4039 18th Street, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9411437.760901 -122.433695
Neighborhoods: Castro, Central
Just read my review-you'll get it – This little jewel should be packed every night. Everything we tried was awesome-the appetizers, soups (especially the snow pea soup), entrees (melt in your mouth sea bass) and their signature chocolate souffle. They also have a nice sake and wine list. I wish I had discovered this restaurant a long time ago. I'm a concierge and try many places...this one I'll be returning to, as well as referring others. The service and staff are really fun and attentive. Whoever designed the interior did a fabulous job, using quality materials and lighting...just try it....you won't be sorry!
Hidden gem – My husband and I discovered Malacca while searching opentable's list of available lunch reservations. We were enticed by the 1000 points for making and keeping a reservation (opentable is a great site which has great rewards), the type of food, and the restaurant's proximity to our home. We loved our meal. The crab wontons are delicious as is the curry and pad thai. The banana wonton dessert won our hearts as well. The very friendly manager/server has a great personality. We'll certainly be going back for dinner since that's when I'm told they truly shine. Very affordable and a lovely space completes the experience.
Innovative cuisine, some service hiccups – I've eaten at Malacca several times and enjoyed it each time. As others have mentioned, the servers can sometimes disappear for a while. But the dishes are interesting and intelligently concocted. Be sure to ask your server to describe the dishes: our tuna tartare had so much cilantro in it that it was no longer appetizing. The fried rice side dish is so good that we ate every grain.
Great Service, Great Food – My new favorite place to eat in the Castro - a real gem in a neighborhood of duds. Simply some of the consistently best food you can find in the area. I've been three times now since they opened, and each time me and my friends have really wonderful meals. Can't say a thing bad about them!
Another great addition to the Castro – I live one block from Malacca, walk by it everyday - finally went for the first time last night. I'm so glad we did! Everything was great. We started off with the tuna tartar - so fresh, perfect portion! My fiancee had the Grilled Ahi Tuna and I had the Malacca Chicken - both were perfection. I don't what they do to that basmati rice, but I ate every morsel.. I usually leave the rice. They have a fantastic wine list. I had a Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa and my fiancee had a sake flight (generously poured, I might add). For dessert we had the coconut mango cheesecake. Again, the portion was perfect - not too much but definitely enough to satisfy the two of us. The Castro has many fabulous eateries - this addition is very welcome in my book..can't wait to go back - maybe for lunch!
Horrible Service – I have been to this place 5 times. First when it opened - service was awesome food was so-so. But the last time I went the service was ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE. The food took so long that we had to flag down the waiter and ask him about it (this was after waiting 30 min for a salad to come out) the waiter always answer with it will be out in a minute. The entree then took another hour after finishing the salad! The waiter went on to say that it was because we ordered an appetizer (the salad). What kind of place blames your for lame service due to ordering a first course??? The waiter never apologized for the service and went on to admit that the "kitchen f'd fup" in those exact words. The table next to us had the same experience and complained the whole meal through.
Good ambiance for now..., – this is a new restaurant another addition to the Castro district, not quite sure if it will hold out with consistency of service and the food. Menu interesting. Gado Gado salad from Indonesia, suspect. I've tried the real Gado Gado and this one was like a bit of a let me do it the Americaize way, with oh, quail eggs, which I never saw on any indonesian restaurant menu or in that country, bean sprouts?
Appetizers your sure bet at this point for a worthy snack.
More work, I'll keep in eye on this place so should you.
Great Make-over – Instead of a burger joint You'll now find a lively and enviting atmosphere great for an intimate date or a fun gathering. We didn't have reservations but only waited a minute for the friendly hostess to procure us a comfotable seat. Suerver was informative/attentive with a perfect balance between friendly and professional. The food provided mixed feelings; some dishes like the porkvindaloo and beef salad were flawless, others like the seabassand rice pudding needed help. The wine list is a bit small, but accomodating and unique with its global offerings selected by a sommelier. At one point I dropped my fork on the floor, and before i could blink it was picked up and replaced with a new one by the MANAGER! Who by the way was very gracious to stop and chat, answering all the questions we had with poise and anecdotal comedy. All in all a great experience.
Beware the Incompetent Hostess – The food here is wonderful, and the servers on all 3 visits have been fine. The hostess, however, is arrogant and incompetent. If there are more than 2 in your party, I strongly suggest you do not accept one of the tables in the center of the restaurant. They're too small for 3 or more diners. Insist on a booth or a table along the banquette, even if she claims they're all "reserved." Nothing's more aggravating than eating as though you're in a coach airline seat while decent tables go unused for the duration of your meal. The vegetarian pad Thai, the salmon, the crab /avocado rolls and the prawn appetizers are stellar.
Comforting Asian Fusion cuisine in an inviting Castro restaurant. – The Scene
Nestled among the neighborhood's gay bars is this respite welcoming all types, from early-bird families to couples. Lots of blonde wood provides a cheery context, while saucer lights and thin hanging lamps give the narrow room an alluring glow, complemented by jazzy lounge tunes. Seating includes banquettes and firm-cushioned booths, ideal for groups of four.
Fusion cuisine comprises a menu peppered with Asian influences. The tuna tartare is a large proportioned, beautifully presented beginner--hugged by thin cucumber and surrounded with sweet dipping sauces. However, the savory starters stand out, including Greek-influenced basil prawns wrapped in crunchy yet virtually greaseless phyllo and a creamy spinach soup accented with Indian spices. The satisfying rendang curry is a solid entrée consisting of three slightly spicy, lean strips of beef. Even tastier is the pan-seared pork tenderloin vindaloo, dressed with a red-wine reduction and cushioned by addictive sweet mashed potatoes.
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