PappaRich opens in Melbourne

AFTER weeks of buzz, popular Malaysian restaurant franchise PappaRich has opened shop in Melbourne. Meld Magazine dropped by QV to see what all the fuss is about.

PappaRich at QV Square, Melbourne

PappaRich at QV Square, Melbourne

With 50 outlets nationwide, PappaRich has been one of Malaysia’s more successful franchises, promising “high quality” local fare  at affordable prices and with the “finest fresh ingredients”. So it’s no wonder then that when the coffee shop-style eatery opened its doors on Monday, the queue was so long, staff were telling customers they were better off coming back the next day.

Situated at QV Square, PappaRich is run by the same people who managed  Old Town Kopitiam Mamak, another popular Malaysian franchise that operated out of the same location. The new restaurant boasts a more polished and inviting interior, however, with wooden tables, green leather booths and palm fronds (if you needed reminding it’s a Malaysian joint).

PappaRich at QV Square, Melbourne

PappaRich at QV Square, Melbourne

Like its predecessor, PappaRich serves up “koptiam” fare, from slices of toasted bread with coconut jam or kaya to “oriental chicken chop”. But prices are slightly steeper than some of it’s Melbourne competition, ranging from $5.50 for plain roti canai to $12.90 for Pappa Special Nasi Lemak with Curry Chicken and Sambal Prawn.

PappaRich's menu

PappaRich's menu

Even so, Pappa Rich’s general manager Jian Hui Lee has described business so far as “hectic” with dishes selling out before the day’s end. He said the most popular orders so far were curry laksa, nasi lemak, chicken rice and curry chicken.

Aside from its prime location, PappaRich’s greatest selling point is the variety of it’s menu, particularly its vegetarian fare and colourful drinks selection. The coffee shop offers vegetarian dim sumbriyani and even nasi lemak with vegetarian mutton curry – already setting itself apart from most of its competition.  For $3.30 to $7.20, Pappa Rich boasts more than 20 beverage choices as well, from Pappa Cham to Ribena melon and soy milk pudding .

Roti canai is made fresh on the spot at PappaRoti

Roti canai is made fresh on the spot at PappaRoti

For now PappaRich will be closing its doors at 10pm every night, but Lee says after a month, restaurant hours may extend to “supper time” ala its Malaysian counterparts.

Taste Test

We sampled some of PappaRich’s dishes with the help of our friends. Here’s what we thought:

Nasi Lemak with Curry Chicken

Nasi Lemak with Curry Chicken

Nasi Lemak with Curry Chicken

For a dish that builds on the flavours of its different components, we thought this Nasi Lemak could have left a greater impact with a stronger hit of coconut milk in the rice, lots more ikan bilis and less sugar and chilli overpowering the sambal. Overall, though, the curry chicken was satisfactory and the portion size good.

Roti Canai (with curry chicken, dhal and sambal)

Roti Canai (with curry chicken, dhal and sambal)

Roti Canai (with curry chicken, dhal and sambal)

The general consensus was that the roti canai seemed a little too crisp. But seeing as they’re made on the spot, Malaysian-style, this is something easily remedied with a simple request to the waiter. The dhal was a big miss though for everyone, with an oddly spicy aftertaste. This was puzzling as Old Town, run by the same management, had been known for its good dhal.

Wat Tan Hor

Wat Tan Hor

Wat Tan Hor

 

This was the winner of the night, scoring points for tasting “just like back home.”

Pappa Asam Laksa

Pappa Asam Laksa

Pappa Asam Laksa

While mostly pleasant, we thought this could have packed more of a punch to live up to its reputation as the most “sour” of all the laksas.

Vegetarian Biryani with Curry Mutton

 

Vegetarian Biryani with Curry Mutton

Vegetarian Biryani with Curry Mutton

The “mutton” in this was too dry but overall we were happy with this. A great change from the usual vegetarian fare on offer in Melbourne.

Milo Dinosaur

Milo Dinosaur

Milo Dinosaur

As with many Malaysian eateries here, the Milo Dinosaur was lacking the generous spoonfuls of Milo powder we’re usually treated to in Malaysia.

Three-layer tea

 

Three-layer tea

Three-layer tea

While some of the layers had begun to merge by the time this got to us, this tea was both sweet and creamy.

Soya Milk Jelly (iced)

Soya milk jelly

Soya milk jelly

This was a pleasant combination of palm sugar syrup, grass jelly and soy bean milk.

Bearing in mind we didn’t get to sample all of their many dishes and that this was their first day – and  a crazy one at that – our experience at PappaRich while not amazing, was good enough for us to consider coming back again. As one of our tasters, Jie, says, “It’s pricey but I’d come back because of the types of food they have on offer”.

Price aside, PappaRich’s inviting ambience, variety of food and drink and their amazing location will undoubtedly guarantee continuous patronage from Malaysians and non-Malaysians alike.

Special thanks to Elena Tan, Jie Lim and Leyshani Naidu for lending us their palettes.

Have you been to PappaRich at QV, Melbourne? Tried something we didn’t? Share your experiences with us below!

PappaRich QV on Urbanspoon

3 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. I have been to all three franchises in Melbourne. The one in QV is good because the chefs are ex-Kopitam staff. The one in Chadstone has very very salty food. The one in Doncaster is the worst – does not know how to cook a simple Char Kuay Teow. Fancy using Vietnamese rice noodles for Char Kuay Teow – very sad.

  2. @Con, you must not be Malaysian because you have NO IDEA. The QV one is run by ex-Kopitiam staff, the food there has always been the worst of that franchise, the one in Little Bourke was much better than their ‘Mamak’ version.

    The one in Doncaster is the best of the lot. The noodles used in the CKT is correct. The best version of CKT has always been Penang. Yes I grew up in Penang. This is how CKT was meant to be. Not the bastardised Cantonese version you grew up eating.

    If you dont know Malaysian food or it’s history please dont comment on whats Authentic.

  3. Just got back from having dinner at Papa RIch, Chadstone. Now I have never been to the restaurant in KL being Malaysian where we are spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out, but it seems to be a bit hit here in Melbourne. There is a big queue outside and it has been raining and temperatures are still dropping albeit being Spring time.

    Malaysian food is very popular in Melbourne. We have a huge variety popping up every now and then.

    After dinner at Papa Rich, I now have to make an URGENT appointment with my doctor to see if I have diabetics.

    Man, I tell ya, the food was all sweet. The prawn noodle soup was sweet, nasi lemak was absolutely sweet with a drop of sambal laden with sugar. I thought I will miss the noodles and opt for Roti Chanai – now here the fun bit – the roti chanai was so sweet, lucky I told my daughter not to order the roti bomb ahead, the dhall was sweet and so was the chicken curry (do they even know what that is – tastes more like a sweet sauce cum pudding) and then the sambal, sadly sweet.

    So if you come to Melbourne and miss Malaysian food, DO NOT go to Papa Rich, EVER. Try a two minute Maggie noodle instead.

    Is the Papa Rich in KL serving sweet treats as well, I wonder?

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