Wednesday, May 25, 2016

2016 Menu: Gastro Bar, By Burgeon @ Petaling Jaya

There's a thrilling new team that now helms the kitchen at Gastro Bar: This month, three young chefs - Justin Yap, Jeremy Chan & Rainer Krieger - have unveiled one of the Klang Valley's most stimulating menus, imbued with a sense of adventure & accomplishment. Check them out to pique your palate with contemporary creations that flaunt a flair for stylish surprises.

Pastas & poultry illuminate Gastro Bar's forte: Each of its nearly thirty current recipes is discernibly distinctive, weaving together global gastronomic threads into a tapestry of flavours & textures shaded with Asian/Malaysian sensibilities. A flattened mound of orzo rice-shaped pasta is buoyed by brown sugar-glazed bacon crisps, duck liver sausage & horseradish cream (RM30), tasting like a sweet-savoury cross between a Tuscan summer salad & Hong Kong lap mei fan. Pan-seared sous-vide chicken similarly takes its cues from both West & East, partnered not only with pancetta & pumpkin puree but recast with a creamy-starchy risotto of black glutinous rice & a reduction of black chicken & traditional Chinese herbs (RM38).

This incarnation of Gastro Bar evolves from small plates to heartier fare, but maintains the robust complexities that have been the restaurant's hallmark since its inception. A six-hour-braised beef short rib conveys notes of smoked miso in a chrysanthemum-&-honey reduction, matched with yellow squash, Yukon Gold potatoes & purple spinach (RM48), Japanese tonkatsu donburi is reassembled & revitalised as marinated panko-breaded pork katsu with brown butter garlic rice, water chestnuts, snow peas & lemon bacon sauerkraut (RM38) & a chunky pork belly stew emerges brazenly rich with lap cheong, smoked cheese, pickled fennel & pear in lamb reduction with jalapeno hot sauce & ricotta herb baguette toast slices (RM36).

Pork remains a cornerstone of Gastro Bar - the siew yok salad is a should-try, with achingly succulent crispy roast pork surrounded by sauteed nai pak choy, baby spinach & baby cucumber with bacon pomme puree (RM28) - but seafood increasingly threatens to steal the spotlight, thanks to Gastro Bar's reliance on top-flight fresh produce & insistence on house-prepared complements. Smoked salmon is draped around charcoal-glazed scallops with a sprightly fuji-basil puree, carbonised leeks, purple carrots & miso spinach compote (RM48), while line-caught pomfret surfaces moist & fleshy, accompanied by garlic-chilli confit shimeji mushrooms, sauteed nai pak choy, crispy capers & Shaoxing butter sauce (RM32).

Illustrating the scope of Gastro Bar's capabilities, vegetarians are capably taken care of. Tortellini is folded over rice wine-cooked shiitake & eryngii, with the mushroom theme completed by mushroom jam & a reduced shiitake-tea consomme (RM26). Shallow-fried mantao is stuffed with masala beet hash instead of meat patties, making for mouthfuls of vegan-friendly pleasure with caramelised orange segments, wilted spinach & cilantro with kabayaki sauce & miso hollandaise (RM24). And what initially looks like a plate of scallops turns out to be eryngii transformed into truffled doppelgangers of the molluscs with a firmer bite, bolstered with blackened kailan, roasted soy baby corn & watercress, & decadent arugula-laced butter (RM32).

The dessert selection is more compact but showcases equally elaborate & enticing ensembles, founded on fruits - a spiced apple crumble pie with brown butter sparks magic with honey-&-bacon ice cream, citrus chocolate ganache & black sesame soil (RM32), a bruleed caramelised banana tart is compellingly coupled with banana-pandan compote & bourbon ice cream (RM28), while a watermelon, calamansi & yuzu granita with glazed ciku, gula Melaka & dragon fruit (RM16) is as rejuvenating as its sounds. Our only lament is that the cocktail repertoire has been truncated, though you'll still find sufficient temptations with a twist or two, like a Mai Tai with banana-infused rum or Gin & Tonic with jasmine-infused gin (RM38 each). The wine list merits investigating too, with most bottles of red clocking in between RM122 & RM230. All in all, this revamped direction for Gastro Bar is very promising, & the restaurant has some intriguing plans still to come. Even if you're not in Petaling Jaya, this is a destination that feels worth the effort to travel to. We're likely to be back soon - many thanks to Gastro Bar for having us.

Gastro Bar, By Burgeon
8 & 10, Jalan BM 1/2, Taman Bukit Mayang Emas, Petaling Jaya.
Now open Tues-Sun, 6pm-1030pm, except public holidays. Tel: 03-7497-5373

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12 comments:

  1. The food sounds interesting and nice, another restaurant that worth visiting. :D

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    1. CK: yeah, I really like how they've put together the menu here - there's an effort to tell a story through their food ;)

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  2. Lovely cushion covers. Floral prints reminds me of Adele's dress in her latest VEVO video, Dolce & Gabbana no less.

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    1. Suituapui: glad you like the choices in their decor - I like that aspect too, even though I don't usually have much personal good sense in interior design! ;)

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  3. If you didn't mention that those were eryngii mushrooms, I would have thought they were scallops too...probably because of the scoring on top! ;D

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    1. Contact.ewew: yep, at first glance, it definitely looks like regular scallops - heck, it looks more like scallops than some real scallops :D

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  4. Looking at the pictures, I realized that I have not been to Gastro for long time... Everything looked yummy!!!

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    1. Leo: oh yes ... we 'bumped' into each other when ribs by burgeon opened nearly a year ago ... ya, the menu has totally changed now ;)

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  5. I visited this place just a few days ago and I can wholeheartedly recommend the Steak & Potatoes and the Beef Tartare. Some of the best food you can actually find in PJ, without a doubt!

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    1. Kevin: ok, i gotta order the beef tartare and the steak for the next round! ;)

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  6. Oh change again!
    My last visit was after the "revamp" and I couldn't find anything interestin to add on to my order (pork ribs). The menu back then was the small plates and the decor was a bit disturbing (well it was a big change from the original!).

    I think the current 2016 menu suits me better. Might head there for the roast pork!

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    1. Rebecca: this place has been evolving quite significantly since opening, ya! ;) yeah, i like the current decor better than the previous dimly lit one ... and now the portions have been increased while the prices have been lowered, so i'm in favour of this version 3.0 :)

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