Tuesday, March 31, 2009

55. Malaysia: Matahari Bar and Grill

Matahari Bar and Grill
39 Baldwin Street
(west of McCaul Street)
416 596 2832

There is a cluster of diverse restaurants at the east end of Baldwin Street in the Kensington neighbourhood, and it's difficult to choose between them. We meet up at the Matahari for dinner on a Tuesday evening and quickly realize we've made a good choice. We notice that the University of Toronto faculty crowd has discovered it too.
Our starter, the Calamari Matahari [pictured here], is beautifully presented and nicely cooked in a tamarind glaze and served with a peanut sauce, $9.00. For main dishes we choose: Sayur Lodeh - eggplant, green beans, cabbage, tomatoes and tofu in a flavourful but not too hot curry sauce, $14.00; Chicken Kapitan - marinated chicken breast cooked with fresh lemongrass, galanga, lime leaf, lemon juice and coconut milk, $15.00. We wisely decide to share one order of steamed rice, $1.50, which was plenty for the two of us. The mango sorbet, $5.50, provided a light and refreshing finish to a delicious meal. We linger over a glass of Pinot Grigio $8.00 and a pot of ruby chai tea, $2.00. Total cost for two $62.31.
The service was prompt and efficient, if not overly friendly. The ambiance, though lacking in ethnic flair, is comfortable and chic in the minimalist fashion. The ladies restroom, however, did not pass the cleanliness test

Rating: Ambiance (3)
Service (3)
Food Presentation (4)
Food Quality (4)
Value for Money (3)

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