PappaRich is the newest contender for the most popular Malaysian restaurant in town. The chain hails from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and opened up outlets in Victoria before heading up to Sydney, and the Chatswood store is absolutely packed on the Saturday night we went at 5.30pm to queue up for a table for 7. Even though we had got in early, we were one of the last people to be able to wait inside the foyer; diners who came after us were forced to wait in an orderly queue outside in the cold.
You would think that getting in at 5.30pm would ensure a table or at least only a short wait, but because we were quite a large group the wait took almost an hour before we were allocated a table. Luckily the service is quick and efficient, and in no time we had placed our orders after scribbling them down on the notepads provided.
First up was a steaming bowl of Pappa Prawn Mee, the richly flavoured prawn soup with thick yellow egg noodles, shredded chicken, fresh prawns, hard boiled egg, bean sprouts and water spinach. I thought this was a decent rendition, albeit not as intensely flavoured as some others I’ve had in Sydney.
Pappa Prawn Mee, $12.50
Their Pappa Chicken Rice with Steamed Chicken (aka Hainan Chicken Rice) was done well too, with silky smooth pieces of steamed chicken and an aromatic bowl of chicken rice that was addictive thanks to the essence of chicken and garlic infused into it. The accompanying chicken broth wasn’t bad either, but was a bit saltier than I would’ve liked.
Pappa Chicken Rice with Steamed Chicken, $12.50
I was looking forward to the Pappa Fried Mee as I’m a fan of Mamak’s Mee Goreng, but this version was a bit lacklustre despite having all the right ingredients. It was a standard plate of fried hokkien noodles with plenty of bean sprouts, prawn, egg and tomatoes tossed in throughout. It wasn’t particularly spicy either, but you can add your own chilli to heat it up a bit.
Pappa Fried Mee, $12.50
We also got a Pappa Special Nasi Lemak which came with 2 dishes – Curry Chicken and Sambal Prawn. The fragrant coconut infused rice was tasty and both side dishes were also quite delicious, especially the prawn which had been coated in a moreish chilli sambal sauce.
Pappa Special Nasi Lemak, $14.90
Just like Mamak, Pappa Roti have a bit of a theatrical roti making station on show in their open kitchen and we were pretty satisfied by the Roti Canai that they dished up – the requisite flaky, buttery texture was there and their three different chilli/curry sauces were spot on too.
Roti Canai, $5.90
Last but not least for the savoury dishes, was the generous serving of Crispy Egg Noodle which had been fried to perfection and drizzled with plenty of egg gravy, vegies, prawns, chicken slices and fish cakes to keep everyone happy. I love the way that the gravy softens the crunchy, hard noodles and the interesting myriad of textures as you munch through the noodles which have been softened to varying degrees.
Crispy Egg Noodle, $12.50
We rounded off the Malaysian feast with some sweet kaya desserts – one was a delectable Roti Kaya with the fragrant coconut jam encased within the buttery layers of roti. The other was the light as air slice of Hainan Steamed Bread which had soaked up the butter slathered on top and went well with the dollop of kaya on the side.
Roti Kaya, $4.50
Hainan Toasted Bread with butter and kaya, $4.50
The menu at PappaRich is extensive for a Malaysian restaurant encompassing pretty much every popular dish of the cuisine, so there’s definitely something for everyone. The rice dishes were better than the noodle dishes that we tried, but overall there’s many more hits than misses here. Combine all this with very affordable pricing and you have yourself a winner for family dining in the heart of Chatswood – it’s no wonder there’s still crazy queues on the weekends!
63A Archer St, Chatswood NSW 2067
(02) 9411 3207