SpiceCityTo

Journalist Sarah Efron explores strip malls and hole-in-the-wall restaurants in search of the city's best ethnic food

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Matahari Bar and Grill

The Matahari Bar and Grill serves "nyonya" cuisine, a blend of Chinese and Malaysian. It's located in the solid block of restaurants on Baldwin Street near Spadina (39 Baldwin Street). This is a good little strip to bring indecisive visitors to town because it's like a food court of real sit-down restaurants of various types of international food.

This is the first Malaysian resto I've been to in Toronto and it didn't disappoint. The menu was full of interesting things and we settled on eggplant malay, nasi lemak and the Matahari curry chicken.




The malay eggplant cooked with shrimp paste was a surprise. Crispy and sharp tasting, unlike Thai eggplant dishes.  Worth sampling.
This nasi lemak was wonderful and serves as a nice sampler of regional tastes. It's centered around coconut rice and comes with tamarind prawns and a fried egg. It's also served with ikan bilis sambal, a garnish made of dried anchovies. Variations of this dish are popular street fare in Malaysia. 
A solid Malaysian-style curry with potatoes. Pretty good. 
Spice City Doggie Bag Index: Four stars
★ Don't bother taking any leftovers home
★ ★ Take leftovers home and stuff in the back of the fridge indefinitely
★ ★ ★ Tomorrow's lunch
★ ★ ★ ★ Proudly present the leftover as a present to significant other or roommate and then wait impatiently for them to eat it so you can steal some
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Midnight snack. Is it midnight yet?



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