Location: Northbridge – James St
Disclosure: meal was complimentary
Perth’s food scene continues to evolve and Papparich is the latest restaurant to open it’s doors. Papparich is a Malaysian restaurant chain with restaurants on the east coast but none on the west coast until now. Located on James Street in Northbridge, it opened it’s doors within the last month and has had a steady stream of patrons with people queuing to get in. I was very fortunate to receive an invite to the restaurant so I grabbed a work colleague, who happens to love food and also be from Malaysia, to try their menu.
Despite leaving early, there already was a queue but with the booking locked in I was able to skip the queue and be seated immediately…right in front of the window of the queuing crowd! We were immediately greeted and presented with menus. The concept at Papparich is a little different. You’re given a menu, you choose what you want and write it down on the note pad (each dish has a code) and then press a button. A waiter will come by to take your order or see how they can assist (order more food, additional plates etc). There’s cutlery on the table in a little box and chopsticks. The menu is quite extensive offering a variety of dishes under these general categories:
- Malaysian Favourites
- Vegetarian Dim Sim
So there’s plenty to choose from and even though there were just two of us, we were able to order a nice variety of dishes to share. While we waited for our dishes to be prepared, I had a look around the interior of the restaurant. It’s nice and comfortable with ceiling fans, smart tables, and comfy chairs. Service was friendly, fast and efficient and they checked in on us several times to see how we were going and make a few suggestions.
Satay Chicken (6 pieces) $12.90
First up was the satay chicken. The chicken was really tender and super moist. As per my comment for Red Basil Thai, the only thing missing is that charred flavour from hot coals but that is hard to replicate in a kitchen environment. The satay sauce was really delicious and there was some cut red onion and cucumber to enjoy with it as well. Each of the skewers were consistent and who doesn’t like a good satay? I certainly do and wasn’t disappointed.
Roti Canai with Curry Chicken $12.90
The ever popular roti canai with a serve of our delicious curry chicken
We had this last and unfortunately the roti (bread) had hardened somewhat (no fault of the restaurant). I’m sure when it was brought out it was super soft and flaky. Nonetheless, it was delicious and thoroughly enjoyed with the dhal which was quite thick but flavoured nicely, a slightly spicy but sweet chilli mix, and of course, the curry from the chicken. There was plenty of chicken served which also was super moist and tender, really flavoursome, and so delicious.
Pappa Char Koay Teow $13.90
Wok-fried flat noodles with prawns, egg and bean sprouts. This dish is mildly spicy.
I ate the most fantastic version of this dish in Chinatown in Kuala Lumpa when I visited Malaysia but have been unable to find that some version in a restaurant in Perth. Papparich’s version was unable to replicate it but I still thoroughly enjoyed the super soft noodles with the mix of tender prawns, bean sprouts and the flavours they put into the dish. The version I had in Malaysia had a smokey wok flavour imparted into the plain rice noodles and bits of salty pork fat that exploded with flavour. It’s these elements which have been lacking from every version I’ve eaten in Perth which really added something to the dish. However, while a little disappointed, aside from these elements I have enjoyed some delicious versions of this dish and Papparich’s is up there with the best so really happy.
Pappa Prawn Mee $13.90
Yellow noodles served in our special Pappa prawn broth, served with fresh prawns, hard boiled egg, chicken slices, bean sprouts and water spinach
To me, this looks kind of like a laksa but it’s not. Putting your face over the bowl you can immediately smell the prawn flavour of the broth but when you taste it, it’s like a cross between a broth and a curry which is unique. I really like the thick hokkien noodles and was glad to see it present in this dish. They were cooked well, not chewy, and I enjoyed the flavours of this dish with some sambal mixed through which added additional flavour and bite. There’s some tender prawns and chicken slices to bulk out the dish and it goes down a treat.
Teh Tarik (Milk Tea) $3.90
This is such a popular drink in Malaysia along with the milk coffee or kopi as it’s called that you have to order one of Malaysia’s specialty drinks if dining here. I had mine iced while my colleague had hers hot. Surprisingly, she received a much smaller quantity, although it was served in traditional Malaysian tea cups. While I don’t drink tea I really enjoyed the refreshing flavours of the tea with the sweetness and it’s a lovely drink to sip while eating all the food before us.
Ta Foo Fa King with Sugar Syrup
Unfortunately, I was really stuffed and couldn’t squeeze in dessert. Instead, I did have a taste of the dessert that my colleague ordered which is a fermented soy bean. It looks like the flesh of fresh coconut and has a silken texture. It sounded rather weird but it actually tastes amazing! The flesh is really soft and the dessert is warm which took me by surprise as I thought it was going to be cold. The flesh is immersed in a liquidity syrup but it’s not that sweet. It’s a really surprising dessert which is smooth, soothing, slightly warming and I can see this being enjoyed on a cold winter’s day. It’s kind of what hot chocolate is to winter but is there a winter warmer dessert that gives the same effect? I’ll definitely be back to get dessert and a lot of other dishes.
Papparich Food Review Summary
Verdict: Papparich offers patrons a lovely modern comfortable interior to enjoy a variety of Malaysian dishes from their extensive menu. Just write down the dishes on the notepad, press the buzzer, and your order will be whipped away to the kitchen by the friendly staff. We sampled a variety of dishes during our lunch. We started with the satay chicken which was super tender and moist and enjoyed with a lovely satay sauce. Next up, the delicious roti dipped in with the flavoursome dhal, spicy chilli mix, and of course the chicken curry made for a treat. There was plenty of tender pieces of chicken to enjoy which were very tasty. I really liked the soft rice noodles of the char koay teow with the plump and juicy prawns. The prawn mee was an interesting dish resembling what looks like laksa but is not. The mix between prawn infused broth and curry presents a unique set of delicious flavours to be enjoyed with perfectly cooked thick Hokkien noodles, chicken slices, and prawns. This was a very tasty dish. You can’t go past the array of milk drinks home to Malaysia so I enjoyed iced teh tarik with my meal. After all that, I couldn’t squeeze in dessert but had a taste of my colleagues who ordered a very warm, soft, smooth, soothing dessert. The fermented soy bean is like soft coconut flesh immersed in a slightly sweet syrup. It’s such an unassuming dish that just ends the meal perfectly. I really enjoyed my visit to Papparich and would be happy to return. While a guest of the restaurant which I appreciate, I think the only criticism I would reserve would be an inconsistency in pricing between dishes. An example is the roti with chicken curry costs the same as 6 satay skewers. The roti delivers more bang for your buck, and at $13 dollars, is rather pricey for satay chicken skewers.
Papparich Restaurant Details
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