The Black Castle beckons

Eddie Soh, the entrepreneur chef of the Taste Bugs group of restaurants and food services, is presenting more good food at Black Castle Bistro.

The crest of Black Castle Bistro
If you are familiar with the delicious food served in the Taste Bugs chain of restaurants, now you can look forward to an exciting menu created in a dining concept where food is served on platters that are large enough to share.
Fans of the Taste Bugs restaurants, with locations in Sutera Mall, Bandar Baru Permas Jaya and Taman Bukit Indah, may be disappointed that these outlets no longer exist but you will be delighted to learn that a similar menu is still available at Black Castle.

Recently when I received Chef Eddie’s invite to the Bukit Indah outlet, his text message was an ominous line that read: “The Black Knight is coming to town…” with a picture of a Medieval suit of armour, all in black.  It certainly piqued my curiosity because I’m a fan of the Dark Knight but the Black Knight hinted of something out of the Middle Ages.

I met Chef Eddie several years ago when he opened his restaurants in JB and I learnt that he also offers consultancy services to restaurant operators not only for creative food preparation and kitchen management but also in sauce and seasoning recipes.  

With professional culinary training in Western cuisine from the Barking & Dagenham College in London, he has a decade of culinary experience in Europe including stints with the 5-star Savoy London and some of the finest restaurants and hotels in London and the Czech Republic.

Knowing Chef Eddie, he must have something exciting up his sleeve when he sent me such an invite, so I replied saying, “I will be there.”

At Taman Bukit Indah, my eyes are peeled, seeking the signage that reads, Black Knight, but instead I find a picture of a crest that reads, Black Castle.  A large poster of that black Medieval suit of armour that came with Chef Eddie’s invite, is on the façade and it confirmed that I’m at the right place.  I realise that this restaurant is rebranded as Black Castle!

I know I arrived past the usual dinner hour and I see diners lingering over drinks.  Chef Eddie welcomes me and is wreathed in smiles as he introduces the new menu at Black Castle. 

A serving of Grilled Oysters
After he observed that more and more diners are opting to share their orders, probably so that they can taste more items, this inspired him to create a menu with a range of food in larger portions that are suitable for sharing and savouring with drinks.

All this talk about his food is making me hungrier, may be even hungry enough to have starters and a main course.  So he recommended to start with appetizers of six pieces Grilled Oysters (RM38) – whole oysters flavoured with garlic ailio with a touch of butteryaki sauce and grilled in open half shells.

Fans of fresh oysters usually savour the oysters with a dash of Tobasco sauce but even though Tobasco was provided with this serving, I prefer to eat the grilled oysters without any added sauce.

Oysters is an acquired taste and even though the first bite may seem rather pungent to the palate, I find that with every next bite, the oysters taste even better!

Whole squid in a serving of Spicy Calamari
Chef Eddie confided that the squid they use to create a serving of Spicy Calamari (RM28) are large whole imported squids that are first marinated in a secret spicy sauce before being grilled in a bit of butteryaki sauce. 

The whole squid is served sliced into rings and drizzled in its own spicy flavours and a wedge of lemon is provided if diners prefer to add a few drops of juice for a sour twist in the taste.

I pride myself in being able to handle a high degree of spicy hot but I must say that this Spicy Calamari can be a tad too spicy for dinerst who are unprepared for a zinger!

Even after two appetizers, I’m surprised that I still have space to tackle the main course that Chef Eddie recommended: Espresso BBQ Beef Back Ribs (RM108).  This rack of well-marinated beef is braised to tasty tenderness that while it’s not literally falling off the bone, it’s easy to slice and chew.  Meat-lovers will agree that part of the pleasure of eating meat is chewing gently to savour the meaty goodness.

Juicy meat in Espresso BBQ Beef Back Ribs
I summon the waitress hovering nearby, not to place any more food orders, but to ask her to put the beef bones into a doggie bag for me to take home.  I’m sure my four-legged friend will have just as much pleasure in gnawing those juicy bones!

To appreciate a meal, one must not over indulge, so I decide not to have any dessert.  This is highly unusual for me (!) and while Chef Eddie is disappointed that I did not venture further in the menu, it gives me reason to return to Black Castle – just to enjoy their range of delectable desserts with a hot cup of coffee.  (It’s also too late for me to have a cup now!) 

There is so much in the menu to enjoy, so I assure Chef Eddie that I’ll be back for more!

Black Castle Bistro [Non-Halal] is at No. 2 Jalan Indah 15/1, Taman Bukit Indah, 81200 Johor Baru.  For reservations, Tel: 607 – 230 5521.  Visit Facebook: BlackCastleBistro

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