The Malaysian eateries craze has taken Melbourne by storm. Restaurants and cafes are opening up everywhere and in hoards, one of which is Pappa Rich which has opened in QV, Chadstone and Doncaster. This is another moment where I have to admit that I’m not a good foodie. As I don’t go to the city often, I didn’t even know it existed until about a month ago when my non-foodie friend exclaimed to me excitedly ‘have you been to Pappa Rich yet? It’s fantastic!’. And sure enough, a day or 2 later, we were there.
Luckily, a few friends had already lined up so we were able to get a table reasonably quickly (for me anyway). As it was already past 8pm and it was still reasonably chilly outside, I wanted to minimise the queue time as much as possible. If you’ve been to Pappa Rich, you’d understand and what makes it worse is they, like many popular restaurants around Melbourne, (like Mamasita and Chin Chin) don’t take reservations.
Pappa Rich has an extensive menu consisting of popular hawker style foods, although some of the more classic dishes available elsewhere are seemingly different or missing altogether. They use a ‘write your own order’ type system where the onus is on the patron to get the order right. This is similar to yum cha restaurants across Asia where dishes are marked on paper to prevent wrong orders being taken by the waiter and possibly to prevent complaints.
I loved the drinks menu as the choices seemed endless. I opted for the Teh C Special ($3.90) which is a 3 layered milk tea drink made with red tea, evaporated milk, black sugar and ice. It’s a very refreshing drink that I can scull down in one go and then order one more! It’s more refreshing and delicious than regular milk tea in my opinion.
Yuye ordered the soya milk with black sesame ice cream float ($5.80) at my request of course. The soya milk itself was not sweetened at all so you had to mix some of the ice cream into it to make it taste like anything. Of course there are those who like their soya milk plain but I like it with some sugar. The ice cream was quite nice, although I would probably eat it separately.
The recommendation in terms of food choice is to pick dishes with roti or bread as PappaRich is good at making their roti. After tasting it, I would totally agree. Yuye ordered a roti telur with curry chicken ($10.50) which he chowed down most of before I even took a good look at it. I did manage to taste a little in the end and I loved it. The roti was soft and chewy with a faint aroma that I loved dearly. It was perfect to soak up the curry sauces which came with the curry chicken in the middle, a very chilli variety on the left and a slightly sweet version on the right.
Kenneth and Arch both ordered the roti planta ($6.50) as an extra (boys sure can eat a lot) which came with the 3 curry sauces and a sweet roti. I was a bit hesitant to dip sweet roti in curry sauce as I’ve never been a fan of mixing sweet with savoury, but it was surprisingly good. I will remember to order this again next time I visit!
I ordered the biryani rice red chicken and prawns ($11.90) which I thought looked more spectacular than it tasted. The chicken was meant to be chewy and sweet which it was, but I thought it was a bit too hard and chewy for me. The prawns had sambal paste on it but it was a bit plain and not as aromatic as other sambals I’ve tasted. Overall, I’d have rather ordered a roti dish.
Sat’s chicken curry laksa ($10.90) had deep fried chicken pieces which looked quite hard to chew as well and I didn’t understand why they put a piece of mint as garnish. However, as I didn’t try the dish I can’t comment how it tasted.
Racheese came late but after she ordered, the food came out almost at the same time as the rest of us. However, her Hainanese chicken was slightly dry and the rice noodles were bland. It definitely wasn’t the best dish of the night.
Overall there was a few hit and misses at Pappa Rich, however, I love both the savoury and sweet rotis as well as the drinks. If you visit, I would highly recommend ordering one of the roti dishes instead of the other dishes.
Pappa Rich (QV)
Phone: (03) 9654 2682
Level 2, Shop 11, QV Square, 210 Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000