My writer Ros blogs about her favourite Malaysian restaurant Ria Malay Kitchen which has been a Perth institution for Malaysian food for years. My favourite dish there is the rendang beef but I’m now craving the pandan crepes featured in this post.
Keep scrolling for tips on what to order at Ria. I’ll be heading there on New Years Day dinner to celebrate burger boy’s birthday! So excited that it is one of few venues open on New Years Day.
There’s an enormous amount of variety in Malaysian food and it’s heavily influenced by Thai, Chinese, Indonesian and Indian cuisine. Ria Malay Kitchen in Leederville is the master at delivering authentic Malaysian food and I’m a huge fan of them. Having lived in West Leederville for several years, it was my go to place for dinner or take away when I didn’t fancy cooking.
When foodie cravings was invited to attend Christmas a la Malaysia there a couple of weeks ago, I was more than happy to go. It was an opportunity to see how Malaysian food could be incorporated into tradition Western cuisine and mingle with other foodies. Ria Malay Kitchen is a great venue to dine in whether for small or larger groups of people. The premise, located at the end of Oxford St, now occupies two large decorative spaces that allow for table or booth seating. A large bar dominates the right of the venue and patrons can also dine outside under the pergola if they desire.
The lunch menu for the day was extensive, 5 courses all up, and I wasn’t sure how I would be able to eat everything on offer. All the dishes sounded delicious and I was very happy when I spied one of my all time favourites, laksa on there.
For my starter I had a traditional prawn cocktail on a bed of iceberg lettuce with homemade-spiced Marie Rose sauce.
It was a bit of a 70’s throwback – this was an Asian inspired version of an old classic. With a generous serve of prawns on offer, which had been shelled and deveined, the dish was served with the cocktail sauce on the side. With a light coconut taste and a kick of chilli, it went well with the freshness of the prawns.
For entrée I had a Malaysian style beef spare ribs served with corn. Slow cooked food is always delicious when done well and this was a tasty offering with a peanut sauce. The meat was tender and had a lovely glaze over the top, which was full of Asian spices. I love corn but it’s not the ideal food to be eating out in public. I took cues from my fellow diners and at first tried to slice it from the cob. With a few near misses and with the corn about to go flying, I abandoned that idea and went for the standard chomp and chew. Might not have looked very pretty but it tasted good.
My appetiser was Johor Bahru curry laksa which has rice and egg noodles, fish cake, chicken, fried onion, bean shoots and prawns.
I’m a huge fan of laksa and if I’m eating out and it’s offered on the menu, it’s a no brainer for me to order it. I like a mix of noodles and a lot of additions, the more the better all combined in a coconut, spicy flavoured soup. This variation was nice and it contained an abundance of prawns and chicken. Disappointingly, this version lacked that all-important soup and although the noodles were great, I prefer each mouthful to be consumed with rich curry coconut gravy with a bit of heat to it. Definitely tasty, but I prefer the original style which I’m more familiar with.
My main was a stuffed chicken breast with rendang curry, sides of steamed bok choy and roasted gourmet potatoes.
By this stage of the lunch, I was verging on stuffed so when this large portion of chicken and vegetables was plated before me, I literally groaned. It looked and smelled delicious but I could only manage several bites before pushing it away. The chicken was moist and tender and had a beautiful peanut filling, the bok choy soft and seasoned and the asparagus was crisp and crunchy but it was just too much food. When I spoke to the organizer of the event, I told her we had been well and truly spoilt at the day’s lunch. She laughed and explained that that’s the idea of Christmas lunch, filling yourself to capacity until you can’t eat any more. Aim – well and truly achieved.
Dessert was a pandan crepe filled with grated coconut and palm sugar and vanilla bean ice cream.
I love pandan cake, which is a light, fluffy sponge cake that is green in colour and flavoured with the juice of the pandan leaf. It takes me back to my childhood where our Asian neighbours used to make it and sell it at their Asian grocery store. We use to hang out there on weekends and have it for dessert after we’d eaten our packet noodle lunch. Spying pandan crepes on the menu, I was very happy at the sound of it but being so full, I was doubtful I could eat another mouthful.
Upon my first taste however, I was addicted. The crepes were light and had that all familiar pandan flavor, complemented by the sweet, sugary, coconut filling. The ice cream was creamy and the perfect accompaniment to the main. The agar jelly cubes were a much firmer texture than regular jelly and tasted so good. The walnuts had been salted and roasted so they were a delicious, crunchy contrast to the rest of the dessert. Delightful, I could have eaten two portions it was just that enjoyable.
Thank you Ria Malay Kitchen for hosting such a wonderful event, which showcased fantastic Malaysian food. I’ll be back soon to try more of what my favourite Malaysian restaurant has to offer.
A bit about Ros Buckley (@hungerpangs_00)
I love socialising and eating so if I can combine the two, it’s a match made in heaven. Always like to try somewhere new but can’t beat eating Vietnamese or Japanese food at a local haunt. I’m excited to explore more of what Perth has to offer and will base my reviews on food, service and the atmosphere of a restaurant.
Disclaimer: foodie cravings was invited as a guest. See disclosure policy for more details.