Saturday was specifically planned to head up to Toronto.. again... this time the group consists of Chele, myself, Leslie, Amy & Nicole. Before heading to our dinner reservation at 5.30 p.m. - a must stop by over at the Ikea store on Islington (apparently it is bigger than the one in Burlington ;P). Nicole and Amy bought some houseware stuff and Chele and I joined in getting a couple of stuff for our place. Lucky us that Nicole drove her Explorer so that we can pile our purchases in the trunk.
As for Leslie... he tried his best in making sure we were on time and not dawdling too much forgetting time since he really can't wait for dinner. He has been really homesick for Malaysian food - and the nasi lemak that I made him a few days ago did not put his heart and/or tummy to any ease for the time being. What's so special about dinner? Next to it being about 90 minutes drive from Buffalo and it only serves dinner on the weekends - it boasts of authentic Malaysian-Peranakan (Nyonya) cooking.
Located north of Chinatown and from the University of Toronto on Baldwin Street - Matahari Bar & Grill supposedly is the closest you can get of authentic Malaysian & Nyonya food. The owners are from KL - Cheras to be exact and all 5 of us were just giddy anticipating what we were about to savor from Matahari's kitchen.
The five of us feasted like there's no tomorrow... we started off with a couple of appetizers...
1. Eggplant Malay - eggplant brushed with belachan and grilled
2. Chicken and Beef Satay served with Matahari’s Own Peanut Sauce
3. Achar - Achar - Cabbage, green beans, pickled cucumber, carrot and pineapple salad marinated in spices and topped with peanuts and sesame seeds
4. Green Mango Salad (Kerabu) with mixed greens in a spicy lime pepper vinaigrette, topped with peanuts and sesame seeds
For our entrees...
Leslie ordered nasi lemak - which was prepared specially for him :P
Nicole had the Chicken Kapitan - marinated chicken breast with fresh lemongrass, galanga, lime leaf, lime juice and coconut milk served
I had Mee Goreng (simple Sher) - egg noodle stir-fry with blend of spices, prawns, tofu, bean-sprouts, egg, and topped with ground peanuts and shallots
Both Chele and Amy ordered the Curry Laksa (in Penang, this is Curry mee) - egg and rice noodles in a coconut curry broth with chicken, prawns and tofu
Another round of Tiger beer for Leslie, Sago-sago for both Amy & Nicole, Ais Kacang minus the "hidden treasures" for Chele and Passion Fruit (markisa) sorbet served with blueberries, grapes, mango, kiwi and a drizzle of passion fruit liquer. The owner, Mr. Zenn Soo (thank you for the pandan crepes!) dished out a complementary dessert of Pandan Crepes - fresh screwpine (pandan) leaf crepe filled with freshly grated palm sugar and coconut. It was oh sooo... Sinfully yummy!~!~
If I had to compare all the other Malaysian restaurant I have been to in the US and Canada.. this has to be the best of them all. Everything was so good!! Leslie made a take out order of 11 items and I added on 4 additional items to bring back to Sharon & Pete. The pandan crepes for example were something I have not had for ages and special orders of Sar Hor Fun to go! Leslie made an order of almost everything on the menu and additional special orders. Good thing we brought the cooler with us to set the food in. Driving back to Buffalo was interesting seeing that Nicole's Explorer was a few hundred pounds heavier!! If you have not been to Matahari yet.. make that a must!~!