Vanessa: As someone who steers well clear of chilli, the fiery dishes of the Indian-influenced Malaysian cuisine can be somewhat intimidating. On this particular Saturday afternoon, however, I was prepared to roll up my sleeves and embrace the heat. The reason being that we (Team FFS) had been invited to dine at PappaRich Australia’s Chatswood venue and have the opportunity to meet Ambassador and Master Chef Contestant, Poh Ling Yeow.
We were delighted to meet the lovely Poh and sample her top picks off the Malaysian street food menu. It was wonderful to learn about Poh’s passion for Malaysian cuisine and convivial social dining, which is very much encouraged at PappaRich. It was also interesting to learn that the franchise originated in Kuala Lumpur in 2005 and opened their first Australian doors in 2012 with their Melbourne restaurant.
As we settled into our seats at the large Chatswood venue, alongside some familiar faces from the food blogging community, we anticipated the arrival of Poh’s choices. It should be noted that PappaRich honours the largely Islamic culture in Malaysia and so all dishes are Halal and there is no service of alcohol. We were more than happy to swap out a glass of vino for one of the many options on the extensive drinks menu. From fruit juices, to the traditional teas and coffee, there is something for everyone and I found the drinks to be quite a novel accompaniment to the food.
First off, anything and I mean anything that is served with Roti Canai is a must. The flat bread is soft and light on the inside whilst flaky and crisp on the outside. It is perfectly paired with beef rendang, chicken, curry..pretty much anything! PappaRich serves up its signature roti with a number of different accompaniments. I don’t think I could ever get enough of it and it is something I would definitely return to have.
The platter of satay sticks were a definite crowd pleaser and a good value-for-money dish. Each platter serves up 12 mini chicken and beef skewers with a generous amount of fragrant satay dipping sauce on the side along with chopped cucumber and red onion.
Another of my highlights of the day was the dry curry egg noodle with poached chicken. This dish was full of flavour and the noodles were heavily coated with a thick, dark soy and chilli sauce. The lighter flavoured poached chicken was a good match to balance out the overall combination.
The curry laksa had just the right amount of heat for me, which makes me feel that it might be lacking in a bit of punch for those that like their food spicy. You will find all the usual suspects you’d expect in laksa and there is a choice of chicken, vegetarian and seafood.
The Nasi Lemak (coconut infused steamed rice served with fried anchovies, fried peanuts, hard-boiled egg, spicy sambal and cucumber slices) can be ordered with either the chicken curry or fried chicken. The highlight of the dish for me was the rice as the strong coconut flavours balanced the heaviness of the curry.
You can’t go to a Malaysian restaurant and go past a beef rendang (in my opinion) and luckily we didn’t have to!. The flavours were bold and the beef was succulent. It was slightly erring on the spicey side for me, but that’s how it should be.
Now, if you have heard anything about PappaRich you have no doubt heard of the Papa Deep Fried Chicken Skin. This is exactly what it sounds like.. crunchy, crispy and deep fried chicken skin. This dish is not going to make it on the weight watchers points list anytime soon – but if you are dining here you are already open to the idea of carbs and fried food, so ignore your conscious and give it a go!
As we sat back and surveyed the aftermath of the Malaysian banquet we had just conquered, we felt full (an understatement really!) and grateful to have had the opportunity meet Poh and sample some of her favourite dishes.
If it is traditional, well-priced Malaysian street food you are looking for then look no further than PappaRich, you will find all that you expect and more!
Photos by Alex
*For Food’s Sake was invited to PappaRich by Wasamedia. All opinions however are independent.