PappaRich, Parramatta and Macquarie Park

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Very few of us have the lux­ury of not work­ing on our birth­days. But most of us can squeeze in a din­ner with friends and a good night’s sleep in our own beds. Unfortunately for D, he was rostered on for night shift, so it was only two weeks later that T, N and I cel­eb­rated his birth­day with him.

We’re at PappaRich in Parramatta, con­veni­ently loc­ated in west­ern Sydney for D and I, as well as T who was return­ing from his weekly stint in Katoomba. After a dis­ap­point­ing exper­i­ence with their Hainanese Chicken at their Broadway branch, I was eager to try out the rest of their menu.

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We arrive at 7 to a con­sid­er­able queue. PappaRich doesn’t take reser­va­tions, so we join the queue, and we’re seated in around 15 minutes. They’re short on tables, though, and they end up squeez­ing the four of us on a tab­let meant for two. We manage.

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I go for Roti canai with Curry Chicken ($13.90). The addi­tion of chick­en makes it easi­er to order as a main than as some­thing to share. The roti is less soft and fluffy than the ones at Mamak, but still have a beau­ti­ful eggy fla­vour without being too dense like a naan. The cur­ries are len­til and sam­bal. I’m always more of a fan of the len­til cur­ries, which are pleas­antly mild, than the sam­bal, which has a pleas­ant sweet­ness to it before the heat becomes over­whelm­ing for my sens­it­ive tongue. The chick­en was a tad too over­done, but I really only ordered the chick­en for my pro­tein fix, so I didn’t mind.

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D gets the Roti Canai with Tandoori Chicken ($14.90). D immensely enjoys this dish. He finds the roti fluffy enough for his lik­ing — he’s par­tic­u­larly sens­it­ive to doughy foods. The chick­en was pleas­antly warm and looked much juici­er than my pieces of chick­en, prob­ably from being left on the bone. With his high­er tol­er­ance for spicy foods, he enjoyed the heat of the sambal.

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N tries the Curry Laksa ($13.90), with hokki­en noodles in spicy coconut curry soup with chick­en slices, bean­curd skin, bean sprouts, egg­plant and fish cake. N quite enjoyed her laksa and counts it among the best she’s had — the soup had a high­er ratio of coconut milk to shrimp paste, and noodles weren’t rice noodles as com­monly used, and the egg­plant was a new and tasty addition.

T goes for the Pappa Prawn Mee ($13.90) with flour noodles in an anchovy based soup served with minced chick­en, fried anchovies, mush­rooms, spin­ach and topped with half boiled egg and pan mee soup chilli on the side. A quick taste of the pan mee soup chilli with a chop­stick alerts T that its heat is off the charts, so he goes without. He enjoys the res­ult­ing prawn noodle soup.

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And the drinks! D orders the Mango Mania ($6.90) with ice blen­ded mango with whole (canned) lychees, lychee jelly cubes and water­mel­on balls. The drink was refresh­ing with lots of tasty addi­tions. I par­tic­u­larly enjoyed the lychee jelly cubes — they had a good bite.

I try the Open Sesame ($7.50), ice blen­ded black ses­ame with soya milk and ses­ame ice cream. This is one strong hit of black ses­ame, which isn’t some­thing I usu­ally find with black ses­ame drinks. The use of soy milk enhances the nut­ti­ness of the black ses­ame and is per­fect for people with lactose intol­er­ance. It’s not too sweet and I enjoy the the grit from the ground black sesame.

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T tries the Ribena Melon ($6.90) with ice blen­ded ribena and water­mel­on with water­mel­on balls and lychee jel­lies. I couldn’t taste the water­mel­on over the Ribena, but it was evid­ent in the gritty tex­ture. And N goes for the trop­ic­al lime with ice blen­ded lychee and lime with vanilla ice cream. The taste of lychee wasn’t evid­ent, likely over­powered by the lime, and the vanilla ice cream left a not entirely com­fort­able creamy sen­sa­tion to what is usu­ally a frappe.

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On a later vis­it to the store in Macquarie Park, I try the Matcha Rocks ($7.50) with ice blen­ded green tea and red bean paste and green tea ice cream. I’d have enjoyed a stronger matcha taste, which was barely detect­able here against the rich­ness of the red bean paste. D tries the Red Bean ($5.90) with ice blen­ded red bean and more red bean paste. The two drinks tasted rather sim­il­ar, with the former being more creamy.

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And with dessert to fin­ish off, I have the Hainan Toasted Bread with Butter & Kaya ($5.50). I love thick cut toast for the fluffy innards hid­den beneath the crunchy exter­i­or, but the toast here was much too old or dried out to have any fluffi­ness. It also came out cold so the but­ter had no oppor­tun­ity to melt into the toast. The kaya, though, was beau­ti­fully smooth and fragrant.

PappaRich is loc­ated at Westfield Parramatta, 2185A/​159 – 175 Church St, Parramatta NSW 2150 and Upper Level 3, Macquarie Centre, Cnr Herring & Waterloo Roads, North Ryde, 2113 NSW.