This year, the Good France gastronomy festival will see a total of 2,000 chefs from all continents participate in a great cook-off of fine French cuisine. Dinners will be served simultaneously in participating restaurants to honour the innovation and values of the cuisine loved the world over.
Garvy's French Dining in Ipoh is one of the restaurants participating, hosting one Michelin star chef Philippe Geneletti in a special 10 day, 5-course menu offering. 5 dishes that best represent France are chosen and chefs can add their own creative touches to each dish.
Getting the chance to sample such culinary excellence was truly an honour, especially at the hands of such an accomplished chef.
We started with an amuse bouche, featuring a rendition of a dish we all know and love -- the humble, scrambled egg. Truffle is added to the dish, on the egg as well as a thin slice of bread, adding a touch of opulence . The egg itself has a foam-like consistency rather than the traditional scrambled style, giving a very soft mouthfeel that allows diners to taste the egg in a new light. The truffle bread contrasts this with crunch and bite; making for a gratifying combination.
Up next was the appetiser, escargot profiteroles with garlic cream and parsley coulis. Crunchy, crispy and a little cheesy, the pastry itself was a star and when paired with well-seasoned and cooked escargot, it unveiled a slightly earthy yet savoury bite that made for a successful palate pleaser. The parsley coulis helped add an herbal element, with a tinge of chlorophyll to counter the earthiness of the snails.
Two starters then took over the show, the first being 5 spices pan seared foie gras escalope with gingered apple and chutney. Taking a bite of all of the dish's elements at once made for a fatty, salty, sour and sweet bite that had an exciting flavour profile. Pickled garlic and the gingered apple present in the dish helped cut through the heaviness of the foie gras to balance the dish.
The second starter, home smoked salmon served with salted egg hollandaise, manages to push forward the menu with a subtle yet wonderfully oily fish. A smoky, delicate taste is present upon a bite of salmon, while a cherry tomato helps to ground the seafood with acidity.
The main course, consisting a slow cooked pan seared lamb rack paired with butter squash and confit of garlic puree, was also a delight. The lamb rack was served with concentrated meat jus that provided a flavour punch, while the roasted vegetables, the lamb and the butter squash itself made the main course the highlight of the meal.
The last to arrive was chocolate and dulce de leche featuring a surprise local twist, kaya ice cream and cinnamon coconut crumble. The chocolate itself was rich and slightly bitter, but was contrasted with the sour raspberries and sweet kaya ice cream. Sweet and sour, this was a great end to the fine French meal.
Diners wishing to sample Philippe Geneletti's specially crafted menu can do so until March 29 at Garvy's French Dining in Ipoh at RM188++ for 5-courses or RM288++ for 5-courses and wine pairing.
(photos: Harumi Suzuki)