Saturday, August 6, 2011

Matahari - sadly closed

This evening I had a craving for Asian or Vietnamese dining - After taking a look at a couple gluten free reviews on-line - I decided we were going to try out Matahari restaurant on 124th street.  When we walked in I immediately loved the ambiance - the cement fish pond with the koi fish added something unique - the seats that were set in a wooden boat - cool - and the fact that you could reserve a private room and area was a nice add as well.

I do get my first "food" impression when I look at the menu ~ and as a celiac I look for how they have accommodated allergies or sensitivities on the menu.  I was pleased to see that the menu included (did not need a separate menu) celiac safe choices, and the fact that they used the word celiac instead of just gluten free was great also.  I was excited to see that in each category from appetizers, soups to entrees they had choices under each heading that were celiac "friendly" - I was excited to order and dig in.

Though my son does not eat gluten free he joined us (my partner and I) in having a couple appetizers - I chose the Pork Satay and the Shrimp Rice Wraps - both came with sauces on the side.  The Pork Satay was cooked just right, and the seasoning on it was very tasty, I would like to try the other choices in the future - the beef and chicken.  :)  The Shrimp Rice Wraps - was like a little shrimp salad wrapped in a bundle, it came with a slightly sweet sauce for dipping that was a very nice light add.

My man decided to have the Vietnamese Vermicelli
(lemongrass grilled pork and beef, Vietnamese spring roll, rice vermicelli noodles, bean sprouts, julienne carrots and lettuce, crushed peanuts, and green onion oil)
- The vermicelli noodles were very nicely cooked - and the pork and beef were nicely spiced - green onion oil was a nice light flavorful touch on the dish.  He gave it a thumbs up.

My son had the Cashew Nut Chicken - and though it was not marked on the menu as celiac friendly ~ and he didn't order it so, she did ask him if he wanted it that way ~ this made me realize that they were very accommodating to whatever you wanted to order off the menu - that most dishes could have substitutes added or things removed to make it safe to eat.  Nevertheless - I didn't try anything off his dish as it was not a celiac friendly dish - but he really enjoyed it and said it was another thumbs up.

I decided to try the Sambal Prawn dish -
(shrimps in an exotic Malaysian style shrimp paste blend sauteed with onions and shallots – served with coconut rice, tomatoes, lettuce and cucumber)
- Very tasty - the waitress asked both my son and I how much spice we wanted, he said mild for himself and I said not spicy please.  The dish still had a touch of a bite to it, obviously the Malaysian flavor requires a bit - but it was delicious.  I loved the add of the tomatoes, lettuce and cucumber that touch of salad really helped offset the richness of the sauce on the shrimp - the onions and shallots were sweet, the shrimp cooked just right.  I really was impressed with the amount of the good sized shrimp in the dish, the servings were filling and delicious and we left satisfied and full.

I look forward to our next visit and trying a few more things off of the varied menu.  The bill for the three of us (we had ice tea and sodas for drinks) came to just over $60 - which I found more than reasonable.

Good food, great service and awesome people to be sharing it with.  Matahari is a thumbs up.  :)  

Matahari - South East Asian Restaurant
10108B - 124 Street
Edmonton, AB
Ph: (780) 452-8262

Ample parking at the rear of the building.  :)  With an entrance to the restaurant in the back and the front.

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