Culinary savant and multi-award-winning Chef James Won and his business partner Scott Lim have opened the doors to his latest restaurant, bouchon Enfin. Located in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, the restaurant gives rustic French comfort dining a zesty Malaysian twist.
Through collaborations with local artisans and mavens from different crafts, bouchon Enfin brims with the same attention to detail colouring Chef James Won’s years of success in fine dining. The combination of technical mastery, fresh ingredients, and a genuine passion for the art gives way to a dining experience set to change how Malaysians view French cuisine.
The concept of bouchon dining hails from Lyon, France. A convivial atmosphere and family-style dining accompany the delivery of Lyonnaise cuisine, like sausages and roast pork. Commonly, a bouchon features family recipes passed down through generations, with bouchon Enfin being no exception. Chef James Won takes inspiration from his beloved grandmother to create a menu that evokes a sense of familiarity and comfort. Feature dishes like the Chili Belacan Vongole, a Wild Rice Bowl with rice sourced from Sarawak and Coq Au Vin featuring Fook Chow red rice wine showcase the best local ingredients and produce.
Servings are made for splitting, with generous portions catering to Malaysian tendencies to share a bite between friends. As the pandemic disrupted more than a year of opportunities to bond with loved ones, bouchon Enfin offers a safe and warm environment for casual gatherings as much as special celebrations.
Without a doubt, bouchon Enfin is a meat lover’s paradise with delectable pork preparations stealing the show between the sizable Pork Tomahawk to Malaysian-style Braised Pork, lovingly rendered to melt in your mouth. Chef James Won points out a common local misconception is that fine ingredients come from abroad. On a mission to shatter those notions, he works closely with local suppliers and partners to serve only the best – and it will change your views.
When you do visit bouchon Enfin, be sure to order the House platter for the table. The charcuterie selection features Guanciale (smoked, cured pork cheek) alongside homemade spam and pork sausages. Lightly seasoned, the platter highlights the beauty of Malaysian pork. Savoury with a light sweetness, it is easy to fill up on the cold meats while forgetting that every other accompaniment serves to enhance the flavour and deepen your appreciation. At present, bouchon Enfin sources its pork cuts from their in-house charcuterie expert, Mr Kuan. His self-taught techniques and expertise allow him to smoke the most succulent ham and bacon.
Not only does Chef James Won know his way around pork, but poultry too. At first glance on the menu, many Malaysians may shy away from the thought of chicken liver. However, the Chicken liver parfait with charred toast will change your life. Smooth as velvet beneath a red wine jelly that spreads easily onto the crisp toast, the liver undergoes preparation soaked in milk which removes all bitterness, leaving a sweet and nutty flavour.
On the other hand, the Chef’s Beef oxtail Bourguignon is the perfect dish for a dark day. Bursting with a sweet and tangy flavour thanks to the use of Fook Chow red wine, the incorporation of smoked bacon lardon adds salt to the rich broth. The true highlight of the dish lays in the beef itself which will melt in your mouth at first bite.
For dessert, don’t forget to try the Sarawak pineapple and peppercorn tarte tatin and vanilla parfait glace. Best ordered at the start of the meal, the dish requires 30 minutes to cook and is worth the wait. Following a savoury feast, the warm tarte tatin balances a smoky sweetness that offers a refined finish that will leave you sated.
“Our country has so much to offer in terms of produce and culture, so I wanted to bring all these aspects to life through bouchon Enfin. We wanted a space that not only showcased the beauty in bringing two cuisines together but also evoked a sense of conviviality and community in celebrating the rich diversity Malaysia has to offer,” says Chef James Won.
In the theme of celebrating all things local, bouchon Enfin’s eclectic interior offers patrons a relaxing atmosphere, thanks to the work of award-winning interior designer Swofinty Yik Design with a unique wing installation and a mural by renowned graffiti artist Kenji Chai.
Complementing the ambience, bouchon Enfin also offers an extensive beverage menu focused on gin and champagne. Diners may choose from a wide variety of gins from around the world to sample in a refreshing Gin & Tonic, like a signature Hendrick’s G&T served with a slice of cucumber. For those seeking the familiar, bouchon Enfin offers classic cocktails alongside clever spins, such as the Earl G Sour or Gin Very Spritz during Cocktail Hour. Nestled in a comfortable booth, the bouchon is the perfect place to enjoy a champagne sundowner with your favourite company and a bottle of Moët & Chandon.
Following the brand’s ethos of giving back to the local community, bouchon Enfin works with the social enterprise Langit to source heirloom agricultural products from East Malaysia. Local farmers benefit from selling their crops of rice and peppercorn and gathering golden coral snails.
Beyond the kitchen, the BeKind Group is extending its efforts to community building by donating 10% of sales from bouchon Enfin and Enfin to its partner charities and foundations, ranging from orphanages, refugee communities, and homeless outreach programmes.
It is a challenge to convey the magic of bouchon Enfin with words, other than to describe it as an opportunity to be kind to yourself and others. Welcoming and down-to-earth, bouchon Enfin offers Malaysians an accessible touchpoint to French cuisine. It is a gateway to experiencing divine dishes that will leave you craving for more until your next visit.