I haven’t been to Ria for quite a few years and I think it is bigger than before. It looks like they have expanded into the shop next door. I love Malaysian food, and thought that it would be nice for my parents to try something different, so we booked a table for four.
The restaurant is at the heart of the Leederville strip close to the car park and has tables inside and outside. The waitresses were very welcoming and showed us to our table, providing tap water for the group without being prompted. The menu is fairly typical Malaysian, some of the dishes have a bit of a twist to them, but all of the favourite curries are there.
I would have liked to order some veggie sides, and we did end up ordering kailan, but it had crispy pork in it which made the dish quite expensive. It would have been nice to see some sides on the menu that were purely veggie and reasonably priced.
To start we chose chicken satay and ribs.
The satay was delicious with a really yummy peanut sauce and some very authentic rice cubes. The ribs were nice but not amazing, I think they could have been seasoned a bit better, but they were very tender and well cooked and accompanied by a sweet soy dipping sauce.
For mains we chose our favourite beef rendang. The beef was really tender and well cooked, but it could have taken a bit more spice and was more bland than the rendangs that I am used to eating in Malaysia and cooking at home.
We also had fish and prawns with coconut and lemongrass. I couldn’t fault this dish – it was delicious, with perfectly cooked fish, some beans and a lovely mild sauce that hit the right notes of sweet, sour and mildly spicy.
The kailan was beautiful, cooked with chillies in ketjap manis, it had a real depth of flavour, and included crispy pork, which was nice but not necessary.
The rice was good, fluffy and well cooked.
I thought that Ria was a really nice experience and I will revisit this restaurant. There is a good range of beers and wine on the menu and the wait staff are all very friendly and helpful. I am not sure it is as fully authentic as they claim because I think that they hold back on the spice and sweeten some dishes up to suit the Australian palate. That said, it was a very pleasant meal and I left with a nicely full tummy and a smile on my face.