Chinta Ria to be reborn at Darling Square, complete with Buddha

Simon Goh with his Buddha statue at the original Chinta Ria in Cockle Bay two decades ago.
Simon Goh with his Buddha statue at the original Chinta Ria in Cockle Bay two decades ago.  Photo: Robert Pearce

For the past five years, a giant three-metre high Buddha statue has been packed away in a suburban sporting club.

It isn't just any Buddha, it's the "happy" Buddha from Simon Goh's Chinta Ria restaurant that etched itself on the Sydney dining scene over nearly two decades.

Customers proposed and married at its feet, and it took a team to remove it when Chinta Ria closed in 2015.

But the Chinta faithful can finally peel off their "bring back the Buddha" bumper stickers, because Goh is opening a new restaurant with you-know-who as the centrepiece.

"I've taken the site next to Auvers at Darling Square. Chinta Ria: Buddha Love will open there in December," Goh says.

The restaurateur has commissioned his original Chinta designer, Melbourne-based Wayne Finschi, to sculpt its interior.

While the menu will signal a return to Malaysian comfort food, Goh concedes he'll need to sacrifice a few tables in the 60-seater to accommodate his trusty mascot.

"I had a calling from Buddha," he says.