Monday, 11 June 2012

Review - PappaRich Doncaster

9th June 2012

540 Doncaster Road,

Related Review: PappaRich Chadstone on 17th June 2012.
Cuisine: Malaysian

Taste Rating: 7.5/10   Value Rating: 8/10

PappaRich Doncaster on Urbanspoon

We went for dinner on a Saturday. Arriving in their carpark about 5.45pm, we got a parking spot immediately. Being winter, the day turns dark early and it felt like night time when we arrived. Even though it was relatively early for dinner, the restaurant was already full of people.  They don't take bookings for groups of less than 10 persons. We didn't have a booking and were told there would be a wait. Armed with queue ticket number 39, we went into the bar/lounge area to fill our time. It didn't look promising as the lounge was already crowded with waiting people. Surprisingly, about 10 mins later, number 39 flashed up on the screen and we had a table.

The staff member made sure to ask us if we knew how the ordering system worked. For those new to PappaRich,  you write your meal numbers (from the menu) onto a little order form. Then press the buzzer and a staff member collects the order form from you. About five minutes after we did this, the first of our items appeared, followed by the rest in quick succession. We had been seated about 6pm, then filled in and put in our order form,  and the photo I took of the first dish that arrived was time-stamped 6.15pm - so the service was running pretty fast. Our little table was soon crowded with the items we had ordered. The wait staff were fairly efficient, especially given the busy conditions. But they gave the impression they were not very confident when it came to questions about the menu. For example, I asked for Teh Tarik and one staff member was puzzled. So you may have to rely on your own knowledge of Malaysian cuisine.

We ordered R05 Pappa Special Nasi Lemak, N01 Chicken Curry Laksa with E08 Cockles, R08 Pappa Special Biryani Rice, R01 Pappa Chicken Rice, C03 Roti Canai with Tandoori Chicken and a takeaway N04 Char Koay Teow.  We also had iced PS07 Pappa Cham with Jelly, iced Barley with Jelly and Green Tea Ice Cream. I wanted to try the Pappa Bun and see how it stacked up against the buns from Pappa Roti, but this item had a sticker with "NA" stuck against it on the menu. One staff member checked and said it was available (yay!) but the next staff member then said it wasn't so (not "yay" after all).

The Pappa Special Nasi Lemak comes with curry chicken, prawn sambal, fried anchovies, fried peanuts, half a hard boiled egg, spicy sambal and cucumber slices. We wrote 'more cucumber' on the order form and the kitchen took note and provided extra slices (compared to the picture on the menu)! This is a nice dish overall. The curry chicken had large, tender, tasty pieces of chicken on the bone. The sambal was sweet at first, then the chilli hotness hits suddenly and it is hot! I found the sambal nice but would prefer it not so sweet. The nasi (rice) was not as lemak (coconut milk infused) as it should have been.

The Chicken Curry Laksa can be ordered with or without cockles. This is simple to do by choosing one of two different item codes from the menu. There is a good amount of ingredients including eggplant which does not normally come in a laksa. The soup was not as spicy as we are used to.

The Pappa Special Biryani Rice comes with sambal eggplant, fried chicken and sambal prawns. The biryani rice had a nice deep colour and tasted mainly of the clove pieces which had been mixed in - it could have done with more depth of flavour. I like the scent and flavour of cloves but others who are not used to it may find it musty. The prawns were in a hot sambal sauce, slightly sweet - about average rather than fantastic. The two stand-outs for me were the sambal eggplant and the fried chicken maryland - both were great. The eggplant was tasty and came in firm pieces. The chicken was juicy with a nice crispy skin.

The Pappa Chicken Rice had tasty, tender, boneless chicken pieces. The surprise was that these were sitting in a soya sauce that was overly sweetened. And the bean sprout side dish also came in the same very sweet sauce. The chilli condiment was fine but it was accompanied by a very thick soya sauce which was bitter. I would much prefer a thinner non-bitter soya sauce which blends with the chilli sauce.

The Roti Canai with Tandoori Chicken was not a bad dish. The chicken was tender with a mild spicy and slightly sour marinade. The sambal was the same as the one that came with the nasi lemak - deceptively sweet at first, then the chilli hotness kicks in. The stand-out for me is the roti - slightly sweet and buttery (or "magariney"!), with a crispy outer layer. This roti is not to everyone's taste if they like their roti salty and soft. This looks like roti but tastes like crepe! I could happily eat this roti on its own.

The Char Kuay Teow, being a takeaway, is reviewed taking into account it has been transported in a container and not eaten immediately after cooking. First impression is that it is a small serve . However, the taste is good and the small serve is mainly due to skinner noodles, and less noodles, being used. I don't mind this compared to other places which gives an abundance of noodles but not many other ingredients.  There were three medium sized prawns and a good number of fish cake slices which had the requisite wok-seared marks on them, as well as my favourite in CKT dishes - egg stir-fried into the noodles.

The Pappa Cham was fine. The Barley drink was not sweet enough for this drink

The Green Tea Ice Cream has to be the best value in Melbourne at $1.80 a serve. It was creamier than most other green tea ice creams we had tasted.

Overall, I would order each of these main dishes again - after I have tried the other dishes on the menu. I would also come back to try the other snacks, desserts and drinks. You can only eat so much at one meal!

Front of PappaRich Doncaster

Entry to Lounge
People waiting for tables
 Fill in the Order form,
then press the Buzzer

R05 Pappa Special Nasi Lemak

 Pappa Special Nasi Lemak

 Pappa Special Nasi Lemak - close up

 N01 Curry Laksa (Chicken)
E08 Cockles

 Chicken Curry Laksa with Cockles

 Chicken Curry Laksa with Cockles - close up

 R08 Pappa Special Biryani  Rice

Pappa Special Biryani 

 R01 Pappa Chicken Rice

 Pappa Chicken Rice

Pappa Chicken Rice
With soup on the side

C03 Roti Canai with Tandoori Chicken 

 Roti Canai with Tandoori Chicken 

 Pappa Cham with Jelly drink (Iced)

E27 Green Tea Ice Cream

 Green Tea Ice Cream

 MF08 Barley Grass Jelly (Iced)

 Barley Grass Jelly drink (Iced)

 Kitchen on Display

 Making Roti Canai

 Char Kuay Teow
In takeaway container

Pappa Bun
Not Available!

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