A freelance writer and bargain hunter with wanderlust, recently moved to Perth from Brisbane.
Published January 12th 2015
Your tummy will feel rich at Papparich
I have eaten at the PappaRich chain both in Malaysia and in Melbourne so when I drove past the Westfield Carousel shopping centre and saw the restaurant, I wanted to try it out. On a sweltering day, its location at Westfield Carousel is ideal for shoppers wanting something different from the usual food court fare.
I wasn't the only one wanting to try out the restaurant – there was a line forming at around 11.30am on Sunday as the restaurant does not take bookings and will not seat your party until everyone arrives. It was not too bad waiting in line at this Papparich chain as opposed to the other chain at Northbridge as the entrance was air-conditioned.
As the restaurant was packed and we had a fairly large group, we ended up at a table right in the middle of the shopping centre outside the actual restaurant. It was a bit strange sitting amongst the busy shoppers as they curiously gawked at us and our food on their way from the car park to their destination. However, the variety of dishes available from PappaRich was worth the initial discomfort.
Bandung drink - photo credit Brenda Lee
Our table spent some time pouring over the menu and the huge variety of dishes as well as unique drinks such as sesame ice cream with soya bean milk, ais kacang (literal translation = iced beans) a concoction of shaved ice with red beans, jellies, syrup and fruits, Ribena melon and bandung (condensed milk flavoured with rose syrup). The menu had colourful and vivid pictures depicting each item, making our choice a difficult one.
Food items range from $8-$15 per dish and drinks from $3.90-$7.90 which is a reasonable range for Perth. As there were seven of us, we managed to try several different dishes. The ordering process is pretty easy with a checklist and pencil provided to us. The menu items had numbers next to them and we had to write the numbers down if we wanted to order an item.
As we were sitting outside the restaurant, we had to pay upon ordering at the counter akin to ordering at a fast food restaurant. However, the meals were served to our table. The dishes came relatively quickly and according to one dining partner "quicker than a fast food restaurant and the food much better than Mcdonalds or KFC."
I found that the quality of the food depends on the food item you order. As a group, we ordered the biryani (2 dishes) with red chicken and sambal prawns, the beef rendang with roti canai, the oriental chicken chop, chilli pan mee noodles, crispy egg noodles and satay chicken.
The biryani definitely looked impressive on the menu with two different items to try. Biryani rice has Indian origins, made with spices, rice and meat or vegetables. Unfortunately, the rice was a bit too salty. The sambal however, was flavourful and spicy.
The oriental chicken chop had a lovely brown sauce on top which converted a Western sounding dish into its Asian equivalent. The chicken was crispy and tender.
chili pan mee
The chilli pan mee (popular hakka dish with dough made of flour served with dried anchovies, minced chicken, mushroom and chilli) had a unique doughy taste from the flour. I however made the mistake of mixing the provided chilli in which drowned out the sauce from the noodles. The dish could be improved with a bit more gravy.
The satay chicken served was tender and juicy with a delicious peanut sauce that enhanced its flavour. I have tried many different kinds of satay in Malaysia and the one served at PappaRich is quite authentic.
It will take you a few tries to get through the extensive menu and although some dishes are better than the rest, trying them out is a lot of fun. PappaRich Carousel (08 9458 6344) is open from 10.30am to 9pm but be prepared to queue!