Would you believe me if I tell you that prices indicated in the menu of Gastro Sentral are Nett Prices? Yes, it’s true – the prices are inclusive of all prevailing taxes and that, in my books, is as good a reason as any, to dine there. Besides, their prices are really very reasonable, given the hearty portions that are served.
The good chefs in Gastro have revamped their menu with several new items and recently we were invited to check these out. They change their menu quite frequently, I was told, in order to make the most out of the best ingredients available. And if you have Executive Chef Antoine Rodriguez at the helm, you can be sure there are some pretty good stuff in store.
So what’s new in Gastro these days?
Oh, before I even start, let me state on record that Gastro’s complimentary bread is superb. Baked and served in tin cans, I can just eat these warm delicious breads on their own! Scented with rosemary and dotted with chopped sundried tomatoes, these breads were so good and addictive that I had to forcibly stop myself from asking for more!
Before we dive into the main menu, there’s a new side menu that features Tapas, which are available from 5pm to 11pm daily. We tried 3 of these: Chorizo, Spinach & Ricotta Frittata (RM15), Homemade Nachos with Classic Tzatziki Dip (RM12) and Crab Cake Sliders with Spicy Mayo (RM15).
Chorizo, Spinach & Ricotta Frittata
Homemade Nachos with Classic Tzatziki Dip
Crab Cake Sliders with Spicy Mayo
No, we actually tried 4 … we had the Prawns Satay too (RM20 for Half Dozen and RM38 for 1 Dozen). Let me tell you this, if you are a small eater, just taking a few of these tapas will fill you up nicely. That’s because the portions are really substantial, by any tapas standard! Seriously, I have never seen tapas served so heartily and so generously, for the price indicated.
The Prawns Satays were really good – fresh, succulent and juicy medium-sized prawns staked onto skewers with delicate flavours hinting at lemongrass, ginger and garlic. They’ve got the peanut dip right too. When I asked Chef Antoine why he chose prawns, he reckoned that prawns are the most suitable seafood to be skewered and grilled and he wanted to move away from the conventional meats. Wise decision.
They don’t stinge on the ingredients for sure. Flavours for the tapas are rich, appealing and harmonize in their blends. Take the smokey chorizo for example… it’s perfect with the ricotta and the spinach gives it a light lift. Similarly, the Tzatsiki Dip is zesty enough for the crunchy nachos and I ate more of these than what I planned to!
From tapas, we move on to… breakfast. Yes, there’s a “Never Miss Breakfast” segment in the main menu and Chef Antoine insisted that we try the Coddle Eggs (RM35). So we had this big plate filled with smoked duck roesti potato, Vienna sausage, the coddled egg (of course), topped with a bunch of wilted spinach and a splash of wild mushroom cream sauce by the side. The egg, served in a shot glass, is perfectly done… smooth, creamy whites with a molten yolk. If that isn’t a hearty quality breakfast, I don’t know what is. The Breakfast items are served from 11am till 5pm.
Potted Sardine Rillette
The “Nibbles & Bread” segment features 3 items and we tried 2: the Potted Sardine Rillette (RM26) and Sweet Prawn Cocktail (RM30). Long cuts of crunchy toasted garlic cereal bread are spread with the delicious sardine rillette. It’s not just any ordinary canned sardine but premium imported sardines are used in the creamy rillette. It’s simple comfort snacks and something you can just nibble uncontrollably as you chit chat with friends. The sourish saltish gherkins are great with this.
Sweet Prawn Cocktail
The Sweet Prawn Cocktail is so beautifully presented that you don’t really want to dig your fork into it. Fat juicy prawns are served on jumbo green asparagus, crowned with some frilly salad greens and all around this are scattered chilli popcorns! Paired with some aioli sauce by the side, these pretty nibbles are quite a conversation piece.
When Chef Antoine insisted that we try the Chicken Breast in Long Bun Burger Bread under the “Hearty Fares” in the menu, I must confess I was not all that thrilled. I’m not a fan of chicken breast at all, that’s why. The chicken breast was cooked sous vide with garlic and basil and according to the chef, this method of cooking seals the juices and flavours inside the meat. When I bit into the chicken breast, I was pleasantly surprised at its tender texture, yet it wasn’t bland nor dry at all. Nice execution. This is a pretty “hefty” dish as it’s accompanied by a generous portion of roasted potatoes with rosemary, grilled tomatoes, sandwiched with arugula leaves, salsa verde and drizzled with grilled red bell pepper mayo. Priced at RM36, that’s a whole lot of stuff on the board!
For the whole month of April, Gastro Sentral will be serving their Great British Roast on every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11am till 10.30pm. Every week, a special meat is highlighted. This weekend, 5-7 April, it’s Roasted Baby Lamb Leg (330g for RM58), on 12-14 April, taste their 2 Kg Free Range Organic Chicken (half bird at RM75), on 19-21 April, it will be Roasted Organic OP Beef Ribs (500g for RM188) and from 26-28 April, Roasted Veal Rack (330g for RM150) will be available.
We had a chance to taste the Roasted Organic OP Beef Ribs when a trolley like this was wheeled out…
A huge slab of Organic OP Beef Ribs, weighing more than 1kg lie there invitingly, flanked by Yorkshire Puddings and accompanied by Horseradish Sauce. It was superbly roasted. When the chefs sliced the slab, the insides were pink and tender… and delicately marbled with fats which squirt their rich flavours when chewed upon. Beef lovers, rejoice and make your way here on the dates mentioned above!
Somehow we still managed (after all the above food!) to check out 4 desserts: Ice Cream Sandwich (RM22), Illy Coffee & White Chocolate Brownies (RM25), Gastro Peach Melba (RM20) and Apple Crumble (RM20). Dessert lovers will be happy with the generous portions.
Illy Coffee & White Chocolate Brownies
Gastro Peach Melba
Ice Cream Sandwich
It’s time to head on over to Gastrol Sentral, folks… great casual dining at reasonable pricing in a 5-star hotel!
Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur