Gastro Sentral is one of the new dining outlets in the newly refurbished Le Meridien KL. I was impressed with the hotel's transformation and immediately liked the look of Gastro Sentral - swanky and chic with its high ceilings and contemporary decor, and at the same time, having this casual and laidback atmosphere. During the day, the restaurant is brightly lit by natural lighting and in the evening, the mood is slightly different, more romantic and cosy making it an excellent place to chill. The live entertainment here is good, I enjoyed the live jazz band in the evening.
The restaurant features an open kitchen, led by the talented Chef Sazli Nazim. The food is comfort food, served with finesse. The menu contains a mix of classic pub, local specialities as well as tapas. After placing our order, we were served warm rosemary bread with lobster oil and balsamic vinegar. I love the cute tins they were served in.
We started off our meal with the refreshing Seafood Combo (RM43), an interesting salad with a watermelon base topped with sea scallop ceviche, lobster medallions, young coconut, lime, basil and olive biscotti. I found this to be extremely visually appealing, with its beautiful colours and edible flowers.
It's no secret that I love both the steak and scallops at Prime, the hotel's steakhouse. So it's not a surprise for the chef to hear that I have ordered both the Seared King Scallops (RM58) and Steak "On Board" (RM68). The king scallops was also beautifully presented, with a Parmesan ring, artichoke puree and black truffles. I noticed that they use a lot of edible flowers and dill here ;)
The steak, a 120 days grain fed Black Angus ribeye was pretty good. I felt the price was pretty reasonable for the portion, considering this is a hotel restaurant. I quite like the chimichurri dressing that was served with it.
Seared King Scallops
Steak "On Board" with wilted greens, hand cut fries, cheese croquette
The Burger @ Sentral (RM39) is a mighty fine burger - moist and juicy beef patty and fresh greens. This was extremely popular - almost every table had at least a burger order. The 220g/8oz Black Angus burger is charcoal grilled and topped with Monterey Jack cheese and Chipotle aioli. The side of pear-celery slaw was good - very appetizing. Oh and the cheesy fries are really good too, and the mini fryer basket that they are served in is so cute! Currently, there is an ongoing promotion until the end of March, whereby you can enjoy a burger and a pint of beer for RM50nett.
For those wanting a light bite, there is also a tapas menu available from 5pm to 11pm daily. We tried the Garlicky Shrimp with Olive Oil (RM15), Crispy Fried Szechuan Salt & Pepper Squid (RM12) and the Smoked Salmon and Avocado Cream Cornet (RM15). The latter was my favorite, and reminded me of the famous salmon tartare cornets from French Laundry.
Garlicky Shrimp with Olive Oil
Crispy Fried Szechuan Salt & Pepper Squid
Smoked Salmon and Avocado Cream Cornet
It is not often that a salad wins "dish of the night" but this Caesar Salad with lobster (RM20 + RM15 for lobster) won Hubby's heart. You can also choose to have the salad with chicken (RM5 additional) or skirt steak (RM10 additional). The romaine hearts were topped with ample amount of shaved Parmesan, beef bacon and served with a brioche bar instead of the usual croutons.
For desserts, Chef Sazli put together this extravagantly delicious dessert platter for us, featuring their signature Experience Latitude ArtCacao (RM28), cheesecake martini (RM20), pink peppercorn pavlova (RM19) and apple crumble (RM20).
The Experience Latitude ArtCacao consists of a rich hot chocolate drink made with Vero chocolate, an artisan chocolatier from Hong Kong. The accompanying artisan chocolate bar and torrone were really good. The cheesecake martini is made with a chocolate crumble base and topped with some pineapple jam (reminds me of pineapple tarts!). The pink peppercorn pavlova is one of my favorite desserts - the pink peppercorn gives it an interesting spiciness. The pavlova is served with macerated strawberries, chantilly cream and basil syrup. The apple crumble was just nice (not too sweet), served with vanilla ice cream and cinnamon sauce.
What a great way to end the meal! Desserts galore.
Pink Peppercorn Pavlova
Experience Latitude ArtCacao
Live jazz band
Verdict: The comfort food here is a feast for the eyes, with a lot of emphasis on food presentation. Lovely ambiance as well, great place to chill.
Opening times: Sun to Thur: 11am to 12am. Fri + Sat: 11am to 1am.
Price: All prices as stated above and are nett. Full menu can be viewed here.
Location: Gastro Sentral, Lobby Level, Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur, 2 Jalan Stesen Sentral, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Tel: 03- 2263 7555
Parking: RM8 for the first 2 hours, RM5 for every subsequent hour.
GPS Coordinates: 3.135685, 101.686524