Cinta Raya 1381 Ferntree Gully Road, Scoresby Cuisine: Malaysian, Asian
This is a new restaurant which opened about 4 months ago. We had been here once before and I was happy with the food and impressed with the variety of offerings on the menu. So I was quite happy to come back with other people to try more dishes. I made a booking to make sure we had a table. We came for dinner early on a Sunday evening. The restaurant misplaced our booking but was able to put together a table for us as there were only two other tables of diners at that time. The restaurant started to get busier later in the evening.
We ordered Spicy Salt and Pepper Soft Shell Crab, Assam Fish, Udang Raya, Belachan Kangkung, Honey Chicken, Fried Kuay Teow, Seafoo Tom Yum Noodle, Cantonese Beef Hor Fun and steamed rice. For desserts, we had Sago Pudding with Palm Sugar and Coconut Milk, Green Tea Ice Cream with Red Beans, and Lychees with vanilla ice cream.
The Spicy Salt and Pepper Soft Shell Crab was very good - as nice as when we had it the first time. The Assam Fish was not bad, as was the Udang Raya. The presentation was very simple which made the dishes appear home cooked. One drawback of the sitting arrangement was that we were placed under the wall mounted air conditioning unit which was blasting cold air directly towards our table. It was a hot day but the direct air conditioning was not good for dining as our food became cold within minutes. Dishes like the Assam Fish and the Udang Raya became gluggy as they cooled. The Belachan Kangkung was about average - some people may prefer it spicier. The honey chicken was tasty and the batter was not overly thick like at some other places - I don't normally order chicken in batter in an Asian restaurant but if someone did want a battered chicken dish, I would suggest this. The Fried Kuay Teow was good - we had also ordered it the first time we were here. The Tom Yum Seafood noodle soup had a good variety of ingredients. The Cantonese Beef Hor Fun was not bad and would be even better if it was more savoury. The rice was served in individual bowls and charged per bowl. I prefer rice to be served in a rice bucket which is shared amongst the diners at the table - individuals can help themselves to the amount of rice they prefer as the meal progresses, and not worry about having to order more individual bowls of rice.
The desserts were well received by all at the table. The Green Tea Ice cream had a good flavour - I prefer green tea ice cream on its own and not paired with red bean but others at the table liked this combination. The Sago Pudding with Palm Sugar and Coconut Milk was nicely presented and tasted good - it is very sweet so will appeal to those with a sweet tooth. The Lychees with Vanilla Ice Cream was standard fare. On our previous visit, they had complimentary house desserts but this does not seem to be available any more.
Overall, the food was reasonable and there are more varieties to try from the nicely put together menu. I like the photos in the menu which give a good representation of the dishes - handy when people are selecting their meals.
The owner seems enterprising and we are happy to support people who are working hard to make a success of a venture. This place has the makings of a good Asian restaurant. Cinta Raya has made this quiet corner of Scoresby worth coming to for a visit.