AFTER the successful opening of PappaRich in QV, a second store opens in Doncaster, serving up more of the same mouthwatering Malaysian cuisine. Fiona Ren drops in for a visit.
The first thing that strikes you upon entering the newly opened PappaRich in Doncaster is the sprawling venue that can only be afforded in the suburbs.
In addition to the dining area, there is a bar, two function rooms and a kiddies play corner to provide mums and dads a little reprieve while they eat. And for the some 5000 Malaysian families residing in the area, you can imagine how it’s probably a little piece of heaven come down to earth.
Those who are already familiar with the PappaRich menu at QV can expect more of the same at Doncaster – but for the city-dwellers who drive, it may be worth the trip if you’re tired of waiting for the queue at QV to dwindle.
Having reviewed the Nasi Lemak with Curry Chicken, Wat Tan Hor, Assam Laksa, and Vegetarian Biryani with Curry Mutton at PappaRich QV previously, the orders of the day at QV Doncaster were decidedly focused on other popular Malaysian noms, plus an extra serving of Roti Canai just to see how it would compare to its city counterpart.
Char Kway Teow
There are many versions of Char Kway Teow, and you can expect the Penang style variety at PappaRich Doncaster. Like pad-Thai, the noodles are thinner and much lighter compared to the blackened type Singaporeans are used to.
You’ll be able to taste the char from the “wok hei” (hight heat from the wok) – an essential ingredient in good char kway teow and lots of other hawker fare – and the generous portions of shrimp and fish cake gives the dish more depth.
The Curry Laksa does hit all the right spots, though it veers on the milder side – and true blue Malaysians may be wont for a spicier broth that delivers more punch.
Pappa Chicken Rice
It’s not easy to find authentic Hainanese Chicken Rice in Melbourne, and the Pappa Chicken Rice is as good as it gets when it comes to authenticity. The chicken is perfectly cooked – silky smooth, tender and succulent; and the rice aromatic. Worthy of full marks if not for the lacklustre chilli sauce which was the biggest disappointment of all.
The satay was tasty and disappeared from the plate as soon as it arrived at the table. We only wish there was some ketupat to mop up the remaining peanut sauce.
Having tasted the Roti Canai at PappaRich QV, we were really surprised to find the one we were being served in Doncaster seemed better. The texture of the roti canai was soft and crisp in all the right places, and the dhal, sambal and curry added different dimensions to the whole dining experience.
PappaRich White Coffee
As winter draws near, you’ll be after some hot drinks to warm the body and soul. Much like the Old Town brand of white coffee, this is PappaRich’s version. If you’re wondering why it tastes reminiscent of the powdered variety, it’s probably because it is – and the franchise is currently looking into retailing the sachets so you can consume the coffee from the comforts of your own home.
Opt for the traditional “kopi” if you’re looking for a freshly brewed cuppa.
Coffee and tea purists may find this drink an abomination. Cham means “mixed” in Cantonese, and if you order “cham” in restaurants and eateries in Asia such as Malaysia and Hong Kong, you’ll be served a cocktail of sweet coffee and tea. The tea to coffee ratio at PappaRich though, was probably more 3:1.
Always opt for the teh (tea) if you’re unsure about what to order. The one at PappaRich was a personal favourite and the frothy surface was testament to a good “tarik” effort. Thick and sweet, it’s how a good teh should go down, everytime.
All in all, PappaRich in Doncaster has put yet another authentic Malaysian eatery on Melbourne’s map. Admittedly, it may be much harder for students to travel out that way, but if you live nearby, or are lucky enough to drive, it will be worth the journey. And like all new businesses go, there are still a few kinks still to be ironed out, but we anticipate things will get better with just a bit more time.