All-day breakfast at the gorgeous La Maison d’Antiques
La Maison d’Antiques, French for "The House of Antiques" is no ordinary antique shop. Unlike many antique shops that are packed to the brim with items for sale, La Maison d’Antiques elegantly curates the items into alluring dining halls. It is as if you have just entered a château or villa in the charming French countryside to indulge in an all-day breakfast affair. Yes, the breakfast menu stretches right up to 9:00 pm.
The dining halls are surrounded by teal-coloured walls decorated with an eclectic mix of items such as decadent faux floral arrangements, objets d'art, Venetian mirrors, Chinese vases, European-style furniture, taxidermy pheasants and peacocks, huge tapestries and paintings, bookshelves and ornate cabinets stacked with Victorian dinnerware. Crystal chandeliers illuminate the areas and bath them with a soft warm glow.
Since the reign of Louis XIV, France has established itself as the centre of timeless furniture styles. Louis’s styles – from empire to art nouveau, right through to art deco – are renowned for their designs and superb craftsmanship in Parisian furniture, much sought after even until today.
Antiques somehow allow us to connect with history and take a step into the glorious past. The ambiance at La Maison d’Antiques does just that, propelling us into a romantic, old-world charm.
Although the petite menu only has breakfast items and signature drinks, their quality and taste are highly memorable. Let us take a look at some of the breakfast offerings.
That day, my daughter opted for the sourdough bread topped with fluffy scrambled eggs and paper-thin, melt-in-the-mouth slices of savoury and salty Prosciutto di Parma, or Parma ham. The dish, served with rocket leaves, cherry tomato halves, slices of red radish and walnuts, was drizzled over with a homemade vinaigrette and a dusting of crushed black pepper. The combination of nutty, salty and rich flavours was brilliant, making it a scrumptious meal.
Parma ham is one of the finest hams in the world. Do you know that Parma ham is a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) food? This means the ham is only produced in the hills surrounding the town of Parma in the Emilia Romagna region of Northern Italy.
Based on availability, there is another dish on the menu, almost similar to the above except that scrambled eggs are replaced by refreshing slices of juicy melon. The sweet melon complements the Parma ham beautifully, resulting in a delicious treat.
My wife ordered the smoked salmon and an avocado half, served on a slice of chewy sourdough bread, garnished with some garden greens and a lemon wedge. The creamy sunny-side-up yolk doubled up as a rich sauce to this breakfast feast. She squeezed some lemon juice over the salmon for an extra burst of refreshing flavours.
I went for the hearty d'Antiques Homemade Breakfast complete with a thick gourmet sausage, crispy bacon strips, fluffy and moist scrambled eggs, French toast sandwiched with a cheesy filling, fruits and greens. The quality ingredients were masterfully prepared accentuating their natural flavours making this dish a truly delicious spread.
Other French toast options available include the peanut butter French toast with bananas and crispy bacon strips and French toast with a hazelnut spread served with a berry compote.
Although there were six other items listed on the right side of the menu, they were not available that day. One item that caught my attention here was the Monte Cristo-style Croque Madame. Here, the chef marries three classic Parisian sandwiches. Croque Monsieur has ham, Gruyère cheese and a béchamel sauce. Monte Cristo, on the other hand, is a Croque Monsieur that is dipped in an egg batter, then deep-fried or pan-fried till golden brown and dusted with powdered sugar before serving. Croque Madame is Croque Monsieur topped with a sunny-side up egg. I look forward to sampling this on my next visit.
The beverage list has some refreshing "specialty of house" offers and summer mocktails, besides coffee and teas. Under the coffee options, you have espresso, americano and latte. Hot or iced chocolate drinks are also available.
However, if you feel a little more adventurous, opt for the creative house specials such as Salted Cheese Mochachino (mocha latte top with grated cheese), Jupiter (espresso with soda and cranberry syrup), Hazelnut Shakerato (double espresso with hazelnut syrup), Vacation (espresso with pineapple juice and coconut milk) or Black Honey (espresso with honey and lemon soda). These concoctions are specially crafted to offer you an out-of-the-box coffee experience.
The summer mocktails are equally interesting. My daughter opted for the Lychee En Rose – a fruity offering of salted soda sweetened with grenadine syrup and topped with lychees. Other mocktails that sound intriguing include Shirley Temple (orange juice and soda with grenadine syrup and maraschino cherry), Florentine Experience (grapefruit juice and soda with exotic and hazelnut syrups) and Imperial Iced Tea (orange juice and lemonade soda with exotic syrup).
La Maison d’Antiques also offers 14 elegant Mariage Freres teas from a renowned French gourmet tea company. Founded in 1854, Mariage Frères offers a selection of over 800 references from 36 tea-producing countries. This is the largest selection in the world! Take your pick and try some exotic flavours including London in Love (a handsome blue tea with notes of flavourful mint and eccentric lavender), Dream Tea (soothing and relaxing blend of eight velvety herbs) or Wedding Imperial (a special celebration black tea with chocolate and caramel notes).
Andy See Thoe, the curator of the cafe, has impeccable taste and a flamboyant flair in his design approach. He demonstrates that living with antiques can be exciting and rewarding. I share his sentiments and have inherited a few antique pieces from my uncles and aunties. My art nouveau writing desk, Peranakan tableware, an art deco dresser fill my home and office with warmth and sweet memories.
This antique shop cum cafe first opened its doors to the public on 15 April 2022. According to Andy, the first chapter in this story ends on 13 June. He will take time out to enjoy life and rejuvenate, redecorate a little and prepare for the unfolding of the second chapter in July 2022.
Located along Jalan Burmah, its unassuming entrance is a stark difference to its old-French grandeur interior. To avoid overcrowding, only three tables are made available at each seating (although the seating capacity can cater for much more). Kindly call or Whatsapp +6017 888 0013 to make reservations and avoid disappointment.
PS: Patrons are encouraged to peruse the trove of antiques and if interested, inquire as some of the items are for sale!
La Maison d’Antiques
48 Jalan Burma, 10050 George Town, Penang
This restaurant is no longer in operations.
Written and photographed by Adrian Cheah
© All rights reserved
27 May 2022