Asian Flavours

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Chinta Ria…Soul


By Ravenous Renee


In the mood for some Malaysian cuisine; I was excited to stop by and dine at this iconic St Kilda institution – Chinta Ria…Soul – on Acland Street. An establishment that has successfully made a name for itself for over twenty years; this was one place I’d been to before, but had forgotten just how good it really was. Here you can get authentic Malaysian cuisine with a modern twist; all served up with worthy prices, and prompt and efficient service, not bad.

Taking a seat inside with a friend, we ordered a couple of entrees, mains and desserts to share. Starting off, we went with the Satay Chicken ($5.90), Lettuce Cup ($5.90), and a bowl of the traditional and very popular, Curry Laska ($6.90 [coconut curry, vegie, and chicken noodle soup]).

For mains we decided on the Ayam Ria ($19.90 [wok tossed chicken pieces in a blend of spices with fresh ginger root, snow peas, crisp carrot slices and dry red chilli]), Beef Rendang ($19.80 [beef cubes in an aromatic sauce of curry paste and coconut milk]), and Mee Goreng ($12.90 [hokkien noodles, bean curd, potatoes, tomatoes, chicken and prawns wok-fried with a hint of chilli, spices and garnished with lettuce, shallots and a wedge of lemon]), all recommended choices by our lovely and very hospitable waitress, Joanne.

So where do I start? The curry laska was out of this world – creamy coconut, curry-infused, liquid bliss. Within it was lightly blanched, crunchy vegetables and soft, chewy-sweet pieces of fried bean curd – all highlighting its splendour. Meanwhile, our satay chicken was perfectly cooked and crispy-golden-succulent; with the satay sauce being some of the best I can honestly say I’ve ever had. The lettuce cups were also a good get; showcasing a mixed vegetable, Malaysian-inspired, tangy-sweet concoction, and great if you’re looking for a lighter entrée appetiser to start off your evening.

Moving onto the mains, not one dish could be faulted – each was divine. The Beef Rendang came out with big chunks of delicately soft and tender meat, served with a hearty and robust sauce, and made for a very satisfying indulgence. The Ayam Ria Chicken was also delightful; showcasing a syrupy rich, dark and piquant sauce, that soaked up its chicken and mixed vegetable contents well, alongside the coconut rice that it was served with. Lastly the traditional noodle dish, Mee Goreng, with its thick, soft and buoyant noodles – enwrapping yummy vegetables, chicken and prawns, and done in Chinta Ria…Soul’s own recipe of delectable spices, with a hint of chilli – was just the right dish to go hand-in-hand with everything else that we ordered.

Finally finishing the night off on a sweet (and digestive) note; desserts and coffees it was. We ordered the traditional Malaysian Pandan Crepe ($8.50 [satiny-soft, brightly green, Pandan-leaf fragrant crepes – stuffed with moist coconut flesh and drenched in dark palm sugar sweetness]), homemade by owner Angie herself, and the Sticky Date ($9.50) – both heavenly divine. Our coffees also washed our treats down well. Furthermore, if you’re a fan of sticky date like me, wait until you try this one; fresh sticky date cake meets the most alluringly moreish butterscotch sauce that you may ever taste – no kidding. So if it’s a sweet, authentic Malaysian and smart-casual dining establishment that you are searching for, look no further than Chinta Ria…Soul; your tastebuds will thankyou for it.


Chinta Ria…Soul
94 Acland Street, St Kilda
Opening hours:
Lunch: 12pm-2.30pm (Closed Saturday Lunch)
Dinner: 6pm ‘till Late
Open 7 Days
Ph: 9525 4664

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