In the spirit of Malaysia’s elections coming, I will be featuring more Malaysian food found in Sydney here. Somehow, having Malaysian food does make one feel closer to the country, especially when the restaurant is a franchise from Malaysia! Yes, I have previously dined in several Malaysian restaurants that were founded locally in Australia but this one is a restaurant that everyone is familiar with – PappaRich. They have officially landed in Sydney a few weeks ago, and we couldn’t wait to give it a try.
As with most newly opened restaurants, there was a long queue in front, mostly Malaysians. It almost felt like we were back home, with all the familiar chatter and familiar faces around us. We were there for lunch, and had to wait about half an hour before we got a table. Service was prompt and friendly, pretty impressive given that it was only opened for barely a week then.
Full house at Pappa Rich
The familiar Pappa Rich logo
While waiting for our table, we were given a thick menu and an order chit to place our orders. So by the time we got our table, we just had to pass the order chit to the waitress and wait. Quite efficient in minimizing the turnaround time, I think. Our first order to arrive was the Roti Canai, served with 3 types of sauce – dhal, curry and sambal. I thought the dhal and sambal were good, especially the sambal because it was hot and spicy with a kick! The roti though, lacked the fluffiness that we love. Its texture was more like crispy pastry instead of fluffy bread, so perhaps we might not order this again. We definitely prefer the roti from Mamak, another Malaysian restaurant in Sydney.
Roti Canai (AUD$5.90)
A dish that several Malaysians recommended was the Penang Char Kuey Teow, which was incidentally my favourite too. I would have ordered this regardless, and was pleased to know that it did not disappoint. One of the main weakness that I found with some of the wanna-be char kuey teow here was the lack of ‘wok hei’ or the slightly charred/burnt taste. The version from Pappa Rich had the wok hei we were looking forward to, but it did lack in terms of spiciness. Perhaps they had toned it down to suit local taste buds? It would have been perfect had it been more spicy, I think.
Char Kuey Teow (AUD$12.50)
Last but not least, Saucer ordered the Nasi Briyani with Red Chicken and Sambal Eggplant, something resembling what you would get from nasi kandar places in Malaysia. The briyani rice was just as fragrant as what we remembered back in Malaysia, and fluffy too. We were very pleased with it. The red chicken or ayam masak merah was fried and mixed with a sweet and spicy gravy that was perfect with the rice. Finally, the egg plant was first deep fried and then mixed with a spicy sambal. Who wouldn’t love that? The crunch of crispy skin mixed with the kick of sambal – yum! Every element in this dish was done right, including the piece of pappadom which was crispy and in a perfect round shape. Both of us couldn’t find any fault with this dish.
Nasi Briyani with Red Chicken and Eggplant (AUD$12.90)
Perhaps the closest Nasi Briyani you can find in Sydney
Needless to say, we left the place happy and satiated. Sure the prices are a bit steep compared to Malaysian prices but if we’re going to pay that much anyway for any other meal in Sydney, we might as well spend it on something we love. I’m elated that there’s finally a place that I can go to, to cure my home-sickness for Malaysian food, and one that has plenty of choices! We’ll definitely be back!
PappaRich Malaysian Delights in Chatswood
1/63A Archer St
NSW 2067 Australia.
Tel No.: (02) 9411 3207
Opening Hours: 11.00am to 10.00pm Monday to Sunday