After drooling at THAT chicken skin from countless PappaRich reviews across its NSW branches, I finally got the chance to indulge in that fried chicken goodness at their newly opened Parramatta branch with a few other food bloggers for a lunch of epic proportions. Literally. No really, it was epic.
Located at the former Pho Pasteur site near Nandos (the Church Street branch is still open btw), it is very easy to spot PappaRich over the other outdoor restaurant especially with the insane lines. Not sure if they do bookings but dang I really did not expect PappaRich queues to be that crazy!
Milo Dinosaur ($4.90)
We kicked off with choosing our beverage from an extensive list of drinks. Even the drinks looked incredible with many unusual ingredient combinations that you would not see elsewhere. My pick was the bombastic Milo Dinosaur. Just look at those massive layers of Milo chocolate powder cluttered on top of thick, decadent chocolate milk! This was served in a large beer-sized mug that you would normally expect at a beer garden. It definitely wasn't your ordinary Milo chocolate milk.
Clockwise L-R: Coconut Paradise, Mango Mania (x2), Tropical Lime, Lychee Soda, Matcha Rocks, Milo Dinosaur
You can see the work of art in PappaRich's drinks. There are currently over 60 types of beverages available including their more exotic signature drinks that I would recommend trying when you make a visit. The Mango Mania was a popular drink at the table which was no surprise from its aesthetic appearance filled with lychees and watermelon balls. Another PappaRich classic drink was the tropical Coconut Paradise consisting of blended coconut juice and coconut shavings, which was actually refreshing to have especially with the warmer seasons arriving soon. For the green tea lover, there's the creamy Matcha Rocks packed with green tea soya, red bean and green tea ice cream. So much green tea goodness and it looks amazing too! The Tropical Lime is another classic with its ice-blended lychee and lime sweetness combined with the generous scoop of Vanilla ice cream. If you want something light, simple and flavour-bursting then I would go for the fresh Lychee Soda.
Satay Chicken ($12.90 for 6 pieces, $21.90 for 12 pieces)
The feast started off with a platter of satay chicken skewers. The skewers were quite tender and well seasoned with a nicely charred outer texture. The highlight for me was the mouth-watering satay sauce especially when you can taste the crumbled peanuts meshing well in the sauce. Felt the urge to use the satay sauce with everything else, especially the rotis.
Roti Canai ($6.90)
Speaking of rotis, we were treated with a wide range of different types available at PappaRich. The original Roti Canai was soft and fluffy in the inside and crispy and flaky on the outside. It was served on a platter with curry, sambal and daal on the side. End up making the most of the delicious curry dip and the creamy daal since the sambal was a bit too spicy for my preference. However, the roti helped in balancing the hotness. Could eat this whole dish by myself.
Roti Canai with Curry Chicken ($12.90)
We also had a variation of the roti canai with curry chicken on the side. The chicken curry was mild, succulent and easy to pull apart with a touch of the knife.
Roti Telur Bawang with Beef Rendang ($13.90)
I was also a fan of the Roti Telur Bawang, which is laced with egg and onions. Softer and denser than the roti canai, this was more filling and moreish but equally tasty if you want to try something different. This arrived with beef rendang on the side, which melted in your mouth with a burst of flavours and various spices on the tastebuds.
Roti Planta ($7.90)
I actually forgot to take a picture of this until I scrolled through my photos and realised something was missing (sorry). The Roti Planta was another type of roti I haven't tried at other Malaysian restaurants before. It was sweeter and stickier than the other savoury rotis though it was also quite soft and light in its texture.
Vegetarian Shui Kau Dumplings ($4.90)
Vegetarian Siew Mai Dumplings ($4.90)
I was really surprised to spot various vegetarian dumplings at the table. Not too soft and not too firm. Equally surprised that I was keen for seconds for them since I usually prefer meat dumplings in the past.
Pappa Deep Fried Chicken Skin ($6.90)
And now finally, the famous Pappa Deep Fried Chicken Skin I have been looking forward to the most for months. That friiieeeddd chicken skin! And I gotta say, it was definitely worth the hype. The above picture really does not do this dish any justice. While it's not gonna decrease the waistline anytime soon (sadly), it was absolute crunchy goodness. Even when I grabbed a piece towards the end, it was still extra crispy. Must have!
Curry Chicken Laksa ($13.50)
Curry Laksa - Vegetables ($13.50)
After all that, we finally got onto the main dishes. Yup that was just the entrees! It's still the middle of winter so we ordered a couple of bowls of laksa. The Curry Chicken Laksa had a fragrant aroma with various spices to enhance the flavour (though mild compared to Malay Chinese Takeaway). It was also creamy, thick and generous with the coconut and juicy chicken fillets and firm noodles. Even spotted eggplant and beancurd skin in the broth. I didn't get to try the Curry Vegetable Laksa but it looked very appetising from afar. While the vegetable curry is very similar to the chicken curry (except without the chicken of course), it also has a generous serving of eggplants along with lots of beansprouts.
Pappa Asam Laksa ($13.50)
If rich and creamy laksa are too much for you to handle, the Pappa Asam Laksa was lighter in comparison with its rather clear broth. The overall flavour was quite sour and fishy and the noodles were well cooked. Definitely a dish I am very keen to order again even during the warmer seasons.
Vegetarian Fried Mee Hoon ($13.90)
We also got a plate of Vegetarian Fried Mee Hoon, which consisted of dry vermicelli noodles served with vegetarian sambal, tofu and shredded eggs. For a dish that looks plain and simple, this was light and refreshing. Very nice breakaway from the heavy, rich and creamy dishes. Would recommend this dish for the strict vegetarians as it was a tasty dish.
Pappa Chicken Rice with Steamed Chicken ($13.50)
The Pappa Chicken Rice with Steamed Chicken reminded me of Haianese Chicken Rice from the various Singapore food stalls. The soy sauce added a decent amount of flavour to the chicken, whereas the chicken rice was fragrant and had a balanced texture that wasn't too soft or too hard.
Pappa Fried Rice Noodles ($13.50)
To end the mammoth feast, there was the seemingly innocent but spicy Pappa Fried Rice Noodles. This contains wok fried noodles, prawn, shredded chicken, egg and bean sprouts. Personally I found that this dish was too spicy and quite oily for my preference though I did enjoy digging into the juicy prawns.
Sago Pudding ($5.50)
By this point I was absolutely stuffed but when it's a food blogger gathering, you cannot miss out on the dessert. The traditional Sago Pudding was sweet, creamy and...well...bubbly. Seriously, I thought that the bubbly sago pudding looked adorable in a bed of coconut milk.
Pappa Premium Ice Cream
If the Sago Pudding is a bit too adventurous for the palate, the Pappa Premium Ice Cream brings out the child in you with its beautiful presentation. Although it was simply a strawberry and chocolate ice cream sundae with cream and banana in a waffle basket, it was lovely to try and would certainly be popular for the kids.
Roti Banana with Vanilla Ice Cream
If I wasn't so stuffed, I would gladly eat up the Roti Banana with Vanilla Ice Cream for sure. This was thick, sticky, sweet and packed with banana inside the roti pastry. It was well complemented with the vanilla ice cream which melted across the roti. Felt so sinful yet so indulgent.
At the end, we were treated to a few cooking demonstrations at PappaRich's open kitchen including the roti demonstration where we got to see the chef twirling and spinning the roti dough.
It was an amazing experience sampling as many dishes as possible at PappaRich - even with the subsequent food coma afterwards. While the service was busy due to the noisy and packed out restaurant, they still looked after us on the day. While there were a few dishes that were slightly pricey, most of the dishes on the menu were reasonable if you are on a budget. It's halal-approved so you get to try the fried chicken skin without the guilt. Because of the many variety of Malaysian dishes available on the menu that we haven't tried yet (yup there's still much much more), I would certainly be coming back at one of the PappaRich branches whether it's Parramatta, Broadway or even Chatswood if I'm in the area - even if the wait can be pretty crazy during peak hours. With another branch opening at Macquarie Centre soon, you can be sure that there will be more branches opening up in your local area in the near future.
Disclaimer: The Random Foodie dined as a guest of PappaRich Parramatta, courtesy of Wasamedia. Opinions are however, my own.
Shop 2185A, Westfield Parramatta
159-175 Church Street, Parramatta NSW 2150
(02) 9633 3387