[编辑 Editor 吕大人 英译 Translator 刘大人 摄影 Photographer 黄大人 资料 Sub-editor 郑大人]
大人相信许多新山人对于 Chez Papa 这家法国餐厅并不陌生，经过听过而未尝过者，绝对大有人在。大人向来异常钟情於有些年岁的道地滋味，自1999年起便屹立于此的 Chez Papa，17年来只此一家别无分号，极得大人心。若在谷歌输入新山美食推荐，多年来仅以口耳相传的 Chez Papa 却总名列前茅，可见其美食地位。 朴实无华，仅止于外观；入店之后，道道法国道地家乡飨宴，轻易让人一尝成主顾。由于 Chez Papa 极为强调传统法国道地滋味，而非以Fusion 精致餐点或改良原有配方为主打，因此美食份量非常具饱足感，若想同时尝试多道菜式，建议携家带眷呼朋唤友一起分享！
For a long time, French has been the cuisine of fine dining in the main cities, and it still is. Since young, we have already know the existence of this bistro along Jalan Tebrau, but we never know that it is serving French cuisine. Neither do we ever visited it… until one day, a friend highly recommended this place again, so we decided to give it a try finally…
For some reason but not surprisingly, any casual searches on Google will almost certainly rank Chez Papa top of the list when it comes to “find dining” and the best restaurant in Johor Bahru. Tucked away in a row of unassuming shophouses juxtaposed with hardware stores and budget hotels, this casual eatery offers comforting fare and an intimate dining experience that promises an authentic taste of Provence. Just the name ‘Provence’ for us evokes fields of lavender, hilltop villages, fabulous wines and a charming, laid-back life. Well, good news for those who have never made it to that Southern region of France, because now you have your very own slice of Provence right here in JB at Chez Papa… since 1999!
或许好多看官们会以为 Chez Papa 里的 Chez 与英文中的 Chef 同义或是取其谐音，其实不然，老板娘 Shereen 告诉大人们在法文中的 Chez 原来有「家」的意思，Papa 则为父亲之意。当年 Shereen 的父亲患病后，为了就近照顾老人家，Shereen与法籍先生 Dominique 陆续放下了原本的工作开创了这家法国餐厅，餐厅也以此为名。也因为这份家的感觉，大人在此用餐时，并不会有一般西餐厅的严肃拘禁感，就连窗帘布也从南法购回再由老板娘缝制，还有什么能比这些年来就在此的一景一物更为感人呢？
推开门后，眼前所现尽是一阵温暖质朴。Chez Papa 其实有两个风情各异的入口接待处：这一方弥漫法国小镇复古浓浓乡情 (非吸烟区)；另一端则带有地中海异域色彩混搭田园风情 (酒吧与吸烟区)，食客们可由二店之间的一扇中世纪拱门自由穿梭。打从店家17年前一开业就陆续长伴其中的顶上围裙装置与随处可见的酒瓶灯，果真极具巧思，据闻有些围裙还是常客出国旅游时购入赠与店家的呢💗 ！坐着待餐时，不妨抬头望望这来自世界各地的围裙吧！
Chez Papa is more than a restaurant to chef Dominique Muller; it is a second home for him to devise his culinary creations. Hailing from Colmar but trained in Nice, Chef Dominique has worked in some of the finest French restaurants around the world including Maxim’s de Paris in Singapore, Le Beaujolais in Bahrain and Le Souffle Restaurant in London. Sparks flew when Chef Dominique was trying to win the hand of Shereen Devendran, whom he met during work in Kota Kinabalu as the manager of Nexus Resort Karambunai, and he quit to get closer to the woman he adored. For six months, Chef Dominique was looking after Shereen’s father who was in poor health before finally settling down in Johor Bahru and set up shop with his Malaysian wife and business partner who has a degree in hotel and restaurant management. It was then we realised that Chez in French refers to home (not to be confused with Chef), and Chez Papa was named in memory of the late S. Devendran. We suddenly felt “enlightened” in a special way…
The grandiose yet unpretentious Chez Papa practically transports us to Provence, and we fell in love with this quaint restaurant the second we walked in. Perfect for couples, the romantic interior has rustic tables and chairs, wine bottles turned table lamps, French background music, and even embroidery directly from the Southern region of France that was sewn into curtains. What was fascinating and cool here though was the aprons that were hung all over the ceiling, and we were told that Shereen collected these aprons on her travels around the world. Some were even gifts from their regulars!
获奖无数 Awards & Recognition
大人小提示：到 Chez Papa 用餐时千万别忘了这里的着装要求，穿着得体是对各位食客对彼此最基本的尊重。同时，为了避免待位过久，餐厅鼓励以拨电订位 (每日4pm过后)为佳。特殊节日备有特殊餐单，例如情人节、母亲节等。
Chez Papa is no stranger to accolades and was the proud winner of the Best Western Restaurant in the 2004 Malaysia Tourism Awards, as well as gaining recognitions in the Malaysia’s and Singapore’s Tatler’s Best Restaurants. Personally, the glowing reviews from the online TripAdvisor community, and popularity of the local expat population is good testimony enough for us!
While Chez Papa has pared down their dress codes, their smart casual still necessitates the customer to be “presentable” with shirts and shoes required (i.e. no slippers, sandals, shorts and singlets) to keeps the other customers from feeling uncomfortable. Merci!
酒吧 ／ 吸烟区 Wine & Dine
酒吧区也太精彩了吧！据悉这儿是常客们的最爱，此区的餐谱与隔壁的小镇风情区有些许不同，加上有独立小厢房 (两家店面总共可容纳80人)，非常适合呼朋唤友大啖美食畅饮几杯啊～ 大人觉得最贴心的是点餐前 Chez Papa 里的服务生必会事先询问食客们的意见与喜好后再来推荐料理，食客们可在了解了各道料理后才择其所爱，毕竟法国料理对于大部分新山人来说还是较为陌生的。另一项贴心服务则是每享用完一道主食料理后，服务生便会为食客们撤换上一套干净的餐具 😀
For the wine and alcohol aficionados, the wine bar spots a traditional French decor with Mediterranean influences that also caters for private dining options. Overall this intimate 80-seater venue is ideal for a romantic rendezvous, while also welcoming casual groups and families. What impressed us most is both the chefs are known to make their rounds around the restaurant to chat with diners, adding to the restaurant’s homey atmosphere.
We were again impressed by the friendly servers, who were attentive to us (and other customers), and would recommend food and beverage according to our preferences. The menu here is also easy to read, with interesting choices at starter and mains to pique our interest and appetite. The team at Chez Papa also like to keep things fresh, changing their offerings in line with the seasons, so there will surely be reasons to come back for more. Prices are a little on the high side by local standards, but in return, we were rewarded with quality and delicious flavours.
前菜 － 自制面包 Artisan Homemade Bread
这自制面包 (Artisan Homemade Bread) 非常可口呀！大人尤其钟爱左边以 French Country Cheese 烘培而成的面包，用来沾上待会儿的食物酱汁简直绝配！「禀报大人，你已经吃下了两篮的面包…」
The Artisan Homemade Bread here are provided not to fill our stomachs, but to fuel our desire for the dishes that lie ahead, so we delightfully took our pick from these selections made from French Country Cheese which is surprisingly soft and appetising.
前菜 －香煎鹅肝 Pan Fried Foie Gras Chaud
欧洲人向来将鹅肝、鱼子酱与松露尊列为「世界三大珍馐」，因此大人每回品尝法国佳肴时，总会点上一份鹅肝来犒赏自己久未品珍的味蕾。以南法地道风味加上红酒料理的香煎鹅肝 (Pan Fried Foie Gras Chaud, RM82) 入口即化，「与一般法国餐厅的精致鹅肝相比，这里的份量未免太让人惊喜了吧！鹅肝滋味醇厚毫无腥味，酱汁好赞！再搭上沙拉时蔬、草莓、蓝莓、番茄干等解腻，这份前菜让大人此刻顿感好幸福💗 ！」
Foie gras (goose liver), caviar and truffles are celebratory foods with a unique mystique that are appearing more and more on the menus at fine restaurants, so how could we not order one of these divine “holy trinity” indulgences that can create a dazzling orchestra for our senses? For the uninitiated, it wasn’t loved at first bite when it comes to Foie gras, but somehow there was a certain inexplicable allure about this traditional French delicacy that warranted another chance. Pan-seared with port wine reduction over a bed of mesclun greens, mixed berries and tomatoes, their signature appetiser has found immense favour with our palette. Needless to say, the unctuous richness and distinctive taste of their Pan Fried Foie Gras Chaud is utterly impossible to resist!
前菜 － 法国蜗牛 Escargots de Bourgogne
大人这回点了半打法国蜗牛 (Escargots de Bourgogne, RM26/per half dozen, RM36 per dozen)，对于初次尝试法国蜗牛的看官们或许会对蜗牛二字会有些心理障碍，口感其实与海鲜蚌类非常类似。「首先以专属蜗牛夹子将蜗牛固定夹在居中位置，然后再利用小叉子将蜗牛从壳里轻轻取出，蜗牛壳内有以牛油入汁的香菜、罗勒、香蒜及香料，盘里的油脂并非橄榄油噢～ 大人转眼就喝了两只蜗牛酱汁了，意犹未尽～」
To be honest, this was our first time trying escargots, so you can imagine our experience can be both daunting and exciting. The Escargots de Bourgogne are baked the traditional way with French butter, garlic and parsley are mouthwatering while the snail remains fall-apart tender. In fact, they are surprisingly delicious and creamy and disappear so quickly that Shereen asks if we would like to order more. We trust escargot newbies like us will now leave as fans of the dish, so those hesitant to try the French snails for the first time should sample them here! Come to think about it, half a dozen doesn’t seem enough…
前菜 － 传统法式洋葱汤 Soupe à L’oignon
Chez Papa 的传统法式洋葱汤 (Soupe à L’oignon, RM21) 绝对是身边密探们的常年最爱，汤鲜味美是因其使用了大量洋葱真材实料入味，顶层以焦化芝士加于其身再缀以面包碎粒，「这真是喝一口就知道实力的汤！」
If you like onions, then you must try their trusted oldie but goodie Soupe à L’oignon which comes highly recommended. The traditional French onion soup here is intensely flavoured with stewed onions and topped with croutons and gruyere cheese. Talk about a taste explosion and trust us, it did not do us any harm for our breath LOL!
前菜 － 法式蠔菇汤 Soupe des Bois
法式蠔菇汤 (Soupe des Bois, RM18) 选用了法国蠔菇 (French Oyster Mushroom) 作为主材料，「这是大人逢到必点的蠔菇汤，非常惊艳於其份量！口味较清淡的食客们或许会觉得这蠔菇汤略咸，但其实里头并没有以盐来调味，是原料经长时间所熬煮出的原味。」
If you are not a fan of onion, then opt for their Soupe des Bois which is a very generous helping of homemade soup starring the French Oyster Mushrooms. Now this is what we call a real mushroom soup, and after tasting this, we don’t think that we can sip another bowl of mushroom soup elsewhere. It was that good!
前菜 － 法式鸡肉火腿肉与芝士饼派 Quiche Du Jour
带有香、脆、软、咸四种口感交缠的法式鸡肉火腿肉与芝士饼派 (Quiche Du Jour, RM24) ，外皮与蛋挞皮类似，搭上鸡肉火腿内馅、香料、铺顶芝士简直让人情不自禁一再划下刀具送入口中～ 「有股独特的香料味在口中留下丰富的余韵。Chez Papa 每日的饼派内馅皆大不相同，想尝试此道料理的看官们得先向服务生查询当日口味噢！」
What can we say about this starter, when it was already our fourth course? The Quiche Du Jour (Quiche of the Day) is your typical French savoury tart with ham and cheese, and our quick verdict? Straight “A”s for awesomeness, appetising and authentic!
主食 －香煎羊排 Cotelettes d’ AGNEAU
近来常点羊排的大人当然也得尝尝 Chez Papa 的香煎羊排 (Cotelettes d’ AGNEAU, RM76) 啊！「以红酒熬煮后的肉质毫无羊膻味，颇有弹性！表皮微焦，刀具划下后可见粉红霏霏的羊肉～ 酱汁是以羊肉的原汁加以法式香料调配，与羊肉极为契合。一旁的法式炖菜即是Ratatouille，是以灯笼椒、萝卜、黄瓜等用茄汁酱匀和而成，搭上以迷迭香与百里香入味的自制薯泥与时蔬，好一幅完整的美食地图！」
In continuing our “tradition” from our recent food reviews, we ordered the Cotelettes d’ AGNEAU (Lamb loin cutlets). These lamb cutlets are very lean and lack all manner of the tendon, but they are still juicy and such a joy to consume with the rosemary gravy and the accompanying ratatouille. It’s so good that we had to clean the bone of any shred of meat! What’s missing, however, is a good wine to go with the dish.
主食 －烤海鲜拼盘 Fruits de MER en Gratin
在以法国著名茴香酒 RICARD 入味的香料海里姿游栖息的鱼、虾、青蚝与带子们～ 大人来啦！这道烤海鲜拼盘 (Fruits de MER en Gratin, RM74) 里的海鲜好新鲜！「表皮略脆的鱼肉吃起来极具弹性；大虾肉质紧致弹牙，新鲜度十足；硕大的青蚝与带子让人意犹未尽！由于滋味较为浓郁，这拼盘较适合与友分享。」
We have a major thing for seafood so moving on, we have got what we feel is a potential winner from the seafood section, with the Fruits de MER en Gratin drawing huge cheers for the generous amount of baked scallops, prawns, mussels and fish with white wine cream sauce gratin when it was served. The crustaceans were actually cooked nicely, the mussels and scallops were plump and sweet, the prawns were nice and crisp while remaining soft and sweet in the middle. The dish is equally great that we almost don’t feel like sharing, but we did 😛
主食 － 烟熏鱼肉意大利面 PATES au POISSON FUME
可别小觑这碟看来平平无奇的意大利面，这可是本大人至爱中的至爱啊！烟熏鱼肉意大利面 (PATES au POISSON FUME, RM42)，一送上桌后就有股微烟熏香味扑鼻，真是令人无法按捺着手中的叉子！喜欢烟熏美食的看官们这是必点啊～ 「太有滋有味了！浓而不腻的酱汁与面条结合得天衣无缝，这烟熏版本的意大利面真是令人一整晚回味不已。里头份量颇多的烟熏小鱼块被处理地非常好，咀嚼时还能明显感受其弹性。完全颠覆了大人能想像的美味，非常赞的一道面食。」
The PATES au POISSON FUME consists of hickory-smoked fish tossed with linguine cream and Emmental Cheese, making this pasta dish a show-stopper and a definite must order in our book. We could have eaten this a hundred times over.
主食 － 牛肝蕈菇鸡腿肉 Supreme de VOLAILLE FARCIES
这道外表看来有些像中式佳肴的牛肝蕈菇鸡腿肉 (Supreme de VOLAILLE FARCIES, RM59)，口味竟然也神似你我常吃的姜葱汁。顶级菇菌- 牛肝蕈菇的特殊香氛与鸡腿肉的结合，香溢了彼此，而洋葱的自然甜味适当地提升了整道料理的味觉层次。「还记得刚刚大人爱吃的面包吗？这酱汁完全适合就是为它而设啊！」
Supreme de VOLAILLE FARCIES is another hearty French dish of chicken thigh braised with porcini mushrooms in a truffle cream sauce and served with yet more of our favourite mash.
主食 － 法式炖鸭肉 Navarin of Duck
喜欢炖制食品的看官们，这道法式炖鸭肉 (Navarin of Duck, RM72) 只需轻轻用刀具触碰就丝丝化开，就连红萝卜也被焖煮至软烂入味，「利用法国传统炖锅烹制的鸭腿，脱骨易吃。锅里还配有自制薯泥，搭上以鸭原汁入味的肉酱，实在太美味了！」
Unlike the more typical duck confit, this Navarin of Duck (half portion) manages to leave the meat still tender and succulent, while the mash potatoes on the side looked even more flavourful without stealing the limelight. If you are not the biggest fan of duck, this alternative French Duck Leg might convert you to one.
甜点 － 法式香蕉雪糕 Banana Flambe
可别以为这道现点现做、外表无华的甜品看似做法、材料简单，大人在旁默默注视着，「先将糖、牛油放入后再开火，接着陆续将橙、柠檬、香蕉等入锅，再加上点酒提味，摆盘后放上雪糕再将浆汁淋上。」法式香蕉雪糕 (Banana Flambe, RM24) 上桌啦！没错，火候与时间点的掌控就是这道现场甜点的精髓所在。大人先来尝一口淋上浆汁的香蕉，口感略酸；再尝一口雪糕，口感略甜，就这样酸甜冷热在口中轮次来回游走，用冰火二重天的滋味做完美的终场敬礼！好吃极了！
It’s finally time for dessert and Showtime, so sit back and relax as we watched our Banana Flambe prepared “live” in front of our inquisitive eyes. The butter is first melted with the sugar over medium heat, cooked, stirring, until it caramelises, before adding orange zest, lemon juice and the bananas, cut-side down, and cook until glazed and golden. Finally, add the rum to the pan and carefully tilt it so the rum ignites, before spooning the flaming sauce over the bananas. Garnish with ice-cream and hey presto, we have a classic French dessert that simply blows hot and cold!
甜点 － 焦糖布丁 Crème Brûlée
这道焦糖布丁 (Crème Brûlée, RM15) 的温度是渐层而下的，顶部的焦糖温热，底部的布丁则偏冷。「大人最喜欢浓郁的焦糖香气在牙中慢慢融化的感觉，布丁并不会过度甜腻，每尝一口软嫩香脆，皆能感受甜点里的多重层次。💗 」
For a really sweet finale, the beautifully balanced homemade Crème Brûlée is bound to please. Served in a round shallow saucer to enjoy the full area of caramelised layer with every spoonful, we couldn’t bear to entertain the thought of a decent meal without this!
大人临行前，恰好瞧见老板们的踪影 😀 老板娘 Shereen (Chef et Restauratrice) 与法籍名厨老板 Dominique (Chef et Restaurateur) 💗 ！顺道一提，这里的幕后厨师团队可都是来自咱们大马的道地人才啊！掌声 👏 ！
大人身边有好多友人们都是 Chez Papa 的忠实拥趸，有者甚至还在这儿向女友求婚哦！对大人来说，这家堪称新山唯一的全法式餐厅，拥有的并非法式固有的浪漫，而是那一份最真挚的味觉情感。
We were really satisfied with the whole dinner, and there wasn’t anything that we can complain about the food or the place. And by the time we were taking our leave, the place started to be packed. Even the wine room next door was packed with patrons.
In the words of Shereen, Chez Papa serves authentic regional French cuisine with a “heart”. What one great chef cannot accomplish, four passionate chefs can. Chez Papa solely relies on its regular patrons and word-of-mouth recommendations, where rustic, French countryside fare is favoured over the haute aspects of French dining. Come here if you want a big feast while getting a huge bang for your bucks. Bon appétit!
Chez Papa French Bistro and Wine Room
Address: 38 and 40 Jalan Jaya, Taman Maju Jaya, 80400 Johor Bahru, Malaysia.
Reservation: +607-333 4988
Dinner from : 6:00pm to 10:30 pm (last order)
Wine, Cocktails and Tapas from : 5:30pm to midnight (or later)
Closed on Sundays