PappaRich, Ultimo

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.

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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.

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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.