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Local flavoured reel: The Gastro Project

Writer: Elaine Ewe


Inside The Gastro Project.

Alternative venues for movies screenings are all the rage these days, ranging from outdoor screenings at The Square in Publika to screenings in FINAS theatres and they are here to stay, considering that the one thing these venues have in common is that they are free-of-charge, something that Malaysians can appreciate. Fairly new bistro The Gastro Project is the latest participant of this trend, stationed in Petaling Jaya with another branch set to open in Avenue K later this year.

Pairing the dining and cinema experience, The Gastro Project opened its doors in early January 2013, serving patrons with soul and comfort food which is really a fusion of every culinary imaginable, from pastas to sushi. However, the main feature of The Gastro Project that sets it apart from the various other eateries in the Klang Valley is the addition of an indoor cinema which is housed just upstairs from the bistro below to comfortably seat up to 35 people.

Screening movies every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, the selection of movies is based mostly on requests made by customers on their Facebook page and with consideration from the Gastro team (whom by the way, are also huge movie fans) will come up with a list of movies and their respective showtimes schedule, which is then, also revealed on Facebook on a weekly basis.

In March, The Gastro Project had screened movies like "Argo", "The Expendables 2" and "How To Train Your Dragon" to a decent crowd of moviegoers which can reach up to 20 to 30 patrons on a good movie night. Setting itself apart from the local cinemas is also the inclusion of another bar upstairs by the movie area, which is opened to serve alcohol to patrons during screenings.


The Gastro Project indoor cinema screen.

The Gastro Project indoor cinema seats.

Although no charges are sought for watching a movie at The Gastro Project, viewers must be a paying customer of the bistro. They are then offered an option to have their meal and drink upstairs where the cinema is located, or have it downstairs before the movie starts.

According to Jason Koven of Babylon Retreats, the company behind The Gastro Project, the movies are all obtained from DVDs, complete with licenses to screen them: "This way, we will be able to provide our customers with more choices as we are unrestricted by the censorship board and cater to specific demands, like our preference for action movies."

That is not the only reel feature that The Gastro Project incorporates. Pictures of various Hollywood celebrities can also be found decorating the walls of the café, with the main theme being celebrities with food or drink.

"We want our customers to feel as if they are dining with the stars," explained Jason.


King Prawns in Buttercream Sauce.

Herb Crusted Lamb Rack.

Despite the star-studded décor, fret not as customers do not have to dress up like a celebrity in order to dine in. Prices for their food and drinks range from RM 15 for breakfast sets to RM 45 for a steak. Some of The Gastro Project's specialities include Crabmeat Aglio-Oglio with Chilli Flakes, Japanese Salad, King Prawns in Buttercream Sauce with Mantau Buns and Moroccan Pizza.


Jean Reno and Julia Roberts.

Jack Nicholson and Brad Pitt.

The Gastro Project is located at No. 25 Jalan 17/56, 46400 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. They are closed on Mondays but are otherwise open from 11am to 11pm from Tuesdays to Fridays, and from 8am to 1am on Saturdays and Sundays. Cinema Online heard that there is yet to be more exciting things planned for movie fans at The Gastro Project, so stay tuned for more updates!


Cinema Online, 28 March 2013

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