** This blog post was originally posted at ‘Sinfully Delicious Malaysia’ blog on April 6th, 2016

Mid-March, The Deck Gastrobar located on the 13th floor (rooftop) of WEIL Hotel Ipoh launched a new small plates concept, something like tapas or appetizers or snacks. Previously, I reviewed their Christmas buffet at their Tiffin restaurant and also Uber event which was held at The Deck Gastrobar. Visit the links below to read my blog posts/reviews:

I was once again invited to their food tasting session/preview (thank you!) at The Deck Gastrobar to taste their new small plates menu. Before I begin, I’d like to mention that the menu is NOT HALAL. They’re pork-free but some of them do contain alcohol. The menu also does not give full descriptions of which dish contains alcohol. If you really want to taste the food here but don’t take alcohol, make sure you ask them carefully about the ingredients. Not everything contains alcohol, though.

Anyway, it’s a bar. You can’t expect a bar to be a completely halal place now, can you? 🙂

The Deck Gastrobar’s Small Plates

The Deck Gastrobar unveiled its new ‘small plates‘ concept as well as its Sunset Hour beverage menu last month. Small plates are just like ala carte appetizers or snack plates and are meant to be shared among friends or whoever you’re with, similar to Spanish tapas. Or as appetizers before your meal.

The Deck Gastrobar is also rolling out its Happy Hour beer promotion menu, calling it ‘Sunset Hour‘ which is served from 5pm – 9pm daily. You can enjoy your drinks while watching the sunset.

The Deck Gastrobar or the rooftop of WEIL Hotel is a great place to chill at because of the picturesque view of Ipoh city. If you read my Christmas buffet review at their Tiffin restaurant, I mentioned that I checked out their infinity pool. It has a really amazing view of Ipoh city at night!

But there’s also a balcony on the other side of The Deck Gastrobar with fancy seatings overlooking a different side of Ipoh city. Since I was there in the evening/pre-dusk time, I had the opportunity to see a clear day view of Ipoh city plus a lovely sunset view!

With a glass of wine and your beau beside you watching the sunset together, it could turn into a very romantic evening.

And for the first time, I could see how massive Sam Tet School is!

Now, onto the food tasting session. But first, I’d like to note that I depend on natural lighting when I take photos with my phone. Since I was there when the sun is still up, the first half of the photos have good white balance and colors, while the other half have yellowish tint because the sun has set and I had to depend on the ceiling lamp.

Just thought I’d mention that so you’ll know why there are color differences with the photos 😛

I didn’t really know most of the media people there but at least, it was great to see one or two familiar faces plus getting to know the friendly WEIL Hotel staff 🙂 There weren’t a lot of media people either and I like that compared to some media/blogger invites that I’ve attended previously. When there’s a big crowd, not only it’s very noisy but you can’t really enjoy your food too much or chat with anyone.

I don’t gel well with a big crowd of strangers anyway. The downside of being an introvert, I guess 🙂

Next to our table, I see glasses of drinks being prepared. Glasses with loads of mint leaves in them, plus cans of Schweppes soda water and a couple of bottles of Bacardi rum. I knew instantly what kind of drinks would be served.

One of my favorites – Mojito!

I requested mine to be virgin of course, without the rum. It’s still very good and refreshing! If you’ve never heard of Mojito, it’s a cocktail traditionally made with 5 ingredients – white rum, sugar, lime juice, sparkling water, and mint.

Here’s the executive chef, Chef Dennis posing with some of the foods that were served. It was hard to take a good picture as other photographers were busy snapping photos as well. I was surprised when the chef told us his age and his experiences in the culinary world. He’s had over a decade of experience but is still very young!

Very impressive.

Now, let’s start with the first dish.

Melon Medley – RM18
(contains alcohol)

Melon Medley comprises turkey strip chips, feta cheese, crushed black pepper, crushed black pepper, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, and watermelon.

It’s basically a concentrated sous-vide item. Sous-vide is a method in French term for ‘compressed‘. The melon is compressed/infused with vodka and orange juice to get that concentrated flavor.

Panzanella Salad – RM23

This Italian salad consists of toasted bread, fresh tomato, watermelon, feta cheese, olive, mesclun salad, white balsamic dressing.

It’s sour-ish combined with the saltiness of the feta cheese and crisp of the toasted bread.

Mushroom Confit – RM20

Shaved parmesan cheese, rocket leaves, white truffle oil, demi-glace.

The mushrooms are poached in truffle oil. The herbs, garlic, and infused oil create these light but delicious, soft and tender mushrooms with a hint of glace of beef juice. This is one of my favorites because I love mushrooms. I could eat so much of this. In fact, I don’t think I had enough on that day haha.

Buffalo Cauliflowers – RM21

This is one of my favorites as well. Being a huge buffalo chicken wings fan, I fell in love instantly with this American-derived recipe. Instead of using chicken wings, they substitute them with cauliflowers, coating them with buffalo hot sauce/flavor. It’s soft and creamy on the inside with a slight hint of heat on the outside.

It comes with blue cheese dip which goes perfectly together (it would also taste great with ranch dip as well). Put on some Netflix, get me my pillow to cuddle and I could binge on this all day long along with the mushroom confit.

Grilled Octopus Alla Diavola – RM34
(contains alcohol)

In Italy, the direct translation for Alla Diavola is ‘devilled‘. In kitchen terms in Italy, it’s used for foods that are grilled on high heat with hot spices because it’s packed with flavors.

This octopus is marinated with white wine, garlic, chilis to bring up all-natural spices and flavors and not to overcome the natural sweetness of the octopus. Lemon juice is squeezed onto it to give it some zing and the octopus is served as is. Some might say it’s a bit on the tough and chewy side but it was fine to me. I actually liked it.

Lamb Meat Balls – RM22

This is a middle eastern-influenced dish and has a lot of different spices like cumin, chili flakes, turmeric, garlic powder, onion powder, etc., and that makes it quite dry compared to other typical meatballs. It’s served with mint labneh. Labneh in middle eastern means yogurt-based sauce.

As mentioned, the meatballs are meant to be dry. I’m not a big fan of dry lamb meatballs because I only got a tiny amount of labneh. I would’ve liked it more if the mint labneh is served separately in a small bowl that I can dip into, like the buffalo cauliflower with the blue cheese dip.

Some middle eastern foods are meant to be dry, like the falafel at Al-Amar Lebanese Cuisine I went to which I didn’t get much of the dipping sauce either so it was very dry for me.

Burma Hot Quail – RM18

This dish originated from Myanmar where the quail is served with a sauce called ‘Nam Jim Jaew‘ which is basically fish and soy-based sauce with a lot of different vegetables. The quail is marinated and roasted to perfection.

It was my first time tasting quail meat. I have mixed feelings about it. The flavor is great. It’s spicy and I loved it, but I don’t prefer quail. They’re such small birds with not a lot of meat on them, almost too cute to be eaten. I prefer chicken instead.

But I absolutely love boiled quail eggs, though! They taste better than boiled chicken eggs despite them being so tiny.

Belgian Black Mussel Pot – RM22
(contains alcohol)

Belgium is famous for their beer so the mussels are braised with Belgian beer, garlic, onion, Italian parsley, and chili to give it a little of sweetness to it. No dry or processed ingredients.

Taiwanese Crispy Wing – RM18

This is a different but unique kind of crispy chicken because for the coating, instead of plain flour or batter, they added meringue to give that extra crisp and at the same time it’s airy on the outside. The chicken wings/drumettes go through a process called the ‘brining‘ process. It’s a method where they use sugar, salt, and water with the chicken in it to seal and intensify the flavor.

The chicken is seasoned with a homemade spicy Taiwanese rub and it’s similar to the rub at Shihlin snack which I really love. It’s sweet, spicy with a bit of saltiness. Another one of my favorites!

Drunken Beef – RM20
(contains alcohol)

There’s a reason why this is called ‘drunken‘ beef. The meat which is spicy beef chorizo is soaked in red wine for at least 2 days. That’s why it’s drunk! It’s spicy. But not sure if it’s enough to be shared.

Mushroom Arancini – RM25
(contains alcohol)

Arancini means risotto ball. It’s mushroom risotto with added cheddar cheese formed into a ball then breaded and deep-fried, topped with truffle mayo. Typically, in Italy, the housewives would make Arancini out of leftover risotto. Of course, risotto is commonly made with added wine so that’s why this dish has alcohol.

My phone died at this moment so I didn’t get to record down the details for the next 3 dishes so I’ll just write what I could remember, which is not a lot.

Texas Mini Burgers – RM21

These cute mini-sized burgers come in 3 consisting of shredded beef brisket, pickled onion, jalapenos, gherkin, lettuce, and sesame buns.

This is something that I’d usually like but it had some weird taste that really did not agree with my palate. The thing is, I don’t know what. Was it the beef brisket? Was it the sauce? The vegetables? The gherkin, maybe? I’ve never tasted gherkin before. Hmm, I have absolutely no idea. There’s a flavor in it that I’ve never tasted before and apparently ended up not liking it. That’s really unfortunate because it looks delicious, especially the beef brisket.

Riso Al Salto Con Ragù – RM28
(contains alcohol)

This is a deep-fried risotto cake with chicken ragout and grated parmesan cheese. I wish my phone didn’t die so I could remember what the chef explained about this. But the risotto is the same as mushroom arancini I assume, only this has chicken ragout. In Italian cuisine, a ragout (or ragù) is a meat-based sauce commonly served with pasta.

Hand Shredded Chicken – RM19

And the last but not least, hand-shredded chicken with mesclun salad and piri-piri sauce. I love this one! It’s because it has piri-piri sauce, you know, like the one in Nando’s? So this tastes delicious. A light but great dish to end the food tasting session at The Deck Gastrobar.

Speaking of chicken, when I was at the Uber event early last month, they served us finger foods, one of them being sticky honey chicken wings that I loved so very much. I purposely stayed back late just so I could eat more of that chicken wings. Wish I could taste it again. It was that damn good, for me at least.

I asked for another glass of drink because I was thirsty. At first, I wanted more virgin mojito but then I suddenly had the craving for piña colada. I was very happy to hear they could make me a virgin pina colada!

I love piña colada. If you’ve never had it before, it’s a sweet coconut-y drink typically made with rum, coconut cream/milk, and pineapple juice. It has a strong & creamy coconut flavor with a hint of juice in there. You can’t really taste any pineapple because the coconut flavor is quite overpowering. It’s refreshing but not as refreshing as mojito of course. It’s also quite sweet. I don’t drink alcohol so I have no idea what it’d taste like with the rum.

Ahh, have I mentioned how much I love piña colada? 🙂

The small plates menu at The Deck Gastrobar offers a variety of dishes with influences and flavors from different countries around the world. And of course, it’s best to be shared among a group of people especially family or close friends. I had a great time and went back home happy with a full tummy.

PS: All prices are inclusive of GST.


292, Jalan Sultan Idris Shah,
30000 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Tel: (605) 208 2228 
Email: enquiries@weilhotel.com

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