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Saturday, March 28, 2015

TG2 - The Guide 2 Surrey Food and Drink

TG2 - The Guide 2 Surrey Food and Drink:



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Matahari, Guildford

Rich Lee 26/03/2015Staff Writer

the guide 2 surrey food and drink matahari guildford thai asian japanese restaurant fusion review

A culinary crossroads of fantastic eastern cuisine right here in the home counties...



I’ve never been to the Far East although many people I know have. Too many, if I’m honest. Not that I’d ever begrudge my backpacking buddies any of their adventures on distant golden beaches, lost jungle temples, hot, neon-drenched street markets and full moon parties. They sound great, really. Just less so after about the 60th telling. I, on the other hand, could regale them with tales of my exploits in deepest, darkest Runnymede that would make them weep into their Rough Guides. If they’d ever let me get a word in...
 
Not that I’m bitter, but my own Asian odyssey still looks a few years off. In the meantime, it’s highly fortunate, for me and anyone else in Surrey, that the Matahari restaurant in Guildford offers an astonishingly authentic taste of the Far East, just off Guildford High Street.


Selkie makes a charming tour guide, walking us through the various options and Asian influences

Owner Selkie Khoo’s vision was for a restaurant that brought together the cuisines of China, Japan, Thai and India, all blended into the unique traditions of Malaysian cooking; a fusion-concept of flavours that has been successful enough to make her restaurant a favourite of Guildford diners for eleven years and a winner of ‘Best Overall Restaurant’ at the Guildford Dining Awards.
 
the guide 2 surrey guildford food review matahari selkie asian sushi rich leeThe scope is evident in a menu crammed with enticing dishes from all corners of Asia. Fortunately, Selkie makes a charming tour guide, walking us through the various options and Asian influences therein. We start –at her suggestion- with a plate of ethereally sweet and tender scallops steamed in ginger, garlic, greedily slurping the fragrant broth left in the shells. Next, Selkie promised some wonderful tofu made fresh on-site, and when the delicately fried, silky soft golden cubes arrived, garnished with spring onion and chilli, this tofu cynic quietly converted.

...this was meltingly tender meat bathed in all the warming Thai flavours we know and love


A pitstop before the main course saw Matahari’s dedicated sushi chef show off his chops with an exquisite Japanese paradise roll: expertly rolled ‘inside out’, lightly topped with tempura prawns and jewelled with fish roe, the whole thing lifted with flavours from the pickled ginger and a daring dot of hot wasabi.
 
www.matahariguildford.co.ukOur mains presented dishes of perfectly cooked skate wings that fell off the bone into a rich bean sauce, a bamboo platter spilling withnasi-goreng-sambal (sticky fried rice, prawns, egg and shredded chicken) and a showstopper Chef’s Special coriander beef curry served simmering in a lacquered clay pot. Deeply fragrant from herbs and coconut and with a little floral note from lotus leaf, this was meltingly tender meat bathed in all the warming Thai flavours we know and love.
 
That the meal was enjoyed in the winningly rustic interior of the restaurant’s 500 year old listed building just added to its overall charm, making the Matahari a culinary crossroads of fantastic eastern cuisine right here in the home counties.
 
And Lonely Planet can quote me on that.



Matahari are at 10 Chapel Street, Guildford GU1 3UH.
To book, call 01483 457886 or visit www.matahariguildford.co.uk

Opening hours:

Mon-Fri: 12-2.30pm / 6-11pm.
Sat & Sun: 12noon - 11pm.
Open Bank Holidays


Don't miss Matahari's Early-Bird Promotion : £9.90 for a 2 Course Meal (available from 6-7pm Mondays - Fridays)
 


(Article orginally published in The Guide 2 Guildford, June 2014)

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