Recently I blogged about Ria Malay Kitchen and I fell in love with their wine list. It was unique and every wine was obviously carefully chosen to match the delicious Malaysian food that they serve up at their Leederville restaurant.
So I took the opportunity to get in contact with the boss man of Ria, Nicholas Bond, to find out his secrets behind the wine list and matching wine with Malaysian food. Check it out below:
- A lot of people say it’s better to drink beer or cocktails with Asia food, what are your thoughts on this?
I would disagree as we have some great wine that pairs perfectly with Asian food. Most notably high fruit/sugar wines like the Hugel Gentil or Chaffey Bros Dufte Punkt, the sweetness really encourages the spice and flavours to flourish on the palate.
- Do you think wine can provide a good match to Asian food?
Most defiantly and this is something I am working on for the Leederville Food Safari to pair the wine with our progressive dinner by rickshaw.
- What were your thought processes behind putting together the wine menu for Ria?
After many discussions and some very sound advice from local wine suppliers we put together a balanced approach to the wine list, changing regularly to keep the list interesting. I wanted a list that was interesting and largely available by the glass to encourage staff and customers to try different approached when catering to our diners requirements or preferences.
- Will the wine menu at Ria be dynamic (i.e. will it always be the same or will it change every now and then)?
The list changes monthly depending on vintages and availability.
- When dining at Ria, will the waiters be confident in suggesting a good wine to match to my dish?
All the waiters are trained and educated on the wine list and pair wines with customer needs.
- For dishes with a lot of chilli in, what would you suggest as a good wine match?
The two I mentioned above plus the Chaffey Bros Rose. The more fruit the better with Chilli.
- What do you class as your signature dish on the Ria menu and what wine would you have with it?
Our Nyonya Fish and the Chaffey Bros Dufte Punkt.
- Everyone’s familiar with Mee Goreng, what wine would you match with it and why?
I would suggest Tomfoolary Young Blood Shiraz as the fruit palate, light wood and smooth finish allowing the Mee Goreng to have an explosion of flavours, soy, beef and egg noodles. YUM.
- What are your top tips when it comes to matching wine with Malaysian food?
A good balance of fruit and sugar which encourages the flavours of Malaysian food.
- Lastly, what is your favourite wine on the Ria wine menu and why?
I am in love with the Chaffey Bros Vineyard at the moment, they have some amazing wines with the blended Dufte Punkt my current favourite.
A huge thank-you to Nick for answering all my wine and food questions!