September 9, 2015

Castell Gastrobar @ PJ Section 16

Classics Made Even Better!

A restaurant that has been serving up over three decades of steaks and other gastropub food can only attest that the restaurant must be doing something right! Many fans would definitely agree that Castell Gastrobar, located in Section 16 at Petaling Jaya, has been serving up many wonderful and satisfying dining experiences throughout the years.

After a recent major facelift, Castell Gastrobar is now back in the ownership of its original owner’s family. Chef John Lee, nephew of the original owner is back helming the kitchen of Castell. The gastrobar has been famous for their steaks and hearty pub grub back then and Chef John is now reviving those good old days with his signature steaks and classic pub food with his own twist. For those who may not be aware, Chef John also has another restaurant called Riblees in Sri Hartamas that is a personal favorite joint of mine.

Castell’s décor is kept to minimalist design, playing on their theme of wood with cream, black and red. Its casual comfort and makes it easygoing for their diners to hangout for great bites and some beer. From chalkboard menu to super cool posters (that is bound to catch your attention) and a tv screen for sports fan, Castell is bound to be your favorite neighborhood gastrobar if it hasn’t already.

We decided on giggle juices to relax that evening and so we took on the AK47 and Mojito cocktails. Looks innocent but was told the AK47 was super potent from my dining partner from her aftermath the next day!

Some dishes are just oldies but goldies. In this case, the old school prawn cocktails makes a comeback in the menu with Castell’s Prawn Cocktail (RM21). Served the old fashioned recipe, it’s a pretty presentation of poached sweet prawns with shredded lettuce and thousand island sauce. Simple and enjoyable because it brings back memories of my yesteryears savoring this dish in a few Western restaurants back then.

Chef John’s Dragon Wings (RM20) are quite the legendary dish at Castell’s. That evening, I spied most tables have an order of this dish. After a taste, I can see why. These super addictive spiced up wings are marinated with Naga Jolokia chilies and other spices before being charbroiled and served with limes. The heat slowly creeps up on my taste bud and before I know it, the kick of heat started to get my adrenalin going for more of this juicy smoky wings. Must order!!

Two large mushrooms gratinated with lots of cheese sauce and beef bacon summed up the Baked Portabello Mushrooms (RM22). These are so meaty and juicy. It was literally an explosion of juices in the mouth with each bite of the portabello mushrooms. Makes a great sharing started or even a light meal on its own.

If you need your greens, then Chef John recommended his Spinach Salad (RM23). Not just any ordinary salad, this one is jazzed up with beef bacon, caramelized walnuts, radish, cucumber, baby spinach, feta cheese and a tangy balsamic vinaigrette. Ok, if I have to eat my greens, I wouldn’t mind this one…

I must raved at the Castell’s King Prawn Bisque (RM28). A luscious and creamy full flavoured thick prawn bisque is made even more lux with a whole freshwater Sang Har prawn. The bisque is just so tasty and sublime. The intensity of oceanic essence is a gorgeous welcome on the taste bud and the golden toasty garlic toast is perfect to give the bisque a textural touch.

Since Castell is famous for their steaks, its makes sense to try one of their signature steaks of Castell Stilton Special (RM88). Looks petit at sight but once you dived in, the 8 oz Australian pasture fed Angus tenderloin stuffed with pungent Stilton cheese and wrapped with beef bacon is a filling force to be reckoned with. The tenderloin yield like butter to the knife. It only has basic salt and pepper seasoning to let the Angus beef shine in its own beefy flavours. I adored the powerful blue cheese with the steak and thought it was such a bold combination. The light broiled on the cheese made it even better. Served with steak fries and salad, this classic still has what it takes to pleased steak and cheese lovers like it has over the years.

Pssst… I heard the OP Rib Steak (RM158) is another steak to order as it showcased a staggering 20 oz Australian pasture fed Angus beef on rib bones.

If beef if not your thing, then the Slow Roasted Oregano Lamb (RM40) might work for you. Boneless slices of Australian lamb shoulder is also tender with a subtle hint of oregano. The lamb went well with the roasted potato, steamed vegetables and gravy.

It’s a man thing with burgers! Men love their burgers big and thick and so Big John’s Beef Burger (RM26) caters to the mega hunks of burgers with its whopping thick patty of Australian prime minced sandwiched with all the usual suspects of the burger condiments. Fried egg and beef bacon together with a whole jalapeno takes the burger to the next level of flavours. Served with side of steak fries and pickles. Feeling manly? Grab one of these…

It’s my first time tasting Mutton Bolognaise (RM28) and I was sufficiently pleased with this. Mutton tend to have a stronger flavour and this was cleverly well masked with the bolognaise sauce. Robust in flavours, the pasta also has a slice of garlic toast, served just the way it used to be. These days I hardly find pasta dishes served with the toast.

Castell Gastrobar is a gem. Reviving the yesteryears dishes is definitely a plus point in today’s F&B scene. The older generation of foodies will certainly appreciate Castell’s menu while younger generation of foodies should experience how food used to be in the earlier food scene. There’s plenty more in the menu such as Crab & Corn Cakes, Scotch Eggs, Ribs, Castell’s Grilled Spring Chicken, Grilled Kurau Steaks and more to tempt me back to this joint!

19, Lorong Universiti C,
Seksyen 16,
46350 Petaling Jaya
Tel: +60 3-7931 0373

Business Hours:
Tue – Sun 12noon to 11pm
Closed on Mondays

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this post... The food is so old school and look forward to it bringing back memories 😊