This year Perth welcomed with loving and slightly needy arms the first Western Australian store of the famed PappaRich chain of restaurants. Jeremy and I were lucky enough to be invited to the Northbridge store in September and had an absolute feast which left me ready for bed afterwards. We really enjoyed ourselves, so I was naturally interested when I received an invitation to attend the launch of their newest store in Cannington recently. Soon enough the day arrived and the boy and I made our way south of the river, joining other bloggers and our celebrity host for the evening, Poh Ling Yeow, a name you may know from Masterchef and her own TV show, Poh’s Kitchen.
Long table events can always be so much fun and even though the restaurant was in full swing on it’s first day of operation, we all managed to take our seats and get amongst the festive vibe. There was a DJ, balloons, and even a lion dance later on. Lots of fun, and of course having a big group of bloggers present meant there was a lot of food too!
Meals where you can sit back and let the restaurant do all the ordering are such a treat in my opinion – especially one on a Friday night after a long week of work. All we were tasked with was eating, chatting, snapping and one small choice of what to drink with our food.
I choose a coconut paradise (item PD05 on the menu) which is a coconut juice with chunks of fresh young coconut throughout. It’s refreshing and light, with just enough sweetness. My boy and some others on the table pick the black sesame drink (item PD04) with ice-cream which is actually quite a savoury drink even though it’s creamy, but I’m a big fan of black sesame as a flavour and so I can see why Jeremy likes it so much.
Before long food starts to come out to us hard and fast, with our long table completely overflowing with delicious and mouthwatering aromas from all of the Malaysian specialty dishes on offer. Poh’s worked with the team at PappaRich to which dishes from their extensive menu we’ll be trying for dinner that evening. So not only do we have the pleasure of dining with her (she was so lovely!), we also get to eat what she considers the must haves of this restaurant.
First up are servings of the deep fried chicken skin (item S02) which I’ve tried at the Northbridge store. They’re decadently naughty but sinfully good – crunchy, a tiny bit oily and full of flavour.
Next up is the roti telur bawang with curry chicken (item C10) which takes their famed and tasty roti and fries an egg with the pastry. I love my roti and really enjoy this, though I do prefer the plain version a little more since you get more crispy texture. The curry chicken is flavoursome and juicy, and the spicy chilli sauce on the side has a good kick of heat to it – perfect for accompanying the roti.
The satay chicken (item ST02) is a platter laden with 12 satay skewers and accompanied by the chunky peanut sauce, plus pieces of red onion and cucumber. I did miss the normal nasi impit which is a pressed rice cake that is the perfect accompaniment for scooping up all that satay goodness. The skewers themselves are tender and flavourful, retaining that smokey taste that a perfect satay should have.
Once we’d made our way as best we could through these dishes, we take a break and enjoy a drumming performance and lion dance. They’re always such a fun way to bring some excitement into an event and though I’ve seen my fair share over the years, it was still great entertainment. I think when the lion found the lettuce bunch and spat it back at us it took everyone by surprise though!
While I could have stopped after the first series of dishes, we had plenty more to go. The chicken curry laksa (item N01) looks like the perfect menu item to relax with on a Friday night. Chocked full of ingredients like tofu and eggplant, I can see small pools of oil gathering on the surface which tells me that this should taste good – which it does!
When I was little I used to watch as my mum made laksa and hated with a passion the intense aroma it gave off. Now that smells just makes my tummy rumble and mouth water – it’s just a really comforting dish and the balance of spices and flavours is on the money.
Following on from the laksa are the Pappa char kway teow (item N04) and the Pappa fried mee (item N06). Both are smokey and great versions of these traditional dishes, with bags of flavour and noodles that are toothsome and coated in a nice slick of oily goodness.
By the time we get to our final two dishes of the night I am completely full so I only manage to snap a couple pics before leaning back and trying to relax. I was ready to burst! We’re served the Pappa special nasi lemak with curry chicken and prawn sambal (item R05) and the biryani rice with red chicken and sambal eggplant (item R10).
I would have loved to keep on munching, especially because I love my nasi lemak (coconut rice all day every day) but my stomach was protesting too much. What a generous spread of food and a great way to try some different dishes to the other times I’ve been to PappaRich. A big thank you to the team at the newly opened PappaRich Carousel for hosting us, to Wasamedia for the invitation and of course to Poh for being such a great host and ambassador for the brand.