This is probably one of my favourite Malaysian restaurants, as it tastes very authentic, there's a really big range to choose from and prices are quite decent with good portions. The one I went to for this review is the QV one, though I've also been to the one in Doncaster. Both were similar in terms of food and service, and I would definitely go back to either store again.
It is common to wait perhaps 5-10 minutes for a table, especially if you go during the busy dinner periods, but there is a menu at the front so you can browse through and start deciding on what you want. I was quite impressed with the service at this QV Pappa Rich, in particular because we were first allocated a table right near the door. We asked one of the staff if we could switch tables because it was a little cold, and at first they said perhaps not, as we would have to wait until there was another group of 4 waiting for a table. However, after about 5 minutes a staff member came and asked if we still wanted to swap to a table further inside the restaurant, as they had managed to obtain one.
The atmosphere of the restaurant is really great, as it feels very vibrant and lively. At times you do have to raise your voice slightly to be heard above all the chatter and background noises of the kitchen, but I think it gives it a more Asian feel. In particular, a specialty of Pappa Rich is that you order by yourself- each table comes with a notepad, and you write down according to the menu, the item you want. When you've decided, you press the button on your table and a staff member will come and collect your orders. As a result, the menu for Pappa Rich is very detailed and each dish comes with its own photo, so you know what you are ordering. The constant ringing of the buzzer for service adds to the hustle and bustle of the restaurant, not unlike that of busy Asian streets.
Pappa Rich has a range of noodle dishes, as well as rice, roti, satay, bread and snacks. We ordered the Ipoh Kuay Teow Soup with steam chicken ($11.50), the Roti Telur Bawang Curry Chicken ($11.50), the Pappa Chicken Rice ($11.50) and the Nasi Lemak Curry Chicken ($11.90). The portions were all really good, and left you feeling quite full by the end. The Ipoh Kuay Teow had very tender chicken that went really well with the salty yet slightly sweet soy sauce, and the soup gave it a nice balance. Soup noodle dishes such as these are great on a cold day, and most come with extra chilli on the side for those who want that extra heat.
The Roti Curry Chicken also had very tender chicken that was cooked perfectly and very soft. The dish came with three dips- not spicy, mildly spicy and very spicy, so it is well suited for everyone's different tolerance to spicy. However, you couldn't really taste the onions that were supposed incorporated into the roti themselves, which was a little disappointing.
The Pappa Chicken Rice is essentially Hainanese Chicken Rice, and came with a small dish of bean sprouts and a bowl of soup. The rice was very flavoursome, and like the other chicken dishes, this too had very tender chicken that went really well with the soy sauce. The chicken also came with two other dipping sauces- a thicker soy paste, as well as a spicy chilli sauce that included finely chopped ginger and garlic, giving it not only the heat from the chilli but also the spice that is associated with ginger. The soup had too much MSG for my liking, as it is supposed to be a light soup that refreshes you from the oiliness of the dish itself, yet I was feeling quite thirsty after the meal.
For the Nasi Lemak Curry, the sauce was mainly the mild spicy one like that in the roti, and also included a dollop of the extremely spicy dip. The dish also included rice, cucumber, egg, peanuts and ikan bilis (dried anchovies- small fried fish), which was a very good combination. The saltiness of the peanuts and ikan bilis balanced well with the spicy curry sauce and the coconut infused rice, and the cucumber slices were refreshing in cleansing the palate. The curry was average, and one downside that my friend pointed out with the rice was that they used coconut essence instead of coconut milk, which didn't have as much flavour to it.
I would definitely recommend this restaurant for authentic Malaysian food, as it has a great variety to choose from. It is one of those restaurants that you could go to over and over again, and try something new each time and not be disappointed.
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