Maison @ Pavilion

April 3, 2018

By Aiman Azri

An oasis of stylish comfort in Pavilion's fashion district, Maison matches the haute couture of this enclave, beat by beat, unveiling elegantly prepared warm meals to exquisitely plated desserts - ideal if you're seeking a new spot for lunch, tea or dinner.

Maison's chefs' attention to detail serves the restaurant well - salads and soups strive to satisfy, with confident choices like the Cobb Salad, a lovely ensemble of roast chicken, beef bacon, avocado, blue cheese, boiled egg, tomatoes and baby romaine lettuce, well-proportioned for mouthfuls of flavoursome fulfillment (RM 28), and the Portobello Mushroom Soup, which relies on portobello for a pleasurably earthier, more textured broth, tinged with truffle cream for extra aroma (RM 25). A solid start to the meal.

For a light snack, check out the crostini - toasted sourdough showered with two types of tomatoes, one coupled with feta cheese, the other with tuna (RM 16). If you prefer a heartier combo, Maison spares no effort with the classic Roast Beef open sandwich, curled up with savoury sliced Angus beef, balanced with mustard, caramelised onions and gherkins (RM 38).

All-day dining continues with the Tarragon Chicken, a stew of capon chicken, creamy with mushrooms and herbs, for the epitome of hot comfort food (RM 36). 

While the selection here clearly takes cues from across the Western world, the Seafood Aglio Olio (RM 35) tastes like an Asian take on the Italian perennial, thanks to the inclusion of kaffir lime that brings hints of tom yam to this medley of prawns, mussels, squid and fish.

Maison is also home to a host of sumptuous desserts, so save space for the sweet stuff. 

The restaurant's pastry chefs have crafted dashing and dazzling delights, such as the elaborate Enchanted Stones (RM 55), a picturesque fairy-tale wonderland of 'stones' made of coconut mousse and cherry jam, encircled with an edible 'soil' of cocoa almond crumbs, completed with a tropical sorbet and passion fruit gel. A visual feast that tastes marvellous too, with a smorgasbord of flavours and textures that blend and balance together beautifully in their complexities.

You'll even find a vegan, gluten-free choice in the Peach Sorbet (RM 35), with a translucent, easily shattered sugar peach sphere that shelters the hand-crafted sorbet within, resting on a mound of thyme almond crumble.

Fittingly for a fashion-savvy cafe, you'll find some Lipstick (RM 28 each) at Maison - edible ones, that is. This turns out to be chocolate to nibble on, not to smear your lips with - probably one of the most playful treats we've had this month.

Other options include Italian-influenced Macarons (RM 8 to 10 each), larger and crunchier than the typical French-inspired ones, offered in variations like the distinctive salted milk chocolate, as well as raspberry, chocolate, passion fruit, vanilla and salted caramel. 

One of our favourites is the Hazelnut Parfait (RM 20), which evokes layered, nutty milk chocolate that's been transformed into the form of a cake.

Fruit Tarts here change regularly, so view the counter for what's available - you might pounce on an Apple Tart like we did.

We've saved the best for last - the coup de grâce is the Maison Arte (RM 178), dessert turned into a performance art. When initially served, the Maison team carts out an array of ingredients and places a glass panel on your table, like a canvas waiting to be filled. And then the magic happens.

One by one, components fill the surface - it all starts with trio of chocolate, raspberry and mango sauce; then the crumbs come in - passion fruit, raspberry, chocolate almond and almond thyme - followed swiftly by a bevy of berries, then raspberry gelato, mango sorbet, passion fruit macarons, marshmallows and much more, commandingly convened by the master illustrator.

The final result is an explosion of colour, crowned by a chocolate sphere that crashes open with a filling of childhood popping candy, cookies and much more - the work takes more than five minutes to complete, enthralling from the first to final moment, culminating in a strikingly lavish finish. The serving seems easily enough for six persons; there's so much to relish in this, particularly for dessert devotees, perfect for a special occasion or even simply to celebrate the weekend.

Refined beverages here range from the Caffe Medici (RM 14; coffee with chocolate, whipped cream and orange peel) to possibilities with a lick of liquor, including the Amaretto Affogato (RM 21; an affogato spiked with sweet Italian liqueur) and Rosemary Collins (RM 28; a herb-sprigged Tom Collins).

Many thanks to Maison for a memorable lunch. 

P2.01.01 & 2.01.9B, Level 2, Pavilion, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur. 

Open 10am-10pm. Tel: 03-2148-8999

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