Foodie Utopia is back for another foodie post – only this time to share a not-so-impressed experience with Matahari Grill – a fusion of Malaysian, Chinese and Indian cuisine in Baldwin Village. I’ve passed by this place when I was in Baldwin Village on multiple occasions, but never gotten the chance to give it a try.
The reason I decided to go here with my company this time around was because our original excursion goal to go to the new addition to Baldwin Village, Momo San, flopped due to a maintenance issue with their torches (they are famous/popular for their torched sushi). Hungry and determined to try some place new for foodie utopia, Matahari seemed to be the logical option since it was nearby.
It seemed to be decent because the patio area had some patrons having lunch and their tables were clean, with white cloth coverings, as well as well dressed and seemingly well-mannered service.
The outdoor patio area seemed okay, but my partner and I had to reside in the indoor sitting area because the patio was fully occupied. Inside it was poorly lit – the only source of light we really had was from the patio area where the sun was shining in during that afternoon. I feel like Matahari needed to keep their restaurant more well-lit if they’re trying to attract more customers; everyone inside seemed wary of the lack of lighting.
We got a look at their menu and I honestly couldn’t see many items I would be happy with. Moreover the pricing seemed to be on the higher end – but I gave Matahari the benefit of the doubt and just ordered anyway.
I’d say we ordered and waited for at least half an hour, if not 45 minutes. The service tried to keep our attention and patience by coming by once in awhile to fill our empty water glasses, but all we really wanted was the food we ordered. I was only lucky that I had my partner to keep me company, but if I were having a solo lunch or with bad company in general – perhaps my experience here would have been even worse.
With some time though, the first shareable appetizer came to the table and I was already in shock at the presentation. We ordered the Shrimp Wontons for the table and they looked like over-sized nacho chips. It was displayed clumsily in a metal basket in hopes of looking artistic, but failing miserably – I almost didn’t want to take a picture of it. In addition to this, the ratio of shrimp to wonton was absolutely ridiculous and disproportionate – there was way more wonton than shrimp. As a result, the taste was quite bland, it was similar to eating plain bread with sauce on the side – and even the sauce was extremely disappointing. Especially for me, because the sauce ended up being very spicy – so I couldn’t even enjoy it. My company shared the same opinion as well.
And if we thought things couldn’t get any worse – the waiter came back with our main courses and served us dishes that just weren’t appealing to the eye at all. You can see in the pictures that they displayed almost as clumsily as the appetizer, and their attempt to serve delicious looking food on pristine, white plates were quite far off.
Their portion size was also pretty large, having two plates for the table was more than enough – I just wish that the food was better tasting. We ordered the Shrimp Pad Thai-Styled Noodles and the Chicken Teriyaki and Rice dish and the both of us together had a hard time finishing our plates – both because of the large quantity and the bad taste to pair with it.
After all that, the bill comes out to greet us with such a high cost – my partner reluctantly paid and I told him not to tip the place – it was just a horrible wait for poorly catered food. We were on our way to the exit, when the waiter was brave enough to call out to us and told us that “we’ve forgotten to leave a tip”. The both of us were surprised that the waiter would even call us out on it, but we left the restaurant anyway, sans the tip. It was such a turn-off and appalling that the waiter would go and ask for their tip like that; so much for an upscale, reputable restaurant.
At least now I know that when I come to Baldwin Village with future company or solo, that Matahari is definitely a place to avoid. All aspects overall were quite disappointing, and there are plenty of other options that are far superior to Matahari Grill.
To add to their amateur service, their website isn’t even functional, so foodies, I cannot give you a link to their website. I can tell you that I highly recommend that you do not go here, unless you want to burn an unreasonable amount of money on low-quality food.
Plating – ♡ ♡
Ambiance – ♡ ♡ ♡
Taste – ♡ ♡
Service – ♡ ♡