Friday, July 31, 2009

Chinta Ria Soul (St.Kilda) 09

Love and health I think he said in response to my question does chinta ria translate into anything in English. I'm not to sure if we left with any more of either than we came with but if you add happiness that we did achieve and it was the food that did it. This place, 94 Acland St., has been a restaurant for over 50 years and the dimly lit,undistinguished , shop front could certainly do with a make over but it has a friendly atmosphere with a background of pleasant jazz meant to match both the name and the painting at the end of the room
featuring jazz greats like Ella, Fats, Dizzy and more. They're named which is just as well because you'd be hard pressed to actually recognize most of them. It certainly looked unimpressive and my expectations were low. The menu is supplemented with specials on blackboards around the walls. We started with a couple of entrees Ella’s Wrap (2 per serve) $8.2

Plump prawn encased with herbs, vegetables & prawn mince sealed in a
fine pastry then snap fried served with a mild sweet chilli sauce, which were excellent and Lohbak (2 per serve) $7.9. Minced chicken blended with a subtle seasoning of five spice, wrapped in a bean curd skin then snap fried leaving them crisp on the outside and moist and tasty inside the wrap. Excellent, hawkers style food to start. For mains we had Sotong Ria $20.5.
Sliced calamari lightly coated in rice batter and wok tossed in soya and gula melaka sauce topped with sesame seeds and fresh coriander. Tender and balanced slightly sweet it very good choice followed by
Boneless Duck $23.0.
Half boneless braised duck in honey soy with an assortment of herbs. The sauce for this dish was very thick but hardly detracted from the extremely good duck. A sago dessert with palm sugar and coconut milk finished a particularly pleasing meal.
They have a range of chicken, seafood, beef, lamb and noodle dishes as well as soups and we also enjoyed an excellent Chinese style fried rice. For us Chinta Ria Soul has an very high returnablity factor. Reasonable prices, reasonable size serves of
very good food I will be happy to try again and again.
Score: 15.75/20 for the food. 14/20 for service and 13/20 for the rest.

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