I met Chef Mickael Cornutrait, after a few bottles of chardonnay at the bar of La Vie en Rose. Thrilled to be told that “sans gluten, pas de probleme,” I decided to road-test his claim. I’ve since dined at La Vie en Rose three times and brunched once. The chef followed up each reservation with a phone call on menu options to ensure gluten free prep. Above the traffic of Kuala Lumpur and surrounded by trees, with a view across to the KL Tower and the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve, service is attentive and friendly, and by your second visit, the staff greets you like an old friend.
At dinner, I loved the truffled mashed potatoes that accompany most main dishes, the sans gluten version of escargot in a creamy, garlic sauce (for non-celiacs, it is served in puff pastry), the perfectly rosee duck breast and the foie gras with caramelised apples. Brunch was less exciting and also a little depressing, when you can’t enjoy dark-chocolate stuffed pastries and fresh bread. My truffle-scrambled eggs were pleasant but I prefer to stick to lunch or dinner.
For non-celiacs, they do very buttery croissants, a more-ish profiterole dessert and traditional, french bistro fare with some imaginative twists. Despite the seafood and meat-heavy menu, the chef and staff were cheerfully willing to assist and offer options for vegetarians and other food allergies.
Now, if they would just put pommes frites on the menu.
La Vie En Rose
39 Jalan Raja Chulan
Reservations: +603 2078 3883
Lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Sunday Brunch from 9.30am on the weekend Closed: Monday
Garibaldi stocks gluten-free pasta and flour regularly. Chef Andreas’s ex-girlfriend is a celiac and he understands gluten-free dining. As with most places I dine out at, I call ahead to book and specify the need for gluten-free food.
On my last visit, this scored me some fresh-baked gluten-free focaccia on my side plate. I started with a buratta and tomato salad (the gluten-free version has a different sauce) and it was well-balanced. The acidity of the beefheart tomatoes offset the rich and creamy buratta and the tartness sweetened with a balsamic reduction.
I followed this with a spaghetti aglio olio and the pasta was indistinguishable from normal wheat pasta. Just to be sure, I asked the waiter to check with the chef, who appeared with the pack. They use an Italian brand that the chefs bring in from back home. For my main, I tried the lamb loin. The chef substituted the non-gluten-free sides with sautéed asparagus and mushrooms and served the meat with a jus. The meat was cooked medium rare, exactly how I like it, but it could have used a little more seasoning.
The vanilla bean pannacotta served with macerated strawberries and mint leaves was my dessert, again, a little altered from its description on the menu to keep it gluten-free.
I liked Garibaldi as an easy and local option and have been back a couple of times. My downside is the service with servers not being conscious of cross-contamination but I expect this will continue to improve.
Garibaldi Italian Restaurant & Bar.
Lot10 & G22, Bangsar Village I, Jalan Telawi 1, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur