“ ASIAN / MALAYSIAN. 30-31 Peter St, W1V 3RQ. Tel: +44 (0)20 7437 2011. „
A couple of weeks ago one of my friends had a birthday meal at Melati Restaurant. The restaurant is located on Peter Street in Soho and specialises in Malaysian and Indonesian cuisine. I'd never been there before so when my friend suggested this place I promptly visited the website (http://www.melati-restaurant.co.uk/) to view the menu. The website is tastefully designed and easy to navigate with some mouthwatering selections on display to entice you.
**Getting Seated and ordering**
We'd booked a table for an early dinner. On arrival we were greeted by a friendly waitress who confirmed the booking and showed us to our seats. We were then handed a menu each and left to make our choices. As we were a party of vegetarians we were pleased to note the varied selection of vegetarian dishes. After much deliberation we opted to order a starter and 3 main course dishes, which we would share so that we could sample all the dishes. This made a pleasant change as many restaurants only have one or two vegetarian options and it was nice in this case to be a little spoilt for choice. The waiteress who took our order was friendly and advised us well when we were unsure about how many portions of rice we should order.
To start we ordered a Melati Vegetarian platter, which consisted of tofu satay, spring rolls, pergedel (which was a potato cake), rice cakes and seaweed.
For mains we'd ordered a dish each and a portion of jasmine rice and another of coconut rice. We'd tried to order a variety of dishes to keep things interesting. Our order consisted of a curry (Sayur Campur Kari), which was a traditional Malaysian curry with tofu and vegetables such as carrots and beans, Chilli Tahu (bean curd with chilli and spices, Sayur Taugeh (stir fried bean sprouts with garlic and peppers).
The restaurant has café style seating with small groups of tables around the restaurant. This was nice but made it feel a little less "restauranty". It was tastefully decorated with its blue/green walls, which were adorned with artefacts from the Far East. The tables themselves were quite small though. Once our food arrived it was a little awkward getting all the plates onto the table and we did have to play musical plates for a while! Luckily we were seated next to the window, which had a ledge onto which we placed one of the dishes, which freed up space on the table. Not an ideal way of doing things but it worked for us!
The order arrived fairly quickly. The starter arrived first, steaming hot and smelling delicious. This set us off to a good start as the food was flavoursome and delicious. The portion size was about right - just enough to whet our appetites before the main course. My favourite part was the tofu satay, which tasted really good and the tofu was moist and cooked just right.
Once our starters were cleared our mains arrived promptly. They were presented tastefully and there was much oohing and aahing as the table filled up. We dished out the rice and then passed around the curry and the bean curd. The curry was absolutely delicious! It was flavoursome with a good kick of spice. This was balanced by the coconut milk which cooled the curry somewhat. The tofu in it was silky soft and a delight on the tongue. It went really well with the rice (both coconut and jasmine tasted really good but I preferred the jasmine).
The spicy bean curd was equally tasty and again nicely spiced but not too overpowering. We were a little taken aback by the stir fried bean sprouts though as all we seemed to get was a huge mound of sprouts with little else. The peppers were few and far between and whilst the dish tasted ok it was a little bland and I find bean sprouts in general have a funny aftertaste that I'm not too keen on. We had difficulty with finishing this dish but polished the others off without any problem. To be fair the sprout dish was exactly as it was described in the menu - we'd just expected more peppers and not so many bean sprouts.
Whilst we were eating the waitress came back to check if everything was ok and to offer us more drinks. The service was polite and friendly at all times. The waitress even kindly took photos of the group eating together. Once we'd finished the waitress brought over our bill. This came to around £16 each, which seems quite reasonable given its central London location.
The restaurant is located on Peter Street in the heart of Soho. The nearest stations are probably Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square. There are several bus routes that also run along Oxford Street and Piccadilly. I wouldn't advise bringing a car into Central London - you may have to pay the congestion charge on a weekday and parking is generally very difficult to find.
We had a really nice time at Melati. We were made to feel welcome and apart from the disappointment of the bean sprout dish the food was great. I think the tables let the place down a little as they were too small and I'd have preferred if it was more restaurant style rather than café style. I'd be quite happy to visit again should I be visiting the area. Recommended!
As the first opinion of Melati recommended this restaurant I decided to give it a try. Melati offers Indonesian, Singaporean and Malaysian dishes in the heart of Soho.
At first the restaurant looks a little bit dark, but inside it seems to be ok. They use much wood for the decor. The stairs to the toilet and the other floors of the restaurant uses wood too. Altogether I wasn't overwhelmed by the atomosphere.
I couldn't remember but my wife says she didn't really like it, apparently there is some small crack where you can peek inside the toilet and some parts are broken.
QUALITY OF FOOD:
Our neighbors had Nasi Lemak which was what we wanted to order too. It looked quite yummy so we had a go. We also ordered as a side dish a satay. We didn't have to wait too long and the food was served. The rice from Nasi Lemak was quite sweet and tasted great. They also served a fish and prawn with it, which was a little bit tasteless. The satay was good and bad too. It consists of two different meat. One tasted not bad but the other one was a little bit strange.
The Nasi Lemak was over 7 pound plus service charge.
Staff was friendly, so nothing to complain here.
THE DAY AFTER:
This is always difficult, because you can never be entirely sure if its from the restaurant, but there were some minor problems afterwards.
So I am not sure if I will returned, because the food wasn't really convincing at least considering the price, but maybe I will try their Laksa later on.
This restaurant is in the heart of Soho, opposite various sex shops, revue bars etc. The food is fairly standard south-east Asian fare, with plenty of satay, lots of coconut flavours and fishy stuff. When I ate there recently with two friends, one of whom was vegetarian, we decided to go for an easy life and have set meals. It took a lot of effore to persuade the waiter that he should take an order on this basis, since they preferred to serve set meals only to 2 or more people, and two of us were not keen to eat the vegetarian option. However, when he eventually agreed ("I'll ask the chef if he can do it") the food was good, and plentiful. In fact, it looked as thought the chef didn't know how to do a set meal for one, because our vegetarian friend seemed to have as much food as we did. Not exceptional, but very pleasant, reasonably priced, and makes a change from the standard Chinese that is so common in the area.