“Good evening sir, are you in?”, the exotic matre d’ with long flowing black hair greets me at the entrance.
I stare into her beautiful eyes and wonder if this could be my lucky night.
“Am I in?” I ask, a little puzzled.
“That’s right sir, are you in the mood for love?” she says, flashing a beautiful smile at me.
There are four other notable restaurants newly opened on Level 6 of the spanking new Westfield Sydney but after that seemingly innocent yet seductive greeting, I could walk no further than straight into Chinta Ria … Mood for Love.
As I settle myself at the cocktail bar, I am greeted with a “giant nipple” on the wall which I am told, is part of Goh’s expensive private art collection.
The lighting is seductively dim and the music so sexy, it is cajoling me into a mood of delirium.
“Would you like a drink sir?”, a beautiful waitress dressed in total black attire subtlely appears from nowhere.
I would order my usual JW Black on the rocks but the sensual ambience of this place is beckoning me for something more exciting tonight.
“What would you recommend?” I ask her as I look at the list of cocktails.
“Lick me” she says with a bashful grin.
“Excuse me?”, I gaze at her partly bemused and wondering if I heard correctly.
“That’s one of the most popular cocktails here”, she explains.
“Lick you?” I ask again.
“No sir, it’s ‘Lick Me’, that’s the name of the cocktail”.
“I’ll have one of those”, I say to her without further hesitation.
As I sip on my cocktail, I see beautiful women beginning to take off their clothes right before my eyes.
The food is no less impressive than the surrounding decor that is laced with exotic yet elegant nuances of Asian motives and this whole routine including the ‘Lick Me’ cocktail has stirred up a healthy appetite.
Chilli scallops appear with a rich and thick eggy sauce redolent of Singapore chilli crabs. The scallops are tender and tasty with a healthy hit of spicy red chilli.
There is something about dim lighting in restaurants that sets the mood for dining and as I tuck into my last scallop, I eagerly wait for the next course to arrive.
The walls of the restaurant is reminiscent of an old building in a village or kampung while a hidden projector beams out scenes of love and romance.
A short video of a handsome young gentleman courting a beautiful damsel sets the scene for a romantic evening and I now know why the maitre d’ asked if I was in the mood for love earlier on.
Pearly butter prawns prawns are plump and juicy with a slightly crunchy texture from deep fried garlic and curry leaves.
As we dine, the continuously changing love scenes on the wall appear to become larger than life.
Chicken satays arrive with a smoky grilled flavour and the accompanying peanut sauce is rich and spicy. Done well, I believe there is no better combination for grilled chicken and tonight’s satays are no exception.
A nasi goreng arrives with all the fragrant aromas of a hot and fiery wok. Each grain of rice is firm and tasty, the hallmark of a good fried rice.
A plate of Bella Chan Kang Kong or water spinach is pungently flavoursome and a sprinkling of deep fried onions and fresh red chilli add textural and spicy dimensions to this Malaysian classic.
A plate of Char Koay Teow is pulsating with the aromas of the wok. Crunchy beansprouts and a good spicy level hit the mark of another classic Malaysian favourite.
As we finish our final main course, I ask another beautiful waitress for some recommendation for desserts.
“Would you like to be on me on me all day?” she says.
“To be on you on you all day?”
“No sir, the dessert is called ‘On Me On Me All Day’ “, she explains.
A dessert platter arrives and it is a point of difference from other Malaysian restaurants. Durian pannacotta is soft, creamy with its pungent aroma while the pandan sago and coconut cream are gently sweet and savoury.
Simon Goh’s artistry in creating restaurants with a point of difference is legendary. He tells us that Chinta Ria … Mood for Love is a place where he shares his love with his friends and loyal clientele.
Sitting in this dining room and gazing at the changing love scenes on the wall, I can certainly see what he means and definitely feel the mood for love.
ChopinandMysaucepan dined as guests of Chinta Ria … Mood for Love.
Related ChopinandMysaucepan posts:
- Interview: Simon Goh, Sydney’s restaurateur extraordinaire
- Chinta Ria … Temple of Love, Cockle Bay Wharf, Sydney
- Sassy’s Red, Westfield Sydney
Chinta Ria … Mood for Love
Level 6, Shop 6009
188 Pitt street
New South Wales 2000
Tel: + 61 2 8072 8888