Words: Nathaniel Jay Pictures: Monica Tindall
2OX French Bistro Bar, on The Row, recently upped their ante, creating a menu that moves away from the comforts of French brasserie cuisine into a more mature upper casual dining experience. The dining room too has benefitted from some polishing. The addition of a few fine handwoven rugs and some key pieces of furniture adds charm but the brightness of the space is maintained with the central skylight and a large jovial mural as the focal point of the room. And, it’s here, in this lovely light-streamed setting, that we took a look at their new menu.
2OX French Bistro Bar New Menu
The bread served was not the typical crunchy, hard-crust baguette but rather a little softer, maintaining a pleasantly chewy texture in the middle with just a small crunch on the edges. The small difference here will appeal to many who appreciate the texture of European-style bread but shy away from the robustness of an unyielding crust. I was delighted by the pesto served with the bread. The salty, unctuous sauce certainly revved up my appetite.
Starters at 2OX
Grilled Camembert Cheese (RM35) with compressed plums, toasted hazelnuts and a raspberry glaze was an interesting starter course. It could easily double as a dessert. The cheese was delicately torched to just warm it through. Wafer thin croutons had just a touch of sea salt to reign in the sweet raspberry glaze and prunes. Wassily Kandinsky could have easily taken inspiration from the plating.
The glass of Richland Pinot Grigio (RM30 glass) I began with had a soft mouthfeel with the taste of pears and green apple and proved a suitable bridge between the two starters.
Tiger Prawn Torchon RM45) with crispy seaweed, caramelized pine nuts, poached potato and whole-grain-mustard vinaigrette was another visually stunning dish. I personally like a bit stronger seasoning but the vinaigrette was light and well balanced.
Main Menu 2OX French Bistro Bar
The Braised Oxtail served with pea emulsion and granny smith apple ragout (RM70) was my surprisingly my favorite dish of the day. Considering I have a childhood dislike for eating peas, 2OX’s head chef Phillippe Murray Dominic might just have brought me over to the “green side.” The pea emulsion was bursting with meatiness and the olive oil created a tremendous depth of flavor. The oxtail was perfectly braised, just being fork tender. The sharp bite from the mustard mixed with the tartness from the apples induced a tingle to the taste buds that balanced out the beautiful fattiness of the meat and the jus.
Chateau Malmaison Moulis-En-Medoc 2012 France was an easy to drink red. The wine had strong legs and a fair amount of tannins. The taste is of plum, mixed berries with a note of black pepper at the finish was not only enticing on its own but did very well with the meat.
Sous Vide Spring Chicken (RM65) with cepe mushroom reduction, garlic potato puree and preserved red cabbage was a pleasant surprise. After cooking sous vide, the skin was crisped under a broiler before sending it out to the table. The potatoes were typical of brasserie-style cooking, uber creamy and smooth, which equals delicious! The earthiness of the mushroom reduction and the pickled cabbage was complementary to the chicken. I loved mixing the potatoes with the cepe reduction.
From the Josper grill, we enjoyed three dishes: Squid (RM55, 130g), Duck Breast (RM70), and Tiger Prawns (RM67, 6 pieces). The squid was delicately handled and was very soft to the bite. The spices had a nice Mediterranean touch and a petite salad of tomatoes, raw garlic and herbs made a piquant juxtaposition to the mild rub. A modern version of duck à l’orange was a nice detail on the menu. I love when a classic is updated while keeping the integrity of the dish. The duck was cooked to medium with crispy skin. The chef did a great job mixing honey, coriander and orange together, keeping the preparation softly sweet with a hint of savory. Lastly, the tiger prawns were quite large, adding value to the dish. Toasted hazelnuts contributed a rich quality to the already nutty brown butter sauce with thyme and these went over well with me fellow diners too.
2OX French Bistro Dessert Menu
We ended our meal with some classics; a souffle and carrot cake. The Passion Fruit Souffle (RM30) was executed extremely well. The souffle remained moist with a joyful puffy bounce and the passion fruit donated a subtle fruity tang. This is a must-have! The Carrot Walnut Cake (RM35) topped with cinnamon whipped cream cheese was given extra oomph with a delicious banoffee ice cream that slowly melted and mixed into each spoon.
2OX or not 2OX? If that is the question, I say, yes, definitely yes.
Reasons to visit 2OX French Bistro: open floor plan with beautiful natural light (daytime visit); the braised oxtail is large and in charge; passion fruit souffle is cooked beautifully; and the wine list is well rounded offering several selections by the glass.
2OX French Bistro Bar
56 Jalan Doraisamy
50300 Kuala Lumpur
+60 32 2692 2233
2OX Opening Hours: 11:30am – 11:30pm