Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur has gotten a brand new makeover and I love how swanky the lobby now looks. The Conservatory is now replaced with Gastro Sentral, a meeting point for good food, good drinks and good conversation. Prices are nett, so I’ve been paying less for happy hour at Gastro compared to my neighbourhood pub.
If you’re big on seafood, Gastro Sentral’s Seafood Platter is definitely one to look out for. Available every Saturday and Sunday between 11am to 5pm, this seafood galore (RM220 for 2 pax, RM440 for 4 pax, RM660 for 6 pax) comes with a jug of beer and free flow of shoestring fries. I don’t know about you … but the combination of beer and fries excites me. And when you add on lobster, flower crabs and fresh oysters, that’s one helluva meal!
I’ve never been good at eating seafood especially crabs and prawns, despite eating them fairly frequently. I can peel prawns on my own, just not as skilful as rif can. As for crabs, I have a track record of ‘shooting’ crab pieces across the table. So rif decided it was less hazardous if he did the job.
The oysters were fresh with a hint of the sea. Very tasty with just a squirt of lemon juice a dip of Bloody Mary. Plus points for Gastro Sentral, as the accompanying sauces – Pimiento Aioli, Salsa Verde, Shallot Vinaigrette and Sweet Thai Coriander Chilli – are made in-house and good in their own way. My favourites were the aioli and salsa verde.
I rather enjoyed the Sabah spiny lobster, boiled just right so the flesh was sweet, firm and juicy. Pity I had to share the other half with rif. I could eat the whole lobster. There’s something about shoestring fries that rocks my boat, especially when it’s perfectly fried. Gastro Sentral’s version was just that, and you get to dip them in the awesome sauces.
The Italian Fristo Misto di Mare (part of the set) comprised mussels, calamari, prawns and fish, batter fried and deliciously seasoned. Very moreish, especially when dipped into the sauces.
I found the mussels a tad overcooked, but the Lemongrass and Thai Basil Broth was oh-so-good! It was tangy and sweet from the mussels, with a fiery kick from the chillies. I asked for a spoon and drank every drop.
I also ordered a pasta dish from the ala carte menu – Mahagliati (RM32), a hearty dish of roughly cut fresh pasta with chunky lamb ragout and pecorino cheese.
The pasta texture was smooth and glided down my throat easily. I found the ragout richly flavoured, which paired well with the melted cheese. Remember to mix the pasta well, as the ragout alone might be too salty.
The Experience Latitude ArtCacao (RM28) with artisan chocolate bar and torrone was the perfect end to my meal. This is hands down the best hot chocolate I’ve had in Kuala Lumpur. Thick, bittersweet and velvety smooth, it was almost like a dream. A dream I wished would last forever. Alas, this dream ended in 10 minutes.
ArtCacao Hot Chocolate is prepared using VERO chocolate, an artisan chocolatier & patisserie with a unique line of products in Hong Kong. Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur have the exclusivity of using VERO chocolate and a few other VERO products such chocolate dragees, artisan bar, and chocolate torrone.
If you want to tuck into this awesome seafood spread, remember: Gastro Sentral Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur, every Saturday at Sunday from 11am to 5pm.
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Food: 7.5/10 (pork free)
Hot Chocolate: 9/10
Verdict: Fresh seafood, great sauces and reasonable prices. And the hot chocolate – a dream!
The Hub, Lobby Level
Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur
2 Jalan Stesen Sentral
Kuala Lumpur Sentral
50470 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2263 7888