MATI CRUDO + CHARCOAL
With a bold menu focus (charcoal and raw, or crudo) and a sleek interior featuring white quartz, black granite, textured walnut, and gold accents, Mati continues the diversification of Preston Street culinary options. Open since 2017, Mati puts forth a menu that incorporates Mediterranean flavours with nods to South America.
From the crudo section, yellowfin tuna tartare is a home run of crunchy cucumber, green onion, and raw tuna with a layer of lively green avocado on top and a soft bed of curry aïoli underneath. The whole thing floats in a pool of maple soy sauce with crunchy taro chips at the side, creating a perfect balance of spicy and sweet, crunchy and soft.
A Greek salad is a chunky mélange of aromatic vegetables and cheese. Tomatoes have plenty of flavour, the cucumbers smell divine, the feta is creamy and slightly sour, and the black olive tapenade brings just the right touch of brine. But it’s the croutons that shine: slightly garlicky, at once soft with olive oil and crispy from the grill.
Arancini produce a moan of pleasure. Coated with crunchy crumbs, they ooze creamy Friulano cheese and sit atop a spicy tomato sauce.
When it comes to the entrees, both the 14-ounce steak and the bone-in chicken benefit from the smoky, charred flavor of the grill. Meat is juicy, with an earthy flavour that you just can’t get from any other cooking method.
Thoughtful touches throughout the menu, as well as a sense of how to make the most of the classics, mean Mati deserves to become more than a special-occasion restaurant.