DEEP fried chicken skin? Meld foodies steeled their stomachs for a dish only for the brave of heart at PappaRich Chadstone.
In our last and final instalment of our PappaRich review, we headed to the newest outlet in Chadstone Shopping Centre in Melbourne’s south-east, which opened in May.
A humble contingent of four, we ordered enough food to feed a small army, including the infamous Pappa Deep Fried Chicken Skin dish (more on that later).
But first things first, the drinks.
Papparich offers a huge selection of drinks from Italian coffee to alcohol. Our team ordered Iced Kopi Cham Milo (coffee mixed with Milo drinking chocolate), Iced Soya Milk Grass Jelly, Iced Soya Jelly and Iced Soya Milk Pudding with Grass Jelly.
The drinks were refreshing, though Malaysians used to the PappaRich franchise back home might remember their Iced Kopi Cham Milo to be frothier.
When it was time to order, we started with the kopitiam staple - Toasted Bread with Kaya and Butter ($3.90). Soft, airy bread slices and served with creamy kaya and soft butter on the side. It’s definitely worth a mention that unlike many Malaysian eateries we’ve been to, where the butter is served as rock-solid pieces clumped together on the side, we had an easy time lavishing the stuff onto our toast.
Egged on by the PappaRich Chadstone manager, we succumbed to evils of the Pappa Deep Fried Chicken Skins. The experience was akin to eating deep fried KFC minus the chicken. Chicken skin seasoned and deep fried till crispy – slightly unappetising to imagine, but sinfully delicious to nibble on. It’s a sometime food that should be consumed sparingly.
The Roti Canai ($9.80) was lovely and crisp, and surprisingly not oily. But the accompaniments were more of a let down. While we did like the dhal (you could taste the beautiful aromatic spices in it), the chicken curry was a little too runny and the sambal a little too sweet.
The Ipoh Kuay Teow Soup with Steamed Chicken ($10.90) was full of flavour. The steamed chicken was fresh and tender and sat in a sweet soy sauce gravy, and the soup was made from a delicious chicken broth. It’s also a healthy serving size that should satiate most hungry stomachs.
But our favourite of the night was the Papa Special Biryani Rice ($13.90) – great texture complemented by the yummy side of sambal prawns and eggplants (which would’ve been perfect it was spicier), and crispy fried chicken.
The Pappa Wat Tan Hor ($10.90) was also a win.
For dessert, we had our eyes set on Papparich’s ABC, but it was sadly sold out. So we ordered Banana Fritters with Ice Cream ($5.80) and Tao Fu Fa with Gula Melaka ($4.90) instead.
It’s hard to go wrong with banana fritters – ripe bananas coated in batter and fried – complemented by cold cold ice-cream.
The silky smooth tao fu fa would have been perfect if not for the extremely watered down gula melaka syrup, making it rather bland for those with a sweeth tooth.
All in all, the PappaRich experience was pretty good, though you won’t find prices to match what you’d normally be forking out in Malaysia.
But then again, you get what you pay for with complimentary Wi-Fi coverage, a clean comfortable environment, and a buzzing atmosphere that approximates the mamak experience.