On arriving in Sydney (more years ago than I’ll mention), I found it pretty wonderful to be introduced to Malaysian cuisine. I wasn’t familiar with it from growing up in Vancouver, nor knew it from my travels. The Cantonese-influenced dishes were recognisable, but the classic Char Kway Teow was not exactly the same as the version Mom made, or that we’d eat in a Cantonese noodle house. It had stronger spices, and I think that’s the difference in general: more sweet tones, stickier sauces, stronger flavours.
We popped into the Westfield CBD branch of Chinta Ria on a Thursday night in Sydney . I once took my folks here to the one in Darling Harbour when they visited! Here, impressively, you step out of a brightly lit space of a shopping mall, and the atmosphere is moody and cool. We were seated in a tiny alcove off to the left which felt a bit like a private dining room. It was fun.
I was too curious to pass up the banquet menu, though we chose to add a duck dish to it… There are a lot of dishes listed on the banquet menu so I wasn’t sure how they’d fit them all in, but it was basically smaller portions of everything – which was a good thing, considering the extra dish we ordered.
Having just a bit of many things is not always the best approach. It doesn’t necessarily let the flavours sing out, and so the duck, a full order, split between two of us, ridiculously tender and in a thick salty sauce, was a highlight.
Oh, our waitress was also a highlight. She was a blast. Your Malaysian aunty who will make sure you have an excellent meal.
Loved the green sago and coconut dessert, and I liked that they challenged us with a durian dessert though agh: that flavour is too strong for me.
Ah, we also had an excellent cocktail each, beforehand, and they offer wines by the glass at a reasonable cost. All up, very well fed and alcoholised, $200 for the two of us. A pleasant night.