PappaRich has been open in Parramatta for a few months now and I have slowly been making my way through the menu. It's slow going as every few weeks I find a new favourite and have to have that dish multiple times before moving onto the next thing!
I like PappaRich as it's the kind of place you can go to on your own for a quick meal (which I often do if Dave is not around) or with a group of friends for a big rowdy lunch - the table piled high with delicious Malaysian food. I know the basics of Malaysian food, but I think the big picture menu really makes the food accessible for everybody...a picture paints a thousand (yummy) words as they say. That might go someway to explaining why PappaRich has been so successful in Sydney.
And just as an aside, PappaRich is a series of independently owned franchises operating under the PappaRich banner. Each restaurant has an owner who's invested his (or her) hard earned bucks into their business hoping like heck it works. It's good to know this as I had actually thought it was a big evil "chain". At a recent blogger gig at PappaRich here in Parramatta I met the owner who was very nice and he was so keen to know if we all thought their outlet was doing a good job. Two thumbs up from me mate! I've always had great service and nice food.
The menu options and ordering style are the same at all PappaRich outlets so if you've been to one before you'll know the drill. Peruse the menu, mark out the items you'd like on the chit provided and then ring the buzzer. Within moments the waitstaff will appear to rush your order off to the kitchen. It doesn't take long for the food to arrive...always a good thing I'd say. As your items get put through the ordering system the staff bring back the bill to your table which happens before your food arrives - it's not an invitation to get up and leave already, it's just the way it works. I remember the same system from the diners I've eaten at in America.
Whilst the menu has A LOT on offer there is A LOT I'm yet to try. With that all said and done here's what's floating my boat at the moment...
Chicken skin (of course) though I only order this if I am with other people. Whilst I'd love a WHOLE plate to myself my dream in life isn't to become the fattest woman on earth! You don't get a figure like this eating plates of chicken skin all to yourself people! Anyway...back to the skin! I notice that the flavour here is a bit different to the skin I tried at Chatswood -- a bit more "five spicy" perhaps? The last few times we've also noticed that there have been some chewy pieces on the plate too...not sure what that's about, but Dave eats the chewy and I eat the crunchy (see you HAVE to share...it works out better).
Nasi Lemak with Beef Rendang because IT'S FREAKING AWESOME and it comes with Ikan Bilis + peanuts which together form one of the best things on the planet (not including Messina and Mappen that is)! Mostly the beef is fall apart tender and I just love mixing everything together for a spicy, meaty, crunchy plate of deliciousness. I save the cucumber 'til last as it helps to offset the burning that the sambal causes to my poor delicate mouth. The egg is kinda random but I save that til the end too...dipped into a dash of sambal.
The Char Kway Teow here is pretty good. It has a nice, delicate smokey flavour and is the most beautiful colour. The CKT is studded with fat prawns, bean sprouts and other bits and bobs. I've only had this here once but I'll be back for more!
I had NO interest in the Chilli Pan Mee until a guy next to me was eating it and I thought "hey, that looks pretty good". And you know what, it IS pretty good (though a friend of mine tells me she's never had a Chilli Pan Mee that doesn't have some sort of broth in the bottom - I've never had it before so I'm not sure what is legit).
The idea is to mix everything together so that the whole lot is coated by the soft egg that's hiding under all that sambal. The "mixed" product looks pretty gross - but in the interest of blogging transparency that's it below. I really like the mixture of textures in this dish: soft noodles, fatty mince, gooey egg, crunchy Ikan Bilis and fresh crunchy greens. A word of warning though, the sambal IS HOT! I once ate this when I had a sinus/throat infection and I thought I'd set my nose on fire!!!
I've had the Roti Canai a few times, again because it's awesome, though I think the roti here is a little sweeter than I've had at other Malaysian places. It's not so noticeable when you dunk it in the curry sauces and I actually didn't really notice this until someone pointed it out (my tastebuds are obviously highly susceptible to suggestion and are totally ignorant at all other times).
The chicken skin because it is DELICIOUS! Oh wait...I've said that already. Whoops!
Each time I come to PappaRich I order the Lychee Soda. It's quite sweet so after I've had a few sips I top it up with water and keep doing so right until I cannot drink anymore. It's the never ending drink!
Dave always orders the Milo Dinosaur because he is a man child I'm sure. Does anyone know why this is called a Milo Dinosaur? Anybody?
Oh look, here's PappaRich ambassador Poh having lunch at PappaRich in Parramatta. Dave and I were lucky enough to be invited along to have lunch with Poh and a bunch of other Sydney bloggers in Parramatta last weekend. And...we got to sit right at her table which at first freaked me out as you know...she has her own TV show and all that jazz BUT she was very easy talk to, a really engaging, honest and intelligent woman. Go Poh!
Have you been to a PappaRich restaurant yet? If so what do you think? What's your favourite dish?
PappaRich is at Store 2185A, Level 2 (which is street level), Westfield Parramatta. It's right where all the buses pull up at the interchange.