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PappaRich fever has hit Australia. It seems like it’s the sister franchise to PappaRoti (Update: I’ve been informed they are completely separate entities). With its first franchise opening up in QV where Old Town Kopitiam Mamak was, earlier this year. They have quickly opened up two more stores, one in Doncaster and the latest one in Chadstone Shopping Centre (Outside but close to Aldi) with probably more to come. If you haven’t guessed already, they serve Malaysian food and quite a good variety of food at that.

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We ordered Nasi Briyani with Eggplant, Curry Prawns and Fried Chicken and Pappadam. I don’t think very many places serve Nasi Briyani, so it was a pleasant surprise to see it on the menu. The Briyani was fantastic, it had a very strong but not overpowering flavour, nicely cooked with all the spices. I’m not a big fan of sultanas in Briyani though, but it is a staple for most.

The Curry Prawns aren’t overly spicy, it’s mostly sweet actually and these prawns are the bite sized kind. I prefer the King Prawns but these little prawns suffice. The eggplant adds a nice spicy flavour to it to. Overall, it’s definitely a good meal, with a wide variety of flavours that all work well together. A must for Briyani lovers.

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Their Curry Laksa is very different to the popular Laksa’s around. It tastes very home-made and it also lacks that huge punch of coconut milk/cream. Which is a good thing in my book! Sometimes I prefer a milder, less rich Laksa and this hits the sweet spot. There are a couple of Laksa varieties of the menu, Chicken, Vegetarian, and Seafood. I chose the Chicken version and it is served with chicken (of course),  fried bean curd, bean curd, eggplant and a hint of mint. It also only has Hokkien Mee (no Bee Hoon as some Laksa’s have) so it really depends on your preferences. There is a lot to like with PappaRich’s Laksa as mentioned above, the curry soup is delicious as it retains a nice curry flavour but also adds a kick of spice. Overall, I’m pretty happy with this dish it is a definite change of pace.

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You can’t go to a Malaysian restaurant and not see Nasi Lemak, here we ordered the Nasi Lemak with Curry Chicken and Sambal. I’ve got to say that Sambal is superb. It’s sweet, and my golly does it have a huge hit of heat. I’m in love, best Sambal I’ve had in a while. The Curry Chicken is slightly sweet, but it’s nice. I’d order this dish just for the Sambal to be honest.

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Their Drinks menu is quite large too, here we ordered the Soya Bean with Grass Jelly. I liked this because it has a strong soya flavour but also it isn’t too sweet so for those that would like a nice refreshing drink but not overly sweet. Here it is!

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PappaRich’s Teh Tarik is pretty good too, has a nice tea flavour but not overwhelming. Same with the sweetness, although I still prefer Chilli Padi Mamak‘s Teh Tarik. It’s also a tad smaller then what you’d get elsewhere, so there is a bit of a trade off.

Impressions

PappaRich has definitely made an impression on me. It’s menu is full of things to try, from their Roti’s and snacks, to Noodles and Rice dishes and a great selection of desserts and drinks. Although their ABC Ice Kacang is definitely the most expensively priced item I’ve seen, priced at roughly $7  I didn’t even try it. I’m a bit wary of the portion size but also if it leads to disappointment as I think it would.

I do have to warn you for first timers that you order by writing down your selection on the pads found on the side and once you’re down you wave down one of the staff to take your paper. They then give you your receipt which you pay at the end of your meal at the receipt counter. I don’t think some of the staff do tell you that so best be warned before sitting there for minutes waiting for service.

Other than that, the service was surprisingly good. We had to wait roughly 10 minutes to get seats as PappaRich still is affected by the “new/curious” diners (like me) but once we ordered, food came within another 5/10 minutes. Pretty good actually for a full house.

Overall, I would dine again just to try their other items and it means there is actually some good Malaysian food in Chadstone, apart from Chadstone Shopping Centre’s Chilli Mama (Located in the Food Court) and Nudle (Near Nandos/Cinemas). It actually makes me want to go to Chadstone more often!

PappaRich (Chadstone Shopping Centre) on Urbanspoon

PappaRich Chadstone
Shop F029
Chadstone Shopping Centre
Chadstone VIC 3148

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One of the main tourist attractions in the Mornington Peninsula is the Red Hill Estate for all wine lovers. For beer lovers, there is the Red Hill Brewery. Their brewery and dining area has this nice rustic wooden aesthetic to it but it feels very Australian and modern. While the Brewery’s beer gets people through the doors, their sharing plates are wonderful in its own right.

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We ordered one of those beer sampling tray, as seen below. From the far back I believe Wheat Beer, Scotch Ale, Belgian Blonde and Golden Ale. Being a fan of the lighter beers, I much preferred the golden coloured beers as it didn’t feel as heavy and strong. I don’t drink beer all that often so I really can’t comment on the complexities of flavours of each beer, but I’d definitely go back for the Belgian Blonde. Reminds me of Stella Artois, which is a good thing!

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We also ordered three sharing platters which range from $10-12 dollars as this was basically our morning tea beer, and to accompany our lovely beers.

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The first dish we ordered is the Beetroot & Orange Cured Salmon. My golly was it something else. The citrus flavour of the orange works really well with the slight saltiness of the salmon and the sweetness of the beetroot makes this whole combination oddly beautiful.  The Main Ridge dairy goats curd mousse and pea shoot salad, really add to the complexity of the dish. I’m actually a fan, even though I was quite apprehensive at first.

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The other two dishes we ordered is the Stoemp Cakes. These crispy fried pieces contain mashed potato served with vegies. I’m a big fan of anything potato so these cakes were superb. The batter is very light and thin so it doesn’t feel overly rich and fattening. The homemade mayonnaise adds a nice creaminess to the overall dish. So I was pretty happy with this dish, but I’d be happy with potato regardless so maybe it’s not the best advice to go off.

On the right of the picture, in the red bowl, is the Lamb Koftas. Again, Red Hill Brewery have served up another winner. These lamb balls aremarinated with some very pleasant spices, and for those that are put off by the Lamb taste, it still has retains some of this but the roast tomato sauce along with the spices mostly mask this flavour.  Even though I loved the Stoemp Cakes, these Lamb Koftas were my absolute favourite. Perfectly cooked, and just a pleasure to eat.

Red Hill Brewery is definitely a must visit for Beer lovers, but also wins my heart for its delicious food. I couldn’t afford to come here as often as I would like, but that’s okay. When travelling to (or even through the) Mornington Peninsula, you can’t go wrong with stopping here.

Red Hill Brewery on Urbanspoon

Red Hill Brewery (Menu)
88 Shoreham Rd
Red Hill South
Victoria 3937

Ph 03 59892959
Fax 03 59892270

Winter Opening Hours
Thursday – Sunday 11am – 6pm (7pm during daylight savings)
plus all Public holidays and Mondays during school holidays

NB: Bookings are required for lunch

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After baking my first Pandan Chiffon Cake, we decided to try baking the Orange Chiffon Cake. Usually Pandan and Orange and they two popular versions in Melbourne. I’m really not sure of many other versions, I’ve seen someone do a Black Sesame one but haven’t had a chance to try that yet.

The difference between the Pandan and Orange Chiffon Cake recipes is the Orange version tastes much lighter because  of the use of coconut milk in the Pandan recipe which makes it slightly more dense. Without further adieu here is my mother’s recipe which works a treat!

Orange Chiffon Cake
Ingredients

8 egg whites
100 g sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

8 egg yolks
60 g sugar

180 g self-raising flour (or 160 g plain flour and 20g cornflour)

1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp baking powder

120ml vegetable oil/corn oil
80ml orange juice

1 tsp orange extract

Method
1. Preheat oven to 160/170 degrees Celsius.
2. Sieve the flour, salt and baking powder into a medium sized bowl.
3. Add the vegetable oil, orange juice, orange extract, egg yolks and sugar into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
4. Whip the egg whites and once it starts to bubble add the cream of tartar.
5. Keep whipping until the mixture is nearing soft peaks, then slowly add the sugar with the electric mixer is still running and until hard peaks form.

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6. Add 1/3 of the meringue into the wet mixture until the thick mixture softens. Then slowly add in the rest of the meringue until just combined. Do not overmix!
7. Pour into the cake pan (one made for upside down cakes – it has a hole in the middle)
8. Place in the oven for 30/40 minutes. If the top of your cake gets brown too quickly, lower the oven temperature to around 150. To see if it’s done, you can use a skewer and poke it through the middle. If it comes out clean, it’s done.

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9. Remove from the oven when done, and flip it upside. If the cake as risen higher than the cake pan’s height, use a mug and rest the middle cylinder on top.

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10. Allow the cake to cool until room temperature.

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Here’s how it looks inside!

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I find that you’ll always have a slight depression and density at the bottom because of the meringue cooling. You’ll be hard pressed to find a Chiffon cake that doesn’t sink a bit so don’t worry if yours does. It’s fine!

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Impressions

I find the Orange Chiffon Cake to be extremely light, but full of orange flavour. The orange juice really adds the much needed freshness and flavour. It really will depend on the oranges and how ripe they are but a little bit of orange extract is good just in case the orange juice doesn’t do its job.

Using a stand mixer really makes a difference to a hand mixer. I find the hand mixer either overbeats the meringue, or doesn’t evenly beat the egg whites. Maybe it’s just my poor hand mixing but with a stand mixer and especially a planetary mixer, you get hard peaks extremely quickly and without much fuss. The key in making a good Chiffon Cake is obtain hard peaks and carefully mix it in with the batter but just enough. Once you’ve tried it a couple of times, you’ll know how hard/gentle to mix and after that it really does become easy to make.

If you love light, fluffy cakes  and you don’t want a buttery aftertaste, Chiffon Cakes are excellent for your cake fix.

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This is going to be a historical post since the two Old Town Kopitiam restaurants in Melbourne have now closed. Their China Town location is now a Hong Kong/Taiwanese Dessert House, and their QV location is now a PappaRich store. I believe PappaRich is a cafe/restaurant offshoot of PappaRoti, and they are also opening a store in Chadstone.

I wasn’t too fond of Old Town Kopitiam, I found the food to be a little lacking and average, but their drinks menu was quite interesting. I can see why these two stores have closed though, even the appeal of Mamak food in the QV store wasn’t enough to interest most people.

Most of the food was expensive for the serving size, I did enjoy their Char Koay Kak. I must say, it probably was one of the best dishes on the menu, and you couldn’t really find it anywhere else. The rest of the menu, apart from their Nasi Kandar was bland and at times strange.

For example, their Curry Laksa (Pictured above) was so strange and unpleasant to eat. The curry soup base had a really odd taste to it, it’s slightly spicy but there is no creaminess or much flavour to it.

For added taste they add in curry leaves, by the bucketload! Eating their food actually takes effort.

I know this may sound like a whining blog post, but on most occasions the above experiences was really what it was like eating there. There were a few plus sides as mentioned above, but overall is really was a disappointing Malaysian eatery. I haven’t tried PappaRich yet, but every time I want to go eat there, it’s full!

Old Town Kopitiam Mamak (QV Square) on Urbanspoon

Old Town Kopitiam (Now PappaRich)

210 Lonsdale St
Melbourne VIC 3000

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