September 11, 2013

The Gastro Project, Section 17 PJ: Dining with The Stars!

Friends, Food, Film & Cocktails… in no particular order please!

I am pleased, very pleased. An ardent movie buff, it would please me if I can combine my love for food and movie with great friends or family. Of course a few cocktails thrown in would only make this even better. That said, one should head over to The Gastro Project like I did. Based on the concepts of British gastro pubs, this exciting neighborhood restaurant cum movie theatre offers a great experience to diners, drinkers and movie buffs!

Founded by Dr. Roshni Menon, The Gastro Project (TGP) echoes Hollywood chic as soon as one enters. Classic black and white checkered floor contrast boldly with off white and burgundy walls while dark furniture rules the space. Posters of Hollywood stars such as Jack Nicholson, Jean Reno, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Julia Roberts, Angelina Jolie and more reminds  you what this restaurant is all about. Choose to seat comfortably at the banquette or simply hang out at the bar. The whole ambience is warm and inviting.

Head up to the first floor level and one is greeted to the open theater armed with its own bar. Movies are projected on a wall screen as one lounge on comfy sofas. Needless to say, the best part of this movie is the cocktails to go with it. And let me tell you, there plenty of giggle juices to keep everyone happy…

As this was our media preview event, we were treated to the house signature cocktails concocted by operations manager, Jason Koven. For a start, I went straight for the Bubble Yum… and boy oh boy, I loved it! Bursting with strawberries, sparkling wine and elderflower syrup, I had a few of these refreshing cocktail in champagne flute. Other signatures include The AC Martini, Ginger Swizzle, Apple Grey Tea and more. Wines, beers and liquors are also available.

To make sure we had something to nibble with our cocktails, there were several canapés going around. Little squares of Mushroom Tarts with a polenta base, spoonful of Orrechiette with Lamb Sausages & Meatball, pieces of squares of pizza named The Indian and The TGP Pizza is like no ordinary canapés. These little bites pack quite a punch in flavors.

My top choice is the pizza… with The Indian having spicy Chicken Perratal with cucumber raita and Indian cheese and The TGP Pizza smothered in green garlic pesto with bits of squid and prawns. Both are superb in flavors and the spicy level of both pizzas rocked my world. The thin crust holds the ingredients well and the flavors are definitely bold. These fusion pizzas are simply a must-have at TGP.

After our canapés and cocktail session, we head down for dinner.  The menu for the night showcases TGP’s signature dishes served in tasting portions. Each course was also paired with a series of wines.

Japanese Style Salad served with Grant Burge Benchmark Chardonnay 2012

It is really a wonderful and light starter. Lots of greens at sight but there is a delicate level of sesame dressing that compliments the greens, avocado, edamame, pomegranate seeds and pine nuts. It is not a creamy dressing but rather lovely nutty and toasty sesame that works great with the salad.

Paired with a lovely South Australian Chardonnay, the plush and peachy white goes well with the light salad.

King Prawn in Buttercream Sauce with Mantau Buns with Champagne Jacquart Brut Mosaique

Even before I savored this dish, I was told how awesome this is and true enough, it lives up to all the ravings. A huge king prawn is nestled in a pool of luscious buttercream sauce with a side serving of deep fried Mantao bun. My only gripe about this dish is the oily bun but all is forgiven when I tasted the luscious and spicy buttercream sauce. The thick rich cream is balanced out with a great kick of spicy heat and I loved every spoonful of it. Regardless of what others think, I made sure to lap up every bit of the awesome sauce. It’s an indulgence worthy of every calorie it packs!

I was surprised that our rich dish was paired with champagne of Brut Mosaique. It does work though as the bubbly provided a delicate and freshness to the heavy cream dish. Kudos to whoever decided on this pair as the unexpected pairing works beautifully on my palate.

Trio of Main with Château Darzac Bordeaux Superieur – Cuvée Reserve

As mentioned this was our tasting portion of TGP’s mains. Scrolling down, we were also presented the actual serving portion for photo session.

Served with bold red Bordeaux by Château Darzac, the richness of the berries in the red compliments the strong flavored main dishes well.

Crabmeat Aglio Olio

I happen to like Aglio Olio for its simplicity. This one is shaken up with more spicy heat and hand-picked crabmeat. It has good doses of garlic and spiciness and pasta is cooked well. I wouldn’t mind ordering this again but I hope to have more crabmeat in the pasta.

Australian Black Angus

The Black Angus was cooked to perfection in our tasting portion. It really goes to show that quality beef is crucial to a great steak. Mine was cooked medium with a nice tender texture and flavors of the beef were spot on. One has plenty of choices when it comes to sauces and sides. When one orders the beef, the sauces and sides are additional orders so that it is personalized to one’s liking. Go ahead and beef up your steak…

Slow Cooked Lamb with Couscous

The braised lamb melts-in-the-mouth like buttery silk. It has paid off from the long hours of gentle cooking, rendering a good note of spices in harmony. It’s not spicy but rather savory and a little sweet from the apricots. Served with fluffy couscous, the dish evokes hearty flavors.

Trio of Dessert with Casetta Moscato D’Asti

We ended the affair with a trio of desserts named Classic, Decadent and Satisfying. Classic is English Strawberry Trifle which is decent but nothing to shout about. Decadent is Chocolate Cake Balls with rum cocoa sauce. This one is what a dessert should be, sinful and sexy. Dark and rich, the rum and cocoa made a great impact of chocolate sensation. Satisfying shows off Cardamon Pannacotta with a caramel sauce. I like the twist of cardamom in the cooked cream, its subtle enough but you know it’s there and the pannacotta is silky and wobbly as it should be.

Our Moscato D’Asti has a gorgeous yellow hue with a fresh and sweet palate.

What they offer at The Gastro Project is pretty new to our country but that’s what makes it so cool and extraordinary. The fusion food, drinks and movies is obviously a great combination for a lovely evening out with loved ones or friends. The modern fusion food works for me as the flavors are bold and the creations work beautifully. If you dine at TGP, you get to enjoy the movie with no charge. There are movie schedules on daily basis else you can even bring your own. The Gastro Project is also perfect for private events and functions. The concept from Dr. Menon and his dedicated team is a bold and brilliant step, taking dining and entertainment to another level in our country.

Taking my word here is not enough, you simply need to go and experience this for yourselves!

No.25, Jalan 17/56, Section 17,
46400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Tel: +603-7931 6465


  1. Food looks great, a class above many. Hmmm...would be nice if they had real stars around, not just photographs...

  2. So glad to finally see you that night too, Jenn!! :DD ahh.. too bad for we have no chance to sit together to chat ... :( but im really really happy to catch u up after so long.. hehe... my fave dish of the night is the king prawn in buttercream sauce.. like u say, they worth every single calorie.. hehehhe! :P

  3. I agree with Suituapui, if only there were real stars just hanging around. Like Johnny Depp? :D Hahaaa.

  4. Heard so much about the king prawn dish, it looks great indeed~

  5. Oily bun....what? I didn't see oil.... Continue cheating myself hahahahaha. Lol at suituapui's comment: we have some Malaysian stars lor: the celebrity bloggers. Bahahahahahha (not talking about me yeah)

  6. So, I heard the king prawn is the limelight of the the prawn soaking in the buttercream sauce.

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