There seems to be a proliferation of Malaysian foods in the Melbourne CBD wherever I look. You can't get the popular Malaysian eats like the river prawn noodles, sambal mangrove snails, pork noodles or the Ramadan Malay dishes but at least there's Coconut House, PapaRich Malaysian Restaurant and a popular Malaysian bun called PappaRoti. I sighted the Malaysian PappaRoti bun in the Dotcom Internet Cafe along Elizabeth Street in Melbourne CBD and I decided to check out the goods in comparison with the original.
The first time I encountered PappaRoti was in Kuala Lumpur where the bakery combined smell, sight and taste into a mouth-watering concoction that drew customers from around the mall.
The sweet aroma of butter and coffee baking away in the oven drew me towards the sight of the baker squeezing a creamy light brown concoction in concentric circles onto individual doughs.
The result are hot and crispy brown buns that deliver a light crunch followed by soft bread with a buttery centre with every bite. I'm not a big fan of sweet Asian bread but the combined taste of the glazed, caramel-coated PappaRoti bun was delicious.
Born in Malaysia in 2003, Papparoti rode the country's demand for unique and delicious snack concepts by introducing its coffee-coated buns.
Today, the successful food chain has expanded via franchising to over 400 PappaRoti cafes and kiosks in 6 other markets including Dubai, China, Vietnam, Korea, Philippines and Australia. It only has one bun product but the formula of distinctive aroma, visual appeal and intensely flavour of that bun has won customers across cultures.
PappaRoti opened in Australia from 15 June 2010 at Kogarah. I understand that original takeaway outlet concept in Malaysia has been adapted to a Australian bakery-cafe where families can sit down for a bite and drinks while people on the go can grab a bun and coffee made by baristas from 100% organic fair trade beans.
Similarly the outlet at the Dotcom Internet Cafe in the Melbourne CBD offered sitting space and a variety of gelato and beverages to accompany the AUD2.50 bun including the Malaysian milk tea or "Teh Tarik".
I had missed the baking and thus the fragrance that usually accompanies the buns but a bite into my order did not disappoint. PappaRoti had managed to duplicate the signature bun in this Melbourne outlet. The coffee-cream coated exterior of the same-sized bun was crispy over a light and fluffy dough filled with a buttery centre.
With the growing appeal for quick food in Melbourne, I can see this home-baked snack becoming popular with families and kids. So if you're looking for a hot and crispy bun that is delightfully light and packed with the rich flavours of coffee, cream and butter, then drop by the PappaRoti outlet in Melbourne CBD and take a delicious bite out of the freshly baked hot buns.