The place: Chinta Ria Soul.
The dish: Char kway teow.
The verdict: Not my best choice.
With a name like Chinta Ria Soul it wasn’t immediately clear to me what type of cuisine this place serves. Turns out it’s a variety of hawker-style and modern Malaysian noodle, rice and curry dishes.
On its expansive menu I spotted char kway teow and remembered it as a dish I’ve heard of, but not yet tried. These flat rice noodles are wok-fried with prawns, fishcake, egg, spring onion, beanshoots in a brown sauce.
To be honest, this was my least favourite dish of this culinary quest. I don’t want to point fingers at Chinta Ria Soul for this. I’m pretty sure if I’d ordered their Ayam Ria or Beef Rendang I’d have been much more satisfied. The noodles were a bit too gelatinous for me and – not to get all MasterChef judgey – but the dish was missing a variety of textures. It tasted pleasant, but I had such a large serve, I was bored of it half way through and couldn’t finish the rest.
I’ve since learned Chinta Ria Soul has been operating as a restaurant in St Kilda since 1990 – backing up my assumption that it was the dish choice, not the food that was to blame for my less than great experience. So I’ll be sure to give them another try next time I’m in St Kilda.