‘RIA’, loosely translates to happy, jolly or bright which is at the heart of our philosophy. We aim to deliver the best possible eating experience in a happy and bright atmosphere without compromising the integrity of our home style food. Our team are carefully chosen to reflect our philosophy and these guys are here to help you have a great meal and enjoy the RIA experience.
Ria in Leederville is a long time, popular restaurant and when I went there for dinner on a Wednesday evening the place was buzzing. Recently Ria announced their first menu change in twelve years and GG and I were lucky to be invited along to give some of their new additions a whirl. But fear not regulars, because while there are a few tasty new additions, all the old faves are sticking around, as they well should. I think there’d be civil unrest if some of them, like the delicious satay, vanished because seriously that sauce is pure magic!
The Leederville institution’s long time success, however, is not reason enough to rest on their laurels, with owner Nick Bond driving the most significant menu change in the establishment’s history…
“Menu changes are among the most daunting things any restaurant can do, let alone in a restaurant like Ria where love for our food runs so deep.”
“Although we made some minor tweaks when the venue expanded back in 2014, this is really the first substantial menu revision for the restaurant in twelve years of business. But it’s the right time, and I am positive it will be change for the better,” said Mr Bond.
Chef Joel Clet has introduced some really exciting new dishes, which include:
- Oven roasted, Crispy Pork Belly;
- Grilled Chicken Kebab;
- Mantou Beef Bun, featuring Ria’s famous pulled beef rendang
- Eggplant Salad with sweet soy bean sauce;
- Spiced Squid Salad
- Chicken Riblet Salad on a bed of crispy rice noodles
- Malaysian Curry Laksa;
- Stir Fried Sambal Snow Peas with Prawns;
- Seasonal Stir Fried Sambal Kangkong;
- Nasi Goreng;
- Chinese Bao, steamed or fried to your liking.
The menu was already fabulous and now there are all of these creative newbies added to the mix to make ordering even more challenging! I would suggest arriving very hungry or bringing a large group of friends so you can order one of everything!
On my recent visit I did try a few of the new additions. The Mantou Beef Buns are Ria’s spin on the increasingly popular bao bun. These are filled with their tender beef rendang, packed with plenty of spice and made with a loving amount of slow cookin’, along with a slice of crisp cucumber for refreshing crunch and fresh red chilli to up the heat factor. Those buns though – I seriously love how soft they are! Carefully picking up these lil’ buns, the first bite is bliss as you enjoy all those delicious flavours and then chomp chomp chomp you’re done.
The issue is whether or not a serve of three will be enough because I sat there wondering if we should try to polish off a sneaky dozen each! We’ll have to give that a crack on another visit though, given we had ordered other dishes I was content with the one and a half I’d thoroughly enjoyed.
In the Wok n Side section the sambal snow pea and prawn dish is a flash fried affair, just how you want these ingredients. Snow peas which are glossy green and have plenty of crunch and the abundance of tender prawns, both with a liberal coating of sambal, the vibrant chilli paste. Stir fried to perfection, it is an ideal way to enjoy your greens, with a healthy amount of heat. Yum!
We threw a few old favourites into the mix on our recent visit, because my heart (and stomach) belongs to their satay sauce. It is the actual best. Then on a chilly Winter’s evening a warming chicken curry is just what the doctor ordered. All the more so with roti. All the roti – yum!!! The curry itself was fragrant and flavoursome, with a welcome balance of spice and creaminess from the coconut milk. And finally the Mee Goreng, oodles of stir fried egg noodles with beef. Now I’ll admit, I really enjoyed this dish, but I’d turned so much attention to the others that the dent we put in the noodley offering wasn’t quite as substantial as I would have liked. Their servings are very generous.
Ria is lovely and should be on everyone’s go to Leederville list. It’s consistently tasty with authentic Malaysian flavours, the service is delightful and with so many delicious options, you can slowly but surely work your way through their whole menu over a few lunches or dinners. So take on that challenge and pay them a visit soon. I’ll race you there for more of those Mantou Buns!