A branch of the famous Papparich opened on Broadway last month. A couple of us in the office were keen to try it out, so we found the time (after the glorious string of public holidays that came with Easter Friday, Easter Monday, and Anzac Day) to try it out last week finally. PapaRich serves Malaysian food, and my only prior experience with Malaysian food was from Mamak. Mamak is famed for the crazy long queues you find outside their branches I’m not a big fan of Malaysian food, mostly because of my low tolerance of chilli, but having eaten there, even I understand the hype for someone who loves Malaysian food. So, you see, PappaRich has quite high expectations to live up to.
PapaRich has one of the most extensive menus I have seen, in terms of both actual dishes and drinks. Suffice to say, we all spent quite a while pouring over the menu.
I ended up ordering the Pappa Chicken Rice with Steamed Chicken, which is described as “a Malaysian favourite that comes complete with tender boiled chicken, fragrant chicken rice, chicken soup, bean sprouts and a combination of chilli, ginger and dark soya sauce for dipping”.
I’d ordered this dish because I had conveniently forgot that I had once laughed at D’s brother for eating boiled chicken breast — I’d imagined it to be flavourless. It looked like a safe option, without the chilli of the other dishes. Turns out though, that the chicken, whilst not dry, was still squeaky — really, chicken breast does not stop being squeaky even if you change how you cook it. Aside from that, there wasn’t really much taste to the chicken (so I was right about boiled chicken breast being flavourless), and relied heavily on the dipping sauces. The chilli sauce was very spicy, but I didn’t think the dark soya sauce did much to add flavour.
The chicken aside, the chicken rice was very fragrant. It tasted like the rice was cooked in chicken soup rather than water, which was interesting. It did taste a bit too salty, though — I’d have preferred the chicken flavour to be more subtle. The bean sprouts were also on a bed of soya sauce — I’d have preferred the bean sprouts to be less flavoured, and hence made the dish more ‘fresh’. The same goes for the bed of cucumber underneath the chicken and the tomato on top of the chicken — if they’d put it to the side, the vegetables would’ve stayed cool, and made the dish more ‘fresh’. On that note, I guess that’s why I prefer Vietnamese food.
My impression of the dish is polarised: some flavours were too strong, while others were barely there.
But onto the drink! I had my eye on quite a few drinks on their menu, but ended up choosing the lychee soda. It was slightly carbonated and distinctly lychee flavoured. The mint leaves added an interesting twist to the drink. I’m not a fan of mint drinks when it involves grinding up mint leaves, but the leaves gave a more subtle refreshing taste. And the two lychees floating around? I’m positive that they’re canned but they tasted all right, so it didn’t detract from what was otherwise a decent drink.
PappaRich is located at 5/185 Broadway, Ultimo NSW 2007.