The warmth of the aromatic curry embraced me as I walked through the wooden doors into the round-shaped Asian restaurant.
Chinta Ria is modelled on a Malaysian Temple, hence the meaning of its name- Temple of Love.
There is no maitre d’ to greet you, only the smiling face of a giant Buddha sitting in the middle of the restaurant.
Kalyra and I bent over the incense offerings in front of him drawing in the sweet smell that conjured up for me the image of one word only Home.
As we listened to the gentle Asian stringed meditative instruments playing in the background, I explained to Kalyra who Buddha was and that the incense is burned as a form of offering or a way of saying thanks.
Her embracement of the Buddha was evident throughout the rest of the lunch with her soft chants of “Mummy is a Big Buddha” followed by little giggles.
Chinta Ria is a Malaysian restaurant situated in Cockle Bay, the heart of Darling Harbour in Sydney.
Its third story rooftop terrace location gives you views of the bustling harbour below, yet offers you tranquil seclusion with its courtyard tucked away beyond the hedges of trees, ferns and shrubs.
As we sat at our table I felt as if I was where I belonged.
We had decided to enjoy a delicious meal here as part of our Malaysian Kitchen Bloggers Ambassadors Programme, whereby we get to try Malaysian food around the city.
Malaysian cuisine is a fusion of flavours and tastes inspired by the country’s multicultural heritage.
Many of the dishes are inspired by elements of Chinese, Thai and Indian cooking as well as that of other nations surrounding it.
I am really enjoying getting to know it more and discovered some more amazing dishes to try.
Here are 6 more Delicious Malaysian Dishes…
Plump prawns stuffed with minced prawns, herbs and vegetables sealed in a fine pastry and snap fried. These were delicious to try but I didn’t quite get a distinctive Malaysian feel for them.
I am in love with Laksa, and I enjoyed this one way more than the last one which was also delicious.
I found this laksa had more depth to the flavour, and if I was a Masterchef I could tell you what was in it to make it taste so good. But, I can’t. Just take my word for it!
Fried tofu with Hokkien Noodles
This was Kalyra’s kid choice, which really lacked a lot of flavour. But that could truly be just the fault of our fussy eater who won’t put sauce on anything.
We ended up eating the tofu ourselves and when combined with the satay sauce was actually quite tasty- really soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside.
I am a sucker for eggplant and the eggplant in this dish just rocked the house.
Ikan Melody is lightly spiced fresh fish of the day pan-tossed with onions, curry leaves, lemongrass then simmered in a coconut broth of eggplant, green beans & tomatoes.
This was an absolute winner, my mouth drooled over the creamy deliciousness of this dish.
Hokkien noodles in a dark soy sauce with slices of fish cake, rockling fillets, bok choy and prawns.
While I really enjoyed the flavours of this dish, it was very familiar to me in terms of being typical Asian dish, so I wasn’t that excited by it. I didn’t feel like I was trying anything “Malaysian” new.
When you mention Malaysian most people talk about Roti, which is a type of flatbread.
Kalyra had the great idea of wrapping her rice up in it and eating it that way. Eating the Ikan Melody like this was the perfect combination of food.
By the end of that meal I really did feel like the Big Buddha!
I can’t wait to do it all over again.
Where: Roof Terrace, Cockle Bay wharf next to the Pyrmont footbridge. 201 Sussex St Sydney 02 9264 3211
When: 12– 2:30pm 6:00-11pm Sun close 10:30
Prices: Entrees- $9-15 Mains: $19-32
We dined as a guest of Malaysia Kitchen. All opinions are of course my own.