A gluttonous affair at PappaRich

There’s something about Malaysian food that has such dominion over my heart. The smokiness of a great satay, the complex layers of a soul warming curry and don’t even get me started on a life-changing noodle dish. I’ve always loved Malaysian cuisine, but after visiting the country a couple times in the last few years, I have come to the conclusion that good Malay food is hard to come by here in Perth. 

Sure, you have places like Ten Ten which offer some truly enjoyable Malaysian dishes, but lean more towards the Chinese style of cooking. But a fully Malaysian menu, that’s a bit harder to come by. Or at least it was, until Malaysian powerhouse PappaRich decided to open it’s doors in our great city.

I’d walked past the Northbridge store a couple times during it’s construction, and noted to myself I would need to check it out once open. Luckily for me, I was spared having to join the forever epic queue that is constantly waiting out front for tables as I was invited by the PR company handling the store’s opening to come for dinner. Hooray!
Arriving for our early dinner the line was already 40 deep. After chatting to the greeter at the front I realise they’ve misplaced the booking (since they don’t usually take bookings) however within 10 minutes we’re told they can seat us. I feel guilty jumping ahead of all the people waiting! But also thankful since it’s starting to rain outside. 

Order form
The process for ordering is really simple and efficient. Each table has an order book which you mark the menu food or drink numbers, the quantity and any special instructions – for example if you have dessert you can put “later” in the third column so they know not to cook it immediately. The menu is like a photo book of every menu item so you can see the different variables and options. Once you’re ready to order, you press the button on your table and a serving staff will come to you. Easy as 1, 2, 3!
Not having been here before the boy and I decide to share our food, selecting a couple dishes each. The prices are really low for Perth for most dishes so I definitely underestimate the serving sizes… you’re about to see just how much we ate! Food coma was unavoidable due to our (my) greed!

Nasi lemak

The dishes we order come out as they’re ready, rather than all together which I don’t mind since we’re sharing. Hopefully when it’s just mains ordered for individuals they can time it close together but I guess you could always specify on your order form.

The kitchen and dining room are bustling with staff – there’s so many people working which goes to show just how much of a well oiled machine it is. You might need to wait to get a table, but you won’t have to wait long before you’re eating once you’re inside.

Our first dish is the nasi lemak with beef rendang. Ah coconut rice, what joy you bring! We love nasi lemak, with the hot samba (house made!), crunchy peanuts and little crisp, salty anchovies. This one is great with the rice perfectly fragrant and fluffy, exactly what you want in this kind of dish. The rendang is really enjoyable, though I would have loved to taste more of the spices, they seemed to have been cooked out a little.

Fried chicken skin

Fried chicken skin

The fried chicken skin catches the boy’s eye and though we both know that it’s completely sinful, we order some anyway. It comes to the table with a sweet chilli dipping sauce accompanying it. It’s crunchy and actually not too greasy to my surprise. I can’t eat too much of it though since it is quite intense but it is very moorish and would be a good dish to share amongst a table of four as a little naughty snack.

Tropical lime

Coconut paradise

The drinks we’ve ordered for the night come to the table looking pretty incredible. They’re from the ‘Pappa’s delicious concoctions’ section of the menu, with Jeremy’s coconut paradise sweet, with shavings of coconut on top. My tropical lime is lychee and lime with vanilla ice-cream – it’s reminiscent of a spider but with more zingy and sweet flavours. It’s quite sweet (too sweet for the boy) but I enjoy it. It’s more of a dessert than a drink though!

Pappa’s delicious concoctions

Whenever I eat Malaysian food I can’t help but be tempted to try the satay. If you know me or read my blog you may be aware that I love (LOVE) peanuts and peanut butter. In fact I have a bit of a sick obsession, which makes total sense why I enjoy satay so much.

We order a selection of 6 pieces, mixed beef and chicken to try. Immediately as they come to the table I can see and smell that they’ve been correctly marinated in turmeric, galangal and lemongrass to give it that authentic underlying flavour profile. The sauce is chunky and rich, very well balanced. I really enjoy this dish, especially seeing as how tender the chicken in particular was. It was juicy and succulent!

Mixed satay

Mixed satay

While the satay was high up on my list for our dinner that night, the roti canai is the definite star of the evening. Made in house, this roti was everything you could dream about… and more. Soft and flaky on the inside, crisp on the outside. I am a roti consumer and this is easily one of the best I’ve ever had. A definite must try if you visit PappaRich.

Roti canai

We order another type of roti to go with the plain serving, the roti telur bawang with curry chicken. It’s served with sambal and a mango lentil type chutney on the side which are nice, but for me once again it’s all about the roti. This version has onions and egg inside which give it an enhanced flavour and reminds me of a Taiwanese dish my mum makes at home sometimes. Very, very yummy! Though I do prefer the plain roti more just because it had real wowing power.

Roti telur

If I’m being honest, we could have stopped after dinner and been really full as it was. But in our haste to be efficient, we pre-ordered our dessert which meant we were in for the pound! To our disappointment they’d sold out of the tau foo fa king which is a tofu dessert, so we settle on sharing the banana fritters and the roti banana, both with vanilla ice-cream.

Banana fritters

Holy smokes the banana fritters are generous! Firm, slightly yielding banana is encased in a light, crisp batter and topped with really deliciously creamy ice-cream and a honey like drizzle of sauce. I love bananas in desserts, they’re such an under-utilised ingredient these days, and these fritters reminded me of that adoration I have. This is a dessert you’d want to share, as is our other option – and if you do so, definitely don’t eat the ridiculous amount we did before! I think I felt like I was literally going to explode! I have no control when it comes to food…

Roti banana

The standout dessert is definitely the roti banana. Crispy on the outside, so soft on the inside with sweet banana and a jam like substance – not sure if it had kaya in there… I’d like to think yes because I do so love kaya toast. This is a dessert I’d definitely order again – yummy!

A big thank you to the great team at PappaRich for feeding us (and not judging how much we ate!) and allowing us to see what all the fun was about. I can definitely see why there’s so much hype about this place – they’re already planning on opening another in Carousel area. Hopefully one north of the river isn’t too far away?!

Papparich Northbridge on Urbanspoon

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  • Reply
    10 September 2014 at 3:23 am

    The line out front here is crazy. I want to try it but will wait until the hype dies down… hopefully it does!

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    10 September 2014 at 5:00 am

    I've heard from some people that they went down for late lunches or early dinners during the week and the lines isn't as bad. Once the Cannington one is opened hopefully the lines won't be as long πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Dumpling Love (@cscc28)
    11 September 2014 at 6:17 am

    I'm just like you, Kristy – Malaysian/SG food lies in a special place in my heart, and I'm addicted to PB. It's scary how (much) I eat it! haha. Waiting for the lines to be a bit shorter before heading here though =P I'm a sucker for Nasi Lemak and that one looks damn good!

  • Reply
    Martine @ Chompchomp
    11 September 2014 at 9:08 pm

    I have already emailed these guys and got a gluten free list of menu items….cannot wait to try!

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    12 September 2014 at 12:25 am

    Hopefully once the second store opens in Cannington the lines might die down. I'm keen to go back and try some of the other dishes πŸ™‚ the nasi lemak was sooooo good – the rice was perfect!

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    12 September 2014 at 12:25 am

    Hooray! I'm so glad you can try it out in a Martine friendly way πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    15 September 2014 at 10:07 am

    A colleague informed me about this place today and I was so excited about trying it. But soon after I was informed by another colleague that they're opening in Carousel which is 5 minutes from me and I was like ya-haaay!!!! Over the moon!! πŸ™‚ I cannot wait to try their Nasi Lemak, Chicken Rice, Teh Tarik, Roti Canai etc etc.
    Spencer Village hawkers center is a little hit and miss and so if I want my favourite Nasi Lemak I go to Ten Ten in Karawara and if I want my favourite Chicken Rice I go to a place in Coventrys Markets in Morley. So hopefully I will no longer have to venture out far for my favourite meals. If PappaRich turns out to be a winner then I'm going to be eating there at least once a week. Okay make that twice a week.. πŸ˜€
    I love Malay and Singaporean food. I was in KL and Singapore around this time last year and ate so much I ended up with a "food baby" as they say. LOL.
    The Carousel restaurant opens in October so I might be patient until then and wait for that one to open.
    Thanks for the reviews and the awesome looking photos QoBT! Great job. I am so hungry now. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    16 September 2014 at 4:01 am

    I get hungry thinking about Malay/Singaporean food too! I usually go to Tak Chee or Ten Ten for my chicken rice hit – I haven't tried their nasi lemak. Might need to make a return visit soon to give it a go πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    4 October 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Great review.helpful and informative…you have a new fan .thank you

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