Regular readers will know how much I enjoy Malaysian cuisine with its melting pot of spicy noodles, tantalising curries and excellent rotis. There are a few Malaysian restaurants scattered around Brisbane’s suburbs but none that are centrally located. When I was invited* to try newly opened PappaRich in the Wintergarden, I wasn’t at all surprised to see a packed venue. It seemed like much of Brisbane’s Malaysian population was in attendance so that’s always a good sign.
PappaRich (yes, funny name I know) offers a large selection of Malaysian dishes as well as some menu items that may seem odd to the casual diner but are in fact much loved favourites. You’re no doubt familiar with Laksa but perhaps not so familiar with White Bread as a featured menu item. A range of Milo options also appears. You may think it unusual for an Asian restaurant to feature dairy on their menu but did you know that Malaysia is the world’s greatest consumer of Milo? To a homesick ex-pat, these menu items are authentic and ensure return custom.
We visited on a super busy Saturday and couldn’t resist ordering my favourite of Roti Canai as well as a serve of Char Kway Teow with a side of Ikan Bilis. The PappaRich ordering process provides some light entertainment for newcomers. Select from the menu, fill out the order chit, buzz your waiter and hand them the chit for the food to be freshly prepared. This way you can order a few items and then come back for more as the mood takes you.
A shared plate of Beef Satay and some frosty drinks on an incredibly hot day completed the meal. Despite the large crowd, wait times were modest. The drinks arrived first, sweet and lurid, filled with ice, juice and fruit. They were certainly a talking point. I found the beef satay a little chewy but when dipped in peanut sauce and speared with chunks of fresh cucumber, they were easy enough to eat. The Char Kway Teow had the requisite smoky breath of the wok (wok hei) and was studded with prawns and chicken. Spicy and not too oily. It was at this point I was starting to become a little concerned about the amount of food we had ordered but it was too late, we had already committed to the chit. When the Roti and accompanying Beef Rendang arrived, concerns were put aside. Moist and tender with the perfect level of spice, the beef shredded easily with a fork and was the best of our selection. Despite ourselves we finished with a soothing Sago Pudding with coconut cream and palm sugar.
PappaRich would be great for a lunch with colleagues or to take along the family for the novelty of the ordering system. There was a constant queue at the door of people waiting to be seated, attesting to its value and popularity. I know that I will be back. I can hear the Roti and Milo calling me.
*TIFFIN was invited to eat like the Malaysian ex-pats as a guest of Wasamedia and PappaRich
Level 1 – Wintergarden Shopping Centre
Queen Street Mall
Brisbane Qld 4000