because the crust forms on its own on the surface with the heat of oven. According to a cookbook dated from 1929, the tradition is to puncture 7 times and each time after puncturing, add a bit water to eventually obtain an uniform brown crust. :rofl:

2 Likes

I’ve got one of her cookbooks - on Moroccan cooking. That was about 20 years or so ago, during my Moroccan food craze days - visiting a Parisian friend at the time, I’d tired of French cooking after a couple of weeks, so she took me to her favorite Arabic food-stop: the atmospheric Le Hammam restaurant at the back of Grande MosquΓ©e de Paris. It had its own little courtyard with tiled floors and walls, and fig trees. The couscous with lamb tagine was out of this world.

I lugged back my own tagine dish from Paris to try and recreate the dish back home in Singapore. Borders still had a massive bookshop in Singapore in those days, and I promptly went to look for a Moroccan cookbook there - and found Paula Wolfert’s. Never could replicate the amazing flavors I experienced back in Paris, though.

2 Likes
β€œFood is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold

Market stall in Lima
Credit: TXMX 2