I’ve dined at most of the PappaRich stores in Victoria and the Glen Waverley and Chadstone stores I would say are the best of the bunch. Although, I’ve heard from numerous people the Doncaster outlet is above all, I have actually yet to try it even though it’s now the closest one to me. Go figure.
Malaysian cuisine has almost become part of the Melbourne dining experience with Nasi Goreng or even Laksa as commonly known dishes to most. What isn’t as well known is probably the more Indian or Malay influenced Malaysian dishes such as their Nasi Kandar style dishes which is usually rice served with curry and side dishes.
PappaRich has a decent selection of menu choices such as beef rendang or curry chicken or even prawns and eggplant for instance. Generally, I would say you can’t go wrong with it and the Biryani offerings I would say are pretty darn tasty.
Their Har Mee (Pappa Prawn Mee) is one of my favourite Malaysian dishes. Some restaurants tend to water down their prawn soup base, but here it’s still full flavoured. My only con is that it’s just overly oily. Otherwise it’s something I can probably rely on being satisfied with.
As mentioned before, PappaRich Glen Waverley is one of my preferred PappaRich outlets and both service and food quality is above average. Although finding a table during peak times can be the most challenging issue of it all. Queuing is almost the norm there. However, to be honest I would probably prefer to dine at Petaling Street for my Malaysian fix at Glen Waverley. Though, you’re really spoilt for choice with Kitchen Inn, Straits of Malacca and O’Town all within walking distance from each other.
Ipoh Koay Teow Soup with Steamed Chicken, Pappa Prawn Mee, Pappa Special Nasi Lemak
Foods Paradise across from Glen Waverley Railway station replaced Ho Chak earlier this year. It serves a mixture of cuisines such as Malaysian, Taiwanese and Chinese. There are a number of dishes on offer on their menu, starting off with the xiao long buns, rice & noodle dishes and combo meals. It’s an interesting variety of dishes I must say.
We ordered the Braised Beef Noodle Soup, pictured above. It has that soy soup base that you may find familiar to that of Soy Chicken with an essence of something herbal too. I’m not a big fan of this kind of soup or sauce for that matter but it is flavourful for what it is.
To try something different, I was attracted to the Shark Fin Noodle Soup that was pictured in the menu with the green tinged noodles. This dish looks amazing, but the taste is a spectacular let down for its complete blandness and overload of mushrooms as its primary flavour. The soup lacks any real substance and the “shar fins” add that element of texture to the soup but with the soup base itself lacking in any substantial flavour it comes out as a disappointment unfortunately. The noodles are cooked well, not too soggy and has a nice bite to it (just a tad dense/spongey) I guess that’s the plus. As mentioned previously, the mushrooms completely overwhelm everything else. They also add strips of seafood stick pieces, it’s neither interesting nor does it complement the noodles and soup. It feels like another bland addition. I’m sorry for the scathing review of this dish but it really wasn’t in anyway great.
Foods Paradise’ s Wat Tan Hor is at the very least decent. The egg sauce is wonderfully appetising, and quite similar to the other great Malaysian restaurants around Melbourne. I’ll stop short to say it’s genuinely authentic but it is genuinely tasty. It is also generous in its seafood and chicken. The much sought after wok flavour is present in this dish so I’d say this is a winner (comparatively)
It’s exceedingly common to see new restaurants have extensive Food, Drinks and Desserts menu. While Foods Paradise offers the first one, it lacks in Drinks and Desserts which is a shame. What I haven’t mentioned here is their Beef Rendang in Deep Fried Bread is an interesting and tasty dish in itself, although I’ll warn you the bread is very oily. So take it in small portions.
Foods Paradise has its moments of greatness and disappointments. I find it to more leaning more towards the mediocre side of things as a result. I don’t even know whether to say give it a try or not it’s that 50/50. If you like to take a gamble, I guess give it a go?
25-27 Railway Parade North
Glen Waverley VIC 3150
Nanyang Kopitiam is located on Canterbury Road, close to an Indian grocer and a BP Petrol station. They offer a mix of Malaysian and Chinese dishes for a decent price. It’s not exactly a popular part of Box Hill, it’s actually very quiet even around the peak lunch time period on a weekend. [Update: Apparently this has closed down]
They don’t particularly have a great range of dishes to choose from, but they do have all your standards offered in many Malaysian restaurants here. One that seems to be on more Malaysian menu’s now is the Mee Rebus, and luckily for those Mee Rebus lovers out there, this is on Nanyan Kopitiam’s menu.
I’ll first talk about their Nasi Lemak. You get your choice of Curry Chicken or Rendang Beef like most Malaysian eateries, I often choose their Rendang since I like the flavours more so than your usual curry. It’s probably also that I often have Curry Chicken at home anyway.
Their Nasi Lemak also comes with your standard sides, so nothing out of the ordinary here. Their Rendang was a bit too tough for my liking, I think it’s because they hadn’t cooked it long enough but the sweet and spicy flavours were all there. I did enjoy it to be honest but the toughness was a bit of a letdown.
The sambal was overly sweet, and lacked that chilli punch that Taste Of Singapore has.
Overall it was a decent meal, and if you’re in those parts of town their Nasi Lemak is definitely okay.
I had a little taste of their Mee Rebus and it was quite good but it was odd because their sauce was extremely watery but it had all the essential flavours in it. I’m usually used to a thicker gravy but although this was different in looks, the taste was all there.
Probably the stand out for me was their Roti Canai. Their curry was delicious and had loads of flavour. It wasn’t too creamy and had just enough spice and heat to it. Along with their fresh roti (Their own roti if I’m not mistaken), that was nice and crisp on the outside but soft inside, I couldn’t really fault it.
Nanyang Kopitiam’s Char Kway Teow looked great. I only had a small taste of this as well, but again, it had a good balance of flavours and spice to it. People rave about Straits Char Kway Teow as one of the best in Victoria but this isn’t too bad either.
Strangely enough they say Kopitiam but it lacks many of the drinks you may find in a Kopitiam like for instance, Teh Tarik. I can’t remember if they served Coffee but I have my doubts.
All in all, if you’re in the area Nanyan Kopitiam will satisfy your Malaysian cuisine cravings. Even if you’re not , it’s decent enough to give it a try.
895c Canterbury Road
Tel: 03 9899 7077
ChilliPadi Mamak Kopitiam’s more spacious locations is situated on Racecourse Rd, and only just a couple of minutes walk from Newmarket Station. I’ve already mentioned their store on Waterfront City, but if you want greater variety of choices then their Flemington restaurant is the one to try. It’s sometimes just hard enough to pick what to eat with all these choices! #firstworldproblems
We have now been there on numerous occassions and staff are always quite friendly, along with decent service to boot. With the various dishes I’ve tried, the majority of them would be something I’d go back for.
Their Nasi Lemak with Beef Rendang is a good pick. Their Beef Rendang is tender, and you can tell it has been cooked long enough for it to soften. Far too many places that have a Rendang option, serve incredibly tough beef so I was happy that is is one of the few exceptions.The sauce is also quite good, it has a good amount of spice and sweetness but it may be too mild for some people.
Of course with Nasi Lemak, they have the standard sambal and vegetables, all quite good and nothing too out of the ordinary. My verdict? I’d probably order it again, but probably after I’ve tried all the other dishes (Might take me a while)
I’ve had some family friends that have tried this and not really liked it. For me, their Har Mee is also fantastic. It definitely is for those that like a spicier soup. It has all the standard Har Mee ingredients such as boiled egg, prawns, asian vegetables, chicken, fishcake and the two types of noodles. All of it was pretty good, but I’ll admit the prawns lacked any real prawn taste but overall I’d also try it again.
One of the rarer dishes that you’d probably be hard pressed to find in your typical Malaysian restaurant is Pasembor or otherwise known as Indian Rojak. Don’t get confused with their other Rojak as it is worlds apart. Their Pasembor contains fried potatoes, prawn fritters, egg, bean sprouts, cucumber and a warm slightly sweet gravy with a hint of Indian/Malaysian spices. This was the first time I’ve tried this so I can’t gauge it’s authenticity but on taste and flavour? It was good, the sauce was flavoursome, but since I’m not a big fan of bean sprouts either raw or blanched, it isn’t a favourite. What I can say is that my mother (born and raised in Malaysia) had ordered it again on another visit here so that’s a good sign.
Lobak! A good one this time. Sometimes I find Malaysian restaurant’s Lobak to be overly dry and lacking in the flavour department too. This on the otherhand was crispy, not too oily, and was cooked well. Plus, the nice sweet chilli sauce gave it the much needed sweetness and slight chilli spice.
I can’t recall the name of this Cucur Udang (thanks Adri) but it’s basically prawn fritters and it’s a specialty item that was served during the Muslim month of Ramadhan (thanks again Adri!) and Malaysia Day period. The batter is quite thick and crunchy and is served with a satay sauce. This isn’t one of my favourites, it’s definitely too oily and too thick for my liking. Even the satay sauce was a bit too thick but on the plus side, the prawns were nicely cooked.
My mother loves Mee Rebus, she used to always go to ABC Cafe in Glen Waverley and order this. She was saddened to hear that ABC Cafe closed down and so she has been on the lookout for another good Mee Rebus. Their Mee Rebus is different to ABC’s in terms of flavour. There is something with ChilliPadi’s sauce that makes the taste a bit odd, I think it might be too acidic/sour but sweet and packed full of spice so it’s an odd combination. It seems unbalanced but maybe that’s how they do it at ChilliPadi. I’ll say I’ve had a taste of a Singaporean restaurant on Lygon St, called Killiney Kopitiam and was surprisingly close to what ABC’s sauce and flavour was like, albeit less thick.
Their Nasi Briyani was also only a specialty item for Malaysia Day, and I was amazed at how good it tasted. The flavours just in the rice was fantastic, we’ve been asking them to put it on their menu but at this point it probably will stay a once off kinda thing. This was much better than Taste of Singapore’s offering, and even that was good. Their Nasi Briyani is very similar to how my mother used to cook it and that’s how I like it!
As with most Mamak stores in Malaysia, one of their main specialties is their Nasi Kandar. Where you are able to choose your rice, curries, meat and vegetables. ChilliPadi’s selection is decent, slightly smaller selection to Old Town Kopitiam but decent. You can pick from coconut or plain rice, a sauce of either Lamb Curry, Gulai Ayam or Daging Masak Kicap, and your meat/protein (Beef Rendang, Daging Masak Kicap, Gulai Ayam, Assam Fish Curry, Butter Chicken or Lamb Curry), and one vegetable (Jelatah, Tumeric, Madras or Dhall Masala).
I’ve been trying all the Malaysian restaurant’s Teh Tarik and apart from Chilli Mama, there haven’t been any really good ones. ChilliPadi’s Teh Tarik is probably one of the better ones I’ve tasted. It has a stronger tea taste, and it isn’t numbingly sweet, it probably could be less sweet (we add a bit of hot water and it’s perfect) but other then that I can’t really fault it.
Their Ice Cendol was something I was looking forward to trying, however it left me a tad underwhelmed. As you can see, it’s quite runny and it has nowhere near enough shaved ice. They also added way too much coconut cream/milk and not enough brown sugar so it’s balance is off. Maybe I got them on an off day, I’ll probably try it sometime in the future but not for a while since I was quite disappointed with how it turned out.
The three layers drink (
Not sure of it’s name three layer tea according to Adri – thanks for the details!), is very tasty. The layers aren’t as divisive as they are supposed to be but what it lacks in aesthetic value, it provides in great flavour. Be warned as it is indeed for those sweet tooth’s. The syrup layer (palm sugar syrup) at the bottom should probably be stirred until it mixes with the other tea and evaporated milk layer as this is where all the sweetness comes from. It’s actually quite similar to Teh Tarik in terms of taste.
I can’t recall if ChilliPadi serve Bubur Cha Cha on their day-to-day menu but they definitely don’t serve the Burbur Cha Cha with Durian everyday. This particular dessert was on their menu during the Malaysia Day festivities and what makes it so different is the Durian paste-like topping. I was pleasantly surprised at how nice their Bubur Cha Cha was. It had all the essentials, diced sweet potatoes, taro and I think yams, with pearls. The warm coconut milk soup was delicious and is probably one of the best offerings I’ve tasted. It even beats some of the restaurants I’ve tried it in, in Malaysia. Only downside would be the diced vegetables are probably slightly too big, I prefer smaller chunks but it doesn’t really take away from the taste all that much.
Now, with the added Durian paste, it’s a whole another experience. I’m actually not a fan of Durian at all, it’s taste or it’s infamous odour but because it comes in this paste, the natural smell is non-existant and the Durian flavour is milder. I only added a bit of the paste stirred into my bowl so it was quite subtle but still noticeable. I’ll admit that I was very hesitant at first to try this but I actually didn’t mind it. Would I straight up order this instead of the original Bubur Cha Cha? Probably not, but it wasn’t bad in anyway.
For the many locals around Flemington this is a good place to go because it’s Halal, and you don’t see many Malaysian Halal stores around Victoria. ChilliPadi has catered for a different demographic to Chef Lagenda and Laksa King and that’s not a bad thing, we wouldn’t want three of the same stores so close to each other and it’s a welcomed change.
My impressions of ChilliPadi on the numerous occasions I’ve been there have been positive. If I had to choose between the three Malaysian restaurants in Flemington, I’d choose ChilliPadi. I’ll reiterate that, if you like more Indian/Malay styled Malaysian food, this is the one to visit so keep that in mind. It offers a great selection of dishes and they aren’t your typical dishes either. If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, give it a try!
293 – 295 Racecourse Road
Kensington VIC 3031
(03) 9376 0228