PappaRich is what I would call a high-end franchise of Malaysian restaurants. They now have twenty three venues across Australia and all of them are successful independent businesses. I love Malaysian food and with the meteoric rise of food love in Australia it isn’t just Chinese and Thai venues dotted everywhere. There is now food from every corner of the planet and Malaysian is becoming increasingly popular, and rightly so.
As a result of historical migrations, colonisation by foreign powers, and its geographical position within its wider home region, Malaysia’s culinary style in the present day is primarily a melange of traditions from its Malay, Chinese, Indian, Indonesian and ethnic Bornean citizens, with heavy to light influences from Thai, Portuguese, Dutch, and British cuisines, to name a few. This resulted in a symphony of flavours, making Malaysian cuisine highly complex, diverse and bloody delicious.
PAPPARICH SYDNEY CBD
There are quite a few PappaRich venues in the greater Sydney area but I was invited to bring a group of people to experience the new venue on Liverpool Street. It’s just a few doors down from Down ‘n Out. There was some boarding up outside as some works were still going on in the Waldorf building but the venue itself was finished. It is quite bright inside and does not have much in the way of mood-lit dining but it is a great place to go with friends for a quick and decent feed. Most of the table tops were a white and speckled granite and I love that you had a buzzer (of sorts) on your table to attract wait staff.
The venue is very clean, the kitchen runs along one side and is mostly open so you can see everything being made. The staff were efficient but not your stay-and-chat staff from most European venues. PappaRich will help you with the menu and take/bring orders but that’s about it, you are left to your own devices. The ordering process is a check box pre-printed sheet similar to yum cha – I LOVE THIS!! You fill everything out, they print it out with the kitchen and one for the table and tick everything off as it’s delivered.
WHAT WE ORDERED
There is so much to order and the menu is a large glossy printed book. The bonus of the PappaRich menu is that literally every dish has a photograph. This highly appeals to my visual sense, I am all about the pictures!
We started with drinks – four of us for dinner, I was recovering from flu so ordered lemon honey tea which was super soothing. The two girls ordered some delicious looking flavoured juices/ drinks and as Kurt hadn’t arrived we ordered him the gayest drink we could find, the incredibly pink, Bandung with grass jelly, I think it is a rose syrup flavoured drink. Kurt loved it.
I found these quite average and too small for my liking. They were a little on the dry side but the satay sauce was amazing!
We followed the satay with prawn dumplings and these were delightful, as good as most of the venues serving dumplings in Sydney, I wolfed these down with delight.
ONE OF THE BEST DISHES OF ALL TIME
Next came a dish I was hyperventilating in excitement for. As soon as I heard there was a dish purely made of fried chicken skin I was all over it. I wanted to order two bowls of them but my guests talked me out of it and luckily for me this was a smart move. The others were quite sensible and had a few handfuls, I was like a pig in shit and was basically stuffing my head in a trough and motorboating it down. I ate so much of this truly amazing crispy dish that I didn’t feel the best on my way home haha. And I would do it all again without hesitation.
CHAR KOAY TEOW
Probably my all time favourite Malaysian dish. Char Koay Teow literally means “stir-fried ricecake strips.” The dish is considered a national favourite in Malaysia and Singapore. It is made from flat rice noodles or kway (koay) teow of approximately 1 cm or (in the north of Malaysia) about 0.5 cm in width, stir-fried over very high heat with light and dark soy sauce, chilli, a small quantity of belachan, whole prawns, deshelled blood cockles, bean sprouts and chopped Chinese chives. The dish is commonly stir-fried with egg, slices of Chinese sausage, fishcake, beansprouts, and less commonly with other ingredients. Char koay teow is traditionally stir-fried in pork fat, with crisp croutons of pork lard. In Penang, Char koay teow is commonly served on a piece of banana leaf on a plate, so as to enhance the aroma on the noodles.
All that goodness makes it much lovable and Uncle Jim’s Malaysian in Chatswood easily makes my favourite, the one I judge all others by. Sadly the Char Koay Teow from PappaRich was actually a little bland and quite disappointing.
ROTI WITH CHICKEN CURRY
Following on from the crispy chicken skin the roti was the second table favourite. The Roti Canai with Chicken curry was divine and we should have ordered more than one serve of this. I loved it for more reasons than the taste. For some reason my inner OCD worships segregated food plates. The roti was fluffy and perfect in every way and the curry was divine. The accompanying sauces and the dhal were a perfect addition – on my next visit I will order this dish for myself and not be sharing!
Nasi Lemak is something I would rarely order but the rest of the table loved it. I loved the beef and stole the egg and most of the nuts but the rest isn’t for me. The flavour combos don’t do it for me but this isn’t PappaRich – this is my insane tastes. As I said, the rest of the table demolished and loved it.
PappaRich is a decent chain of Malaysian restaurants. Their goal is to be recognised as a global brand name for authentic Malaysian cuisine and they are more than on their way. Some of the dishes were superb and some some not so much but overall PappaRich is a Malaysian venue I am more than happy to regularly dine at. Even if I just sit there inhaling fried chicken skin with roti chasers.
SCORE BREAKDOWN: 2/3 food, 1/2 service, 1/1 drinks, 1/1 venue & ambience, 1/1 cost, 1/1 toilets and 0/1 bonus
PappaRich CBD Deets:
PH: 02 9283 0886
The Waldorf, 57 Liverpool street, Sydney NSW
HOURS: 11am – 10pm – 7 Days
LOCAL DELIVERY: Yes
VEGETARIAN OPTIONS: Yes
GLUTEN FREE OPTIONS: Yes
KID FRIENDLY: Yes
*** JK (and any guests of Spooning Australia) were invited guests of the establishment and/or any PR agencies representing them. However, as always, if it was shite I would happily tell you as such.