PappaRich is practically everywhere in Melbourne, and interestingly their Doncaster outlet is located in a separate building and not part of a shopping centre or shopping strip. It’s a spacious area but bustling during the weekends. If you had never been to a PappaRich before, they basically offer a wide selection of Malaysian rice, noodle and roti dishes along with a an almost innumerable amount of drinks to choose from.
PappaRich’s Chicken Curry Laksa is one of the better laksa’s around town, but still the ones to beat are Chef Lagenda and Laksa King. It’s just creamy enough, with the right amount of chilli and spices. With a hint of mint to freshen it up.
Their Red Chicken Briyani with Fried Eggplant is a dish you wouldn’t often come across as it leans towards the more Indian/Malaysian style of cooking unlike most Malaysian restaurants which are more Chinese influenced.
I love Briyani and the rice here has that lovely spices infused into the rice, but I detest sultanas in dishes so I very rarely (read: never) order this. Comes with a crispy thin pappadam too!
Doncaster outlet doesn’t stray too far from the standard set by Chadstone or Glen Waverley so it’s nice to have one on the eastern side of town.
540 Doncaster Road
Doncaster VIC 3108
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
The Knox venue is the latest PappaRich outlet to open in recent years. PappaRich remains one of the most popular Malaysian restaurants in Melbourne and you can see by the queues even after the stores have been opened for months or even years! PappaRich has opened in the foodies part of Knox, in the Westfield Knox O-Zone. Recently, I was graciously invited to dine there for the Knox launch with a few other local food bloggers.
The menu remains the same for all PappaRich establishments, but if unfamiliar the menu is extensive. Roti, Fried Noodles, Noodle soups, Rice dishes and a variety of desserts, drinks and small eats as well.
Most often I gravitate towards their Ipoh Koay Teow Soup with Steamed Chicken or with Prawn and Chicken slices, funnily enough my friend frequently orders the same dish too. One of the things I love about this noodle soup dish is it’s very fresh with its ingredients of the light (yet flavourful) soup, bean sprouts and the noodles. Complemented with the steamed chicken, it isn’t as rich or heavy as some other dishes because other than the fried shallots, nothing has been deep fried. According to my friend, it was a tad salty but given it’s only just recently opened it just needs a bit of refinement.
The Crispy Egg Noodles was something I haven’t actually ordered before from PappaRich. It’s interesting as it uses a different type of noodles that I’d normally associate with a Crispy Noodles Seafood Combination but of course these are slightly different dishes (as the Seafood combination tends to use an egg gravy which is more white in colour). The noodles aren’t as crispy but still retain a bit of bite to them. Other than the crispy noodles itself, the flavouring of the sauce is crucial to combine all the ingredients together. The gravy here is more subtle in taste than I’m used to but goes well with the tender chicken and prawns. It’s a substantial dish I must say, like most of the PappaRich dishes.
The Deep Fried Chicken Skins seems to be a popular choice among my friends, the pieces were quite large to just pop one piece in your mouth and crunch but it can be addictive!
Pictured above is their Soya Milk with Jelly and the Teh C special. Teh C is one of the more interesting Malaysian drinks, with its distinct layers of tea, evaporated milk and gula melaka syrup (sugar syrup). It’s similar in some sense to a Teh Tarik but the gula melaka does add a unique flavour to it that I quite enjoy.
Of course we had to try their desserts too! The Sago Pudding and Egg Sago Pudding pictured above is served with coconut milk. The Sago Pudding is topped with Red Beans, it’s a tasty dessert but I love sago (In cold desserts, hot or even as Kueh). The Egg Sago Pudding, however, was probably my favourite dish of the day. The Egg Pudding was silky smooth and just enough sweetness. Combined with the creamy coconut milk and sago it just makes for a delicious treat.
While PappaRich Knox hasn’t reached the highs of their Chadstone store for me, yet, in terms of their noodle dishes. It certainly is early days yet, however what you can’t go wrong with is their desserts and drinks. So for the upcoming summer, it’s great to just sit out with a cooling drink after watching a movie or after a hard days work shopping and just relax.
425 Burwood Highway
Wantirna South VIC 3152
PappaRich QV was the first franchise to open in Victoria before the Chadstone and Doncaster stores and since its opening earlier this year. I avoided the restaurant for months because usually the curiosity factor is high and the management work out the kinks of the service and etc. Even after many months, the QV store is extremely popular.
We ordered the Ipoh Hor Fun with Prawns & Chicken Strips, and it was quite pleasant tasting. The soup was seasoned well, and with the large chillies and chicken pieces, it all came together nicely.
Their Roti Canai with Curry Chicken is a departure from the usual Roti Canai’s you would find elsewhere or from those frozen packets in Asian Groceries. What makes it so different is that the Roti here is extremely dry, but crisp and crunchy nonetheless. The ones you would find in most other Malaysian restaurants are layered, oiled and although crisp on the outside, it would be soft and pull-apart inside.
The Curry Chicken accompaniment was reasonably tasty, but with the chicken being all bones and skin it was a tad disappointing. The Dahl is surprisingly good, but nothing really out of the ordinary from what you may find in ChilliPadi Mamak in Flemington.
The real highlight of this dish is the sambal, as I mentioned in the Chadstone review, it has all the right things. A bit sweet and a huge kick of heat. Probably could eat that all day.
Their drinks menu is extensive with a lot of variety, we ordered the Soya Bean with Grass Jelly and it was extremely delicious. Not too sweet, and just the right amount of creaminess. Would order again!
Their Iced Red Bean drink was also quite nice, with their sugared Red Beans at the bottom with shaved ice. Not overly sweet but still sweet enough for those sweet tooths.
Service here was decent, food came quick enough. My main issue here is that when we requested for some extra sambal, they wanted $3 for basically one spoonful. I’m not sure if this is consistent with the Chadstone and Doncaster stores, but when we did ask fore more sambal in Chadstone, and we were not asked to pay for it. We did mention this to the staff at the counter when paying, and he said that this was something the management from the PappaRich franchisor have decided upon.
Can’t say I’m that impressed with this decision to be honest. Not the best way to treat your customers when you start micro-charging them. Alas, can’t do anything about it though. Will see if Chadstone have started charging next time we visit. Would I go back to PappaRich QV? Maybe not. We didn’t have the best experience here, the food was a slight letdown, definitely less tasty compared with Chadstone. Plus there are plenty of Malaysian restaurants to choose from in the city.
Level 2, Shop 11, QV Square
210 Lonsdale Street
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
Chadstone Shopping Centre
Chadstone VIC 3148