When I was in Lima I saw my godfather after 20+ years. He told me his oldest daughter was living here in Sydney and offered to send me her email to get in touch. Last time I saw Mariella she was maybe 5 o 6 years old; needless to say I didn’t feel precisely young when I learned she’s doing an MBA now!
We found a not-too-busy Saturday afternoon in our diaries to catch up over lunch with my sister. I was in the mood for Asian food and so emailed Gladys a few choices. We decided to give Chinta Ria’s Mood For Love a shot. The restaurant theme is inspired in a romantic Hong Kong movie, definitely not my thing but I had to admit the menu did look good.
The menu is divided in scenes: scene 1 “ticklin’ you” presents starters, scene 2 “seducing you” comprises mains from the sea and the land, scene 3 “accompanying you” are the sides, scene 4 “are you in… sweet heart???” are.. you guessed it… desserts, and scene 5 “quickiss…” [sic] is the Monday to Friday lunch menu. Very lame, but nicely presented.
As I’ve said many times before I like to order duck and seafood whenever I get a chance to because we don’t eat them often at home. Gladys was in the same page as me, so we shared as per usual. The main from the land was duck secret, braised duck with preserved vegetables in mix herbs and tamarind infused broth. It was nice, but both Gladys and I felt that it lacked an X-factor. I think I always expect really accentuated flavours when eating Malaysian food, and this dish was more on the delicate side.
Duck secret ($25)
The main from the sea definitely had that boldness we were looking for. Sambal fish, pan-fried fish of the day with spicy Malay style chilli jam, wasn’t too hot and certainly packed a lot of flavour.
Sambal fish ($29)
We also ordered a side of mixed greens tossed with garlic, which were tasty and generous in quantity, but a little hard to eat with chopsticks. Bite-sized pieces would have been better.
Mixed greens ($15)
Mariella had the goldie prawns, light crispy prawns cutlets tossed in blended egg butter, which she enjoyed with a side of steamed rice.
Goldie prawns ($27)
I think it’s safe to say this is not Sydney’s best Malaysian restaurant, nor the cheapest, but it’s good enough for when you’re feeling like a non-dodgy restaurant experience. Service was good, and they have a gluten-free version of the menu.
Chinta Ria Mood For Love
Level 6/Shop 6009 Westfield Sydney
188 Pitt St NSW 2000
(02) 8072 8888