It was time to catch up for dinner with Wen Sze again and she mentioned that she wanted something Italian. I quickly tried to Google for a restaurant in our area and lo and behold, The Gastro Project popped up. Being a movie lover, I was instantly attracted to the restaurant’s movie-inspired décor with posters of celebrities that included Johnny Depp, Jack Nicholson, Adrien Brody and Julia Roberts adorning its red burgundy walls. The restaurant is located in Section 17 and is relatively easy to find.
The restaurant has consciously decided to keep its menu simple and they excel in their chosen dishes. For soups, you can have Crab Mulligatawny which is a spicy crab broth or a smooth and creamy Broccoli and Cauliflower soup. For light bites, indulge in a Mushroom Tart which has caramelized mushrooms and onions served on a polenta base or Lamb Kebabs with sun-dried tomato pesto.
For salads, there is the Japanese Style Salad which consists of avocado, pomegranate, mixed salad leaves and pine nuts in a Japanese sesame dressing. This salad costs RM15 and you can add on Tempura Prawns for RM5. Their signature salad is the TGP Nicoise Salad which has crabmeat, eggs, butterhead lettuce and olives dressed in mayonnaise. There’s also the Caesar Salad for those who wish to stick to the classics.
There are only five pasta dishes with the first being a Vegetarian Lasagna made with spinach, mushrooms and home-made Bechamel. Have you guys ever watched Throwdown with Bobby Flay on the Food Network Channel? I once saw an episode of Bobby trying to battle with sisters Christine and Carla Pallotta whose restaurant specialty in Boston is the Vegetarian Lasagna. Bobby’s version was a Wild Mushroom and Cauliflower Lasagna while the sisters’ version was a Zucchini Lasagna. I never knew Vegetarian Lasagnas could look so hearty and spectacular! Bobby Flay is probably like the ultimate iron chef, anybody could throw any bizarre ingredient at him and he would be able to whip up something impressive in no time!
Other pasta options on Gastro’s menu are the Tortellini which is meat stuffed pasta in home-made green garlic pesto sauce and pine-nuts as well as the Ravioli stuffed with pumpkin and topped with parmesan.
Wen Sze and I ordered the signature Spaghetti Aglio Olio dish which had crabmeat, parsley, garlic and chilli flakes. Although it had minimal ingredients, the dish was delicious. The only thing I would change is for the crabmeat not to be minced too finely. The next dish we shared was the Orrechiette which was ‘ear shaped’ pasta in a creamy, cumin flavoured sauce with sun-dried tomatoes, lamb sausage and home-made meatballs baked with cheese. We really enjoyed this dish because it was a perfect cheese melt which complemented the ingredients. I love sun-dried tomatoes and it provided a nice tang to the dish. So if you just had a horrible week and you need comfort food to cheer you up, please order this!
Gastro also serves a variety of pizzas which have Indian, Japanese, Greek and even Moroccan influences. I will definitely try to taste their selection of pies the next time I’m here. The pies available include Wholesome Chicken, Luscious Mushroom, Hearty Beef, Scrumptious Lamb & Apricot and Exquisite Prawn. Apart from this, diners can also opt for their burgers or their other mains.
Raghav Menon, the restaurant manager was really friendly and allowed us to take a peek upstairs which had a bar and movie lounge. He mentioned that the area was used for movie nights on Tuesdays and Thursdays! I thought that was pretty neat because you just have to pay for your meals and no extra fee is incurred. He mentioned it was actually sci-fi month and they had just finished screening Star Wars! So movie lovers, give them a call to find out what movies they’ll be showing the next time. I think it’d be a great idea to have a private gathering for friends to tuck into a piping hot meal and watch a movie together.
Although the restaurant has only been opened for 5 months, Gastro looks set to attract more customers. If their other dishes are as good as the two pasta dishes we tasted, I’m definitely sold!
The Gastro Project
No.25, Jalan 17/56, Section 17
46400 Petaling Jaya Selangor