January 17th, 2020
Rendez-Vous at Bangsar: 2016 Menu and playing Petanque
This review is brought to you in part by Rendez-Vous.
Time flies at Rendez-Vous: Bangsar’s cornerstone for French cooking is firing on all cylinders for 2016 with a repertoire of traditional Gallic treats that’s more extensive than ever. A meal here may begin with light refreshments (an amuse bouche of bacon-wrapped prunes paired with a Kir cocktail is ideal); it might end hours later with wide smiles and broad waistlines. The restaurant remains operational this Chinese New Year, so it could be the spot to hit if much of the neighbourhood seems shut.
Signature sharing platter
Rendez-Vous’ new sharing platter deserves to be its signature temptation: It’s a staggering spread that catches most customers by surprise – two people can indulge in this for a full feast, while six can enjoy it as a heavy starter. The selection may change from week to week, but its key constituent is kitchen-made terrines, pates and rillettes. We especially like the two notably unique game pates – hazelnut-laced deer and wild boar – for their relatively robust and meaty flavours, but everything’s worth trying, from coarse-textured pork liver pate to fatty-fleshy pork rillettes.
The rest of the platter is memorably curated too – the escargots prove excellent, juicy rather than rubbery, while the chicken gizzards are more tender and tasty than typical. Other stars include chewy-savoury slices of smooth smoked duck breast and a genuinely lovely potato salad mixed with morsels of pork; you’ll also find ham, sausages and pickles, rounding out this platter that’s justifiably priced at RM120++. Rendez-Vous supplies reasonable-costing wine recommendations – for this platter, the Baron Monbarduc, Bergerac 2014 (RM28/RM140++).
A la carte dishes
From the a la carte menu, our current best bet might be the tartiflette (RM49++) – a speciality of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of the French Alps, it’s a steaming-hot gratin of potatoes with lardons, onions and reblochon cheese, as sumptuously rich as it looks and sounds, with melting layers of rich flavours and textures, best shared by two customers.
If you like that sort of calorie-fraught provocation, you’ll probably also appreciate Rendez-vous’ interpretation of the classic onion soup, blessed with a beautiful sweetness, bolstered by the bite of bacon of an Emmental-smothered tartine (RM24++), or the escargots, which emerge in an eye-catching fashion, sandwiched in vol-au-vent puff pastry, showered in garlic butter sauce (RM34++).
And finally, for salmon enthusiasts, keep an eye out: Rendez-vous plans to soon introduce a very creamy salmon tartare on its regular menu (RM34++); the restaurant also consistently offers specials of the day to bait regulars, recently serving puffs stuffed with minced salmon partnered with comforting heaps of mash and ratatouille (RM46++). Pairing options for these span a South African Golden Kaan Chardonnay (RM28/RM140++) to a French Belle Mare Cabernet Sauvignon (RM29/RM145++).
On Sunday mornings, brunch is available, 12pm through 5pm. One of the possible orders is the Menu Boulanger (RM59++ for a total of three courses), as bread-laden as its name suggests – the first course comprises a fresh croissant, pain au chocolat and toast accompanied by honey, jam and butter; the second features two eggs (choose an omelette or scrambled), bacon, sliced bread, sauteed mushrooms, Provencal-style tomato, a salad and cheese; dessert might be a decadent chocolate mousse cake with mint ice cream.
Burn off those calories with a game of Petanque
To help burn off all that eating, Rendez-Vous is currently KL’s sole restaurant that offers complimentary games of boules for its customers – take your turn at learning to play petanque, throwing hollow but heavy metal balls at a special section beside the outlet. It’s a pretty fun experience that will make your lunch or dinner here all the more interesting.
Dishes to look out for in the near future
A sneak peek at what’s ahead for Rendez-Vous within the next few months: Founder Arnaud, chef Flo and their team will be launching a first-floor lounge above the main restaurant (wittily named Upstage); it looks set to be a cosy venue to enjoy jazzy musical performances while relaxing over after-dinner drinks – perhaps the Polignac Reserve Cognac, a deep, aromatic Grande Champagne blend (RM23++ a glass).
But if you’re keen to check out Rendez-Vous before that, another excuse might be for Valentine’s Day, when a Lover’s Menu will showcase seductive lures like devilled quail eggs with avruga caviar, Boston lobster raviole on ratatouille with bisque sauce, pan-fried foie gras with red berries puree and aged balsamic reduction, scallops in shell with cauliflower emulsion and glazed baby vegetables, wholegrain-mustard-and-honey-crusted beef tenderloin with green peppercorn sauce and potato gratin, brie cheese and chocolate moist cake with a melted caramel heart – at RM195++ per person, reservations are encouraged. Many thanks to Rendez-Vous for having us here.
Location & Details
Rendez-Vous French Restaurant
100 Lorong Maarof, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur. Open daily for lunch and dinner through midnight.