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After hearing about complaints that I went to PappaRich without certain people, off we went together to play the ‘line ride’ to eat Malaysian food after their official opening (see my previous visit before they officially opened here). Initially there was 5 of us for the waiting ticket but after some delays we just cut the number down to 3, we probably would have gotten in sooner if we initially only had the three of us but by the time we adjusted the number and got seated it ended up being a 40 minute wait. I didn’t find this too bad if you have ever waited for a table for yum cha in Sydney, but for those who aren’t used to it, they might consider the wait too long or the large crowd waiting around too daunting. The annoying thing is that you have to wait around for the ticket to be called, at least at Jamie’s Italian they give you a buzzer when a table becomes available so you can continue shopping until then.
When we got inside, we were greeted with friendly faces and a bustling crowd of happy patrons.
These drinks are perfect as a refreshing beverage on a hot Summer’s day.
Lemon Iced tea ($3.90).
Ribeana melon ($6.50).
a blurry photo of an Iced chocolate ($4.20).
and a Mango mania ($6.50).
We were so excited about so many things, we just ordered what we wanted but the problem with that was the table couldn’t fit all our food despite conglomerating everything as it arrived and just when I thought everything complete, the noodles came and we had to pull up a chair to accommodate it.
We ordered some things that I’ve already tried before like:
Hainan chicken rice set ($12.90).
Then we ordered some new things:
Pappa deep fried chicken skin ($6.90). I wouldn’t eat this as a ‘main meal’ or anything but as a snack between mouthfuls of curry and roti, it made for an addictive salty snack. The unplucked feathers can be a bit off putting.
Pappa Char Koay Teow wok-fried flat noodles with prawns, egg and bean sprouts. This dish is mildly spicy ($12.90). I was eager to order this because a Malaysian friend said that they used authentic noodles in their char koay teow here and I was keen to see what that meant. I was surprised to find that the noodles were thin almost like pad thai noodles, but overall I found that the dish a bit bland only consisting of egg and bean sprouts, some fish slices and only two prawns tossed to the side. I much prefer my noodles to have lots of shallots, soy sauce and fatty Chinese sausage.
Satay mixed 3 sticks of chicken satay and 3 sticks of beef satay ($13.90). I am always wary of ordering anything other than chicken on a satay stick as I think the other meats get tough and over cooked and it was no different here. The beef satay sticks were hard to chew and were nowhere near as nice as the moist tender chicken. Stick to the chicken satay sticks!
Tandoori chicken ($8.90). I was surprised to find this on the menu but it was a moist chicken leg piece with all the spices served with a creamy yoghurt.
Roti bom a variant of roti canai. It is thicker and sweeter and served with condensed milk and sugar ($7.90). I was determined to make space for the dessert roti that everyone kept talking about. It really is a thicker roti which made the centre more doughy. I didn’t think it was sweet enough or needed more condensed milk despite other people’s thoughts that it was sweet enough as is but I don’t think it is worth almost $8.00 for a bread with a bit of dip when for a few extra dollars you could get a whole meal with a roti canai. Sorry people, I really did want to love this.
Despite saying I was full, it didn’t stop me from ‘tasting’ my friend’s meal as we were leaving the restaurant.
I’m used to having my silken tofu dessert with more of a gingery syrup but this had a very caramel/coffee taste to it. The texture was silky, smooth and perfect.
Hainan toasted bread with peanut butter. This was one super thick paste of sticky peanut butter but overall nothing special.
Even though I’ve been here twice and tried to order lots of things, there are still many menu items that I would like to try. If you don’t go overboard, a tasty meal can be rather cheap if you don’t mind a bit of a wait to get in.
Having walked past PappaRich last Saturday and literally being nosey by pressing my nose against the window, I didn’t think it had a chance to be opened by November 2013 with most of the area still under construction, but they must have worked overtime at then some because some how they managed to open on the 30th November (cutting it fine!).
Without knowing this, I walked past it today to see their progress and I was greeted with the same floor to ceiling sign saying that ‘Pappa Rich was coming in 2013’ which had taunted me for months but today there was something different. I noticed a door opened with 2 people standing at the front. I quickly ran ahead and poked my head in, hey it was finally opened(!) but secretly or something? I asked for a table for two for a late lunch and we were seated immediately.
With the Grand opening happening tomorrow, PappaRich was bustling with people trying to get a taste of Malaysian delights before the word got out.
The ordering system is simple, just jot down your what you want, press the buzzer and a waiter will come within seconds to collect your order.
Pappa chicken rice with steamed chicken A Malaysian favourite that comes complete with tender boiled chicken, fragrant chicken rice, chicken soup, bean sprouts and a combination of chilli, ginger and dark soya sauce for dipping ($12.90). The chicken was moist and tender, the rice was really nice but the soup (which tastes like the soup that you would get in a Chinese short soup) was a bit on the saltier side. I didn’t utilise the dipping sauces at all, I didn’t think it needed it.
Roti Canai with curry chicken the ever popular roti canai with a serve of our delicious curry chicken ($12.50). I thought that the roti was fabulous being flaky, hot and crispy. The curry chicken was really nice too which had three biggish pieces of chicken.
I think the food is very reasonably priced (for Canberra), the service was very prompt and you may or may not learn to tune out the door bell tone that sounds frequently throughout the restaurant whenever someone requires an attendant.
If you don’t know what to order, these two dishes are probably the signature dishes of Malaysian cuisine and is a good starting point. I can’t wait to come again and order a lot more from the menu (I’m looking at you deep fried chicken skin!), but it will probably also include these two dishes again.
At this stage they aren’t really taking bookings, it’s a first come first serve type of situation, but eating a late lunch at 2pm on a Sunday meant that there were no lines 🙂
Address: Shop FG13B, Ground Floor, Bunda Street, Canberra Centre, Canberra City, 2601 ACT
Phone: (02) 6230 4929
Opening hours: 11am – 10pm 7 days, open until 11pm Fri – Sat