Apr 29, 2013

Papparich Sydney

When it comes to Malaysian food, Sydney - thanks to its much smaller Malaysian migrant population - is a late bloomer compared to Melbourne. PappaRich is a case in point. There are already five outlets in Melbourne but Sydney has just celebrated its first one.

There is PappaRich in Malaysia, but I don't eat there. The best Ipoh kuey teow is from the family-run shop that has existed for 30 years. The best nasi lemak is from the road side stall that pops up at 6am and sells out by 8am. PappaRich is a sanitised version of real hawker food and I only use it in KL as a meetup point, for drinks with pals or a quick brekkie of soft boiled eggs and toast.

But as I've said many times, slim pickings here...

We arrive around 11.30 am and are seated promptly. At the table behind, an aunty is complaining lengthily to the waiter about something, and to the table to the right, a man has his legs crossed and he is kaki ayam. Hmm....ambience, check.

The menu is the first thing that pops out at me. It's beautiful and glossy, and in some cases sets too high a standard for the food that actually comes.

PappaRich Sydney

I drool over the extensive drinks menu and order the Teh C Special (or three layer tea). It is perfect.

PappaRich Sydney
A week before, my brother-in-law told me about seeing fried chicken skins at the pasar malam (night markets) in KL. "Ooh, doubly sinful since chicken skin is already pure fat!" I say. Lo and behold, we find it on the menu (and Hubs orders it, of course!).

PappaRich Sydney
I order the roti bom for Number Two because I know he likes all things sweet. It's a big hit but that's likely because of the condensed milk rather than the roti itself.
PappaRich Sydney

I chose the Ipoh Kuey Teow. The best bits about Ipoh Kuey Teow is the sweet soup and the slippery soft kuey teow noodles. The soup at PappaRich was decent but the rice noodles failed miserably. Ipoh kuey teow is unlike ordinary kuey teow, it's much thinner and silkier. You just slurp it up and it glides into your mouth. In PappaRich's  version, the kuey teow was sadly thick and chunky when it should have been only a quarter of that thickness.

PappaRich Sydney

I order nasi lemak for Hubs. When we go Malaysian, Hubs lets me order what I want him (and by extension, me) to eat (see, that's why I love him). The nasi lemak is decent, probably the best I've had in Sydney (although that doesn't say much). I like the lemongrassy prawns but the rice is a little short on creaminess and aroma.

PappaRich Sydney

For Number One, I get the wonton mee. Actually it isn't wantan mee because in KL, it is served with much less sauce, and char siu (bbq pork) on the side. This is actually served with curry! But Number One loves wonton mee, and I'm always trying to find something to match it over here. Since the curry chicken noodles looked right, only it had curry on it, I requested for them to exclude the curry. The soy based sauce isn't quite wonton noodles sauce, but came close. The noodles were quite right, only a little too al dente. The dry version is served with a side of chicken, which was beautifully done, soft and slippery and Number One lapped it all up happily.

PappaRich Sydney

For dessert, we order the taufofa but it is unavailable so we opt for the ABC. It was ok, a tad too sweet.

PappaRich Sydney
Beyond the food, service is slow, but I guess they are swamped because it's early days. I also dislike all the noise generated by the buzzer that you have to use to request service.
I do like the fact that it is open throughout the day. The first time we attempted Mamak, we went at 2.30pm (in Malaysia, a mamak is open almost 24 hours) and were shocked to find it closing for lunch. Another time, we tried an early dinner, but could not make the timing fit either because of their dinner operation hours. Am glad to see you can stroll in anytime for a teh tarik session at PappaRich!
We left around 1pm and as we walked out, were surprised to find a queue of about 40 people. Moral : Go early.
It's at 1/63A, Archer Street, Chatswood. Opening hours are 11am to 10pm, 7 days a week.

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