Thoroughly modern Malay

15. 784FOOD

RIA, Leederville

by DAVID BELL:

It speaks volumes when a suburban venue is packed on a weeknight.

A previous attempt to drop by Leederville legend Ria had seen us turned away on a Tuesday, but trying our luck again we managed to recently slip into this Oxford Street institution.

I lived with a Malay for a year and I’d say Ria takes inspiration from the culture’s cuisine and puts a modern spin on it without merely replicating the same old dishes.

The produce is all top-notch, drawing on WA producers like Mt Barker free-range chicken, Plantaganet pork and Amelia Park lamb.

For starters we chose the Ria pork nibbles ($16.50) which saw a plate of juicy meat on the bone served alongside an outrageously guilt-inducing caramelised sauce. It’s extremely rich and set a high standard for the rest of the meal.

When it came to the mains I picked up the black pepper and coriander fried chicken ($23). Imagine KFC gone gastronomic, and it’s along those lines. The fried crispy skin gives way to soft, juicy flesh, beautifully moist with a sharp peppery taste soothed by the garlic and yoghurt dipping sauce. Highly recommended.

We also went for the red baked fish ($23), and were served up a huge fillet on a banana leaf and draped in fresh tomato sauce cut with ginger and lime leaf. It’s a complex play of flavours, delicate and biting, with the flesh of the fish very obviously fresh.

The wine list is pretty comprehensive with more than a dozen each of red and whites (and—applause please—every one is available by the glass), while the three beers on tap come in at a winceworthy $12 a pint.

Two people can expect to get out of here for $80 plus drinks, and while the price of a pint hurts, the food was definitely great value.

by DAVID BELL

Ria Authentic
Malaysian Food
Open Monday to Sunday
5.30pm to 10pm
1/106 Oxford St, Leederville
9328 2998

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