Try authentic French provincial fare at Brasserie
France is the origin of many of the world’s great cuisines, but French gastronomy has, perhaps unfairly, inherited a reputation for being elaborate, expensive and fussy – even pretentious. It doesn’t have to be this way.
France is a large and diverse country, which, much like China, has hundreds of different regions that boast their own dishes, cooking styles and local specialties, from the seafood stews favoured by the Basques near the southern border with
Spain to the Germanic-inspired dishes of Alsace and Lorraine in the northeast.
Arguably the most famous region in France, thanks in part to the world-renowned wines of Bordeaux, is the southwest. The region is also adored by gastronomes because of the exceptional local produce on offer. Duck, prunes, seafood from the Bay of Biscay, including oysters, and hundreds of different cheeses are among the many products that are often showcased in rustic and unfussy dishes that preserve their innate qualities.
In fact, many of these understated dishes are so popular, they are known throughout France and across the world, including at Brasserie at The Parisian Macao, where several southwest classics are available. Perhaps the most iconic of all French dishes is foie gras, a dish so French that its production is governed by French law.
Foie gras is either duck or goose liver, and is considered one of the most luxurious foods available. Dating back to ancient Egypt, foie gras is rich and buttery and is best eaten in moderation.
At Brasserie, guests can enjoy this most French of ingredients as a luxurious terrine served with a prune and Armagnac compote – both of which are also regional specialities. The richness of the savoury foie gras is perfectly balanced by the sweet prunes which are given an additional lift by the Armagnac, which, depending on its age, can have flavours of fruit – prunes, quince and apricot – or, for older Armagnacs, more chocolatey and caramel flavours. Cinnamon and even black pepper flavours come through if the brandy is aged longer.
A truly rustic dish and a southwest classic that has long since become a staple across the country, cassoulet has dozens if not hundreds of variations across the region, across France and across the world. Cassoulet is, at first glance, a simple stew of beans and meat, but this rich and robust dish is packed with the very best ingredients and is cooked slowly to bring these flavours together to produce a dish that is so much more than the sum of its parts. The baked white bean cassoulet at Brasserie is made with confit duck – duck legs that are slowly cooked in duck fat that results in tender, moist and flavourful meat – Toulouse sausage and smoked pork belly. A truly magnificent dish that is eaten by
everyone from presidents to farmers.
Closer to the Spanish border is Basque Country, which straddles parts of north-central Spain and southwestern France. The Basques – an ethnic group indigenous to this area – have their own unique culture, language and, of course, culinary traditions. As the Basque Country sits on the Bay of Biscay, the Basques
are masters when it comes to utilising the bounty of the sea. One well-known Basque dish is Basque cod or cabillaud basquaise. Available at Brasserie, the dish is a fillet of cod that is baked in a luscious and rich saffron, tomato and pepper sauce and served with a rice pilaf. The very freshest cod is of course essential, but the beauty of this dish is the combination of the soft and moist cod and the deep and flavourful sauce.
And this is just a smattering of what French cuisine has to offer.
Fortunately, Brasserie at The Parisian Macao brings France’s most popular dishes to Macao in an authentic setting where visitors can discover the true meaning of “joie de vivre”.
Wines to savour
Southwest France has some of the best wines on the planet. Here are a few regional wines available at Brasserie that will make your culinary journey all the more enjoyable.
Brasserie, Level 3, The Parisian Macao
Reservations: +853 8111 9200