13 December 2013
My family caught up for dinner at Ria in Leederville. The menu included a jumble of food from different parts of Malaysia, some items catering for Western palates, and a few Indian dishes. Under my mum’s strict instruction, we stuck to the Malaysian dishes that she knows from her childhood.
Definitely make a booking because Ria is very popular and only opens for dinner. We arrived on-time and waited 15 mins at the bar while they cleared a table. There were quite a few diners sipping beer and wine, but people left their drinks unfinished (omg, what a waste of money).
Traditional satay (6 sticks for $16.50)
Standout dish of the night was the chicken satay, which was lightly charred and tender. The meat was full of flavour and we loved the house-made peanut sauce which was thick, rich, mildly spicy, and chockers full of peanut bits. We were pleased that the satay was served with the traditional chunks of raw brown onion, cucumber, and lovely soft rice cakes to dunk into the peanut sauce.
Red baked fish fillet ($25)
The baked fish was served on a banana leaf covered in a generous layer of sauce. I hoped for a more delicate balance of flavours from the tomato, lime leaf, and ginger. Also I reckon the fish fillet was a little expensive for the small portion size.
Kapitan chicken curry ($24)
The kapitan chicken curry was tasty, but not as good as D’Nyonya Penang restaurant. We agreed that it was the better of the two curries we ordered, but it wasn’t amazing.
Rendang terlagi-lagi ($26)
Beef rendang was misleadingly described on the menu as “dry-style”. Traditionally, this dish is braised beef cubes in a thick paste-like sauce. It should not look like a muddy Gravox packet mix. The complex and spicy rendang flavours were missing from this dish.
Nyonya vegetable curry ($17)
We enjoyed the rich, mild, coconut-based sauce. A little expensive because the curry was mostly tofu, green beans, potato, carrot and a few stray peas.
The waitstaff were attentive and helpful, frequently replacing our bottles of free chilled water. Rice is $3 for one small heaped bowl, which is a rip. However, the meal only cost about $25 each and we had leftovers for brekkie the next day. Ria offers quite tasty food that caters for Western palates and offers a large number of gluten-free choices, which worked well for our table.
Likes: awesome chicken satay
Dislikes: most dishes watered down for Western palates, muddy rendang
Value for money: average
Overall: overrated, not the best Malaysian food in town
106 Oxford St
(08) 9328 2998