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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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…
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?!