19, Lorong Universiti C,
Section 16, Petaling Jaya.
Tel: 03-7931 0373
Business hours: Noon-11pm (restaurant)
Noon-1am (bar), daily except Mondays.
CASTELL Gastrobar has returned after a major facelift, bringing back its specialty steak that diners have enjoyed over the years.
When the first restaurant opened in the 1970s in Bukit Bintang by current restaurant chef John Lee’s uncle, Castell was one of the few steakhouses in town.
The second restaurant opened in Petaling Jaya in the 1980s.
Lee said there had been a lot of changes in the restaurant’s management before he bought over the place with three other partners.
“We renamed it Castell Gastrobar as we offer diners a cosy dining environment on the ground floor as well as a drinking area at the bar upstairs.
“The main focus of the restaurant has always been offering quality food and we have kept some old dishes in our menu while adding some new ones.
“The younger generation are well-travelled and are more knowledgeable about what they consume.
“They expect more flavours from various cooking styles.
“Many old-timers had asked about the place and we wanted to revive the restaurant as many have nostalgic memories when they dine here,” he said.
Traditionally known to serve European-style steaks, the restaurant comes with a new lease of life, adding unique cooking techniques to its improved menu.
The restaurant’s specialty, Op Rib Steak (top pic), which weighs more than 750g, is a special sharing platter.
Lee said the free-grazing Angus cattle, from which the beef was derived from, fed on Canola flowers.
“This results in the meat being tender and we only need to use basic condiments for flavour as the taste of the meat is deeply enhanced,” he said.
The huge portion can easily be shared by four person or more.
Diners can also start their meal with the grilled portobello mushrooms and spinach salad.
One bite on the mushroom topped with baked bacon and cheese oozes out a delicate mix of sweet and salty flavour.
For the salad, the baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, sweet radish, as well as a generous portion of beef bacon were tossed with a vinaigrette dressing.
What surprised me, though, was the sugary walnuts that Lee added to give a hint of sweetness as well as a crunchy texture to the salad.
We were served Fresh Water King Prawn Bisque next and the dish did not disappoint.
Using a vegetable stock base with prawn paste, the locally sourced sang har (king prawns) complemented the creamy and flavoursome stock.
Those who like a spicy kick to their dish can try out the Dragon Wings.
The charbroiled chicken wings are marinated with Naga Jolokia Chili, one of the world’s hottest chillis with spices and served with lime wedges.
The first bite into the chicken wing was still manageable but its spiciness started to dominate after a second or third bite, numbing the palate.
Lee said he planned to refurbish the bar into a sports bar by adding a pool table and electronic dart boards.
“A sports bar seems to be the big thing, these days, and we wanted to cater for families and friends,” he said.
This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.