The Gastro Project, Section 17

It is obvious that the owners of The Gastro Project (a new addition to Section 17 PJ just behind the famed Bistro a Table) love their movies, as the walls are adorned with portraits of great movie stars and there’s a dedicated area with a large screen where they will play movies while diners order food off the menu and just sit back to enjoy.

Hi, Julia and Jean. Care to name the movies?

One might wonder about the name, as Gastro pubs aren’t so common in Malaysia yet (suddenly missing Newmarket Hotel in Melbourne), but this was definitely inspired by the owners’ experience of such places in England, having spent a period of time as a family in the country.

Here is Sarah emulating the Nicholson potrait, sans cigar.
Here is MHB’s Sarah emulating the Nicholson potrait, sans cigar.

A bunch of media and bloggers were invited for this review and we were first ushered to the first floor to experience their signature cocktails: “AC Martini” and “Hmmmm…” along with some bite-sized delights.

AC Martini
AC Martini

No, it does not stand for air-conditioner, but a very classic dessert Apple Crumble. The burnt sugar on the apple slice was a nice touch, and the martini has a good kick, but alas I tend to stay away from cocktails for the hidden calories. Highly recommended though if you are into sweet cocktails. On the same note, same goes for “Hmmmm…”, a concoction of fresh strawberries, brown sugar, midori, dark rum and almonds.

Mini Mushroom Tart
Mini Mushroom Tart.

Full size of the tart is also available, but this little morsel is delicious with the caramelised mushrooms and onions, both savoury and sweet. The surprising polenta base provided a nice crunch.

The TGP Pizza
The TGP Pizza (RM28)

They do a variety of very interesting pizzas and I love this one with squid and prawns on their special garlic pesto with Parmesan and a little bit of chili padi. Great depth of flavours with a nice kick.

The Indian
The Indian (RM28)

This was also a clever fusion, with spicy chicken perratal topped with cucumber raita, chillies and paneer. Moreish.

A welcome speech was made while we guzzle down our choice of poison, and then we were all ushered to the dining area for the real deal! Not wasting anytime, the first dish was presented and it looked as beautiful as it sounds.

Japanese Style Salad RM15
Japanese Style Salad RM15

I think this was the culprit for my salad craving. Here we have some mixed salad leaves, pomegranate, slices of avocado and pine nuts in a Japanese inspired sesame dressing. At first I thought they were going to just use the creamy sesame dressing we commonly see, but this was way lighter yet no less aromatic. I wonder how they did that. Meanwhile, I will buy my bottle of Kewpie Sesame dressing to curb my craving.

Mmmm come to mama!
Can’t go without a good chardonnay for this one.

I have been to Grant Burge Winery in Barossa Valley and loved everything I tasted (probably because I was already tipsy by then) but this was crisp and suitably dry. Too easy to drink.

A familiar scent lingered in the air, a little sweet, a little…. deep fried? And this gloriousness was bestowed upon us.

Deep Fried Fabulousness
Deep Fried Man Tau, commonly used for dipping in Chili Crab sauce.

That’s when we know this next dish is going to be good and it surely didn’t disappoint.

King Prawn flash-fried then cooked in a Buttercream Sauce RM40
King Prawn flash-fried then cooked in a Buttercream Sauce RM40

Price tag is a little heavy on this one but boy was it worth it! To see that gigantic prawn resting in this spicy creamy looking broth is too much to bear. Where do I even start? Ah… the man tau. Whoever came up with the idea of deep frying bread is a genius. Dipping in that sauce. Buttery, creamy, spicy with a hint of the curry spices and the aromatic curry leaves. The prawn was sweet and succulent and I’ll admit I kinda sucked on the shell a bit too long (is that gross? I don’t care). Please give me the recipe already!

Oh, this was the cherry on top.
Oh, this was the cherry on top.

By the way, you might have figured out already there’s a bit of fusion in everything. The good kind, I’ll say.

Slow Cooked Lamb with buttered couscous on tasting plate (RM40 for full size)
Slow Cooked Lamb with buttered couscous on tasting plate (RM40 for full size)

This didn’t exactly wow me (hard to follow the previous dish, I’ll give them that). The lamb was stewed with carrot and apricot, masking the gamey taste. The couscous was well… just couscous.

Crab Aglio-Olio Spaghetti (RM24 for full size)
Crab Aglio-Olio Spaghetti (RM24 for full size)

Dubbed as their one of their signature dishes, this was done well with al-dente pasta, bits of crab meat (a bit too little in this portion to appreciate fully), and the familiar aromatics of garlic, parsley and chili flakes. Tasty.

Australian Black Angus Rib Eye (RM45 for 200g)
Australian Black Angus Rib Eye (RM45 for 200g)

The Angus steak seemed to be the crowd favourite. It’s hard not to like it, especially with that gorgeous honey pumpkin mash. They were generous with the BBQ sauce, but it unfortunately overwhelmed the flavours a little. I’m sure you can ask for the sauce to be served on the side (like what Sally always does in “When Harry Met Sally”)

Err.... a bit obsessed with pouring shots, just to practise.
A nice red to go with the Lamb and Beef, but not so much the pasta.

I was glad that they served the 3 dishes as tasting portions or I’d be stuffed to the brim. To help refresh our palate for dessert, they have thoughtfully brought out a sour and sweet lime, mint, and peach “sorbet”. Although can you call it a sorbet when you can drink it?

No alcohol in this though.
No alcohol in this though.

Nevertheless it did what it had to do. And we were ready for desserts!

English Strawberry Trifle RM15 for full size
English Strawberry Trifle (All desserts are priced at RM15 for full size)

A trifle is created with layers of fresh cream, custard, strawberries (or other fruits) and some sort of coulis (strawberry, in this case). It’s not my favourite dessert so this was just ok. Maybe a tinge of citrus would help me like it more.

Chocolate Cake Balls
Chocolate Cake Balls

Dark chocolate, that looks promising. The rum cocoa sauce was rich, and the centre was suitably bittersweet. Decadent indeed. Chocolate lovers must order this.

Cardamom Pannacotta with fruit coulis
Cardamom Pannacotta with fruit coulis

So apparently, the Pannacotta was just as tipsy as I was. The addition of cardomom was interesting and I’ll say this was my favourite dessert for the night, although the coulis was a little bit too sweet to tell what’s in it exactly.

I still want the recipe for the buttercream sauce. *hint hint* In all seriousness, the owners have definitely put a lot of thoughts into their new venture and I can see it becoming a popular neighbourhood hangout. At the risk of sounding terribly cliche, there’s something for everyone here when it comes to food and drinks, and movie buffs will definitely feel at home (check out their facebook page for the movie line up).

So Frank, me or her?
So Frank, me or her? (His other wife, apparently)

The Gastro Project
Jalan 17/56, Petaling Jaya (just behind Bistro a Table)
Tel no: 03 79316465
Website: http://thegastroproject.com
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/TheGastroProject
Opens Mondays to Thursdays 11am to 11pm, Fridays from 11am til Midnight and Sat/Sun/PH 11am to 1am.

More photos at http://www.facebook.com/myhotbloggers

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22 thoughts on “The Gastro Project, Section 17

  1. I already made up my mind to check this place out after the pizza pictures, hadn’t even seen that gigantic prawn in butter cream yet! :9 awesome pictures and description, really enticing!

  2. Oops! Looks like my comment disappeared… I was saying that the tart is indeed really tiny…and I love deep-fried mantao very much – we get those at some restaurants here. Chili crab sauce? We had French loaf/baguette to dip in that at the seaside seafood restaurants at Changi…a long long time ago before the airport was there (it was at Paya Labar then)…and yes, I’m that ancient! LOL!!!

  3. I really like the ambiance, and the food here is good too, but the service we had was bad. Food was slow and they messed up our orders. Didn’t even offer an apology, and instead rudely told us that we had to take the wrong order because they’ve “never mixed up orders before” so it (obviously) can’t be their fault. Really big shame because I liked the place and its vibe! 😦

  4. kellysiewcooks.com is really interesting, but why it is on 17th place in google’s search results. It deserves to be in top 5. Many bloggers think that seo is dead in 2016, but it’s not true. There is sneaky method to reach google’s top 5 that not many people know. Simply search for: pandatsor’s tools

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