Other than Krispy Kreme and Mars Bar, there are few places on Gouger St that require a lineup. PappaRich is one of the few, and you can often see a small little line formed on the pavement out the front of the restaurant. As I discovered, this is warranted.
PappaRich is one of the newest cheap eats to hit the street, providing Malaysian delights to a restaurant Mecca already bursting with Chinese, Thai, Indian and Italian goodness. Malaysia’s population is dominated by 3 main ethnic groups: Malays, Chinese and Indians, and that’s the best way I can describe Malaysian food having had it for the first time now. Machindian food, as it were.
Even on a Sunday night we waited about 5 minutes for a table. As you watch people come out of the restaurant, it’s clear that one of their assets is a quick turnover of tables. Once seated, we were instructed that to order, you write down the code numbers of items you want. Once you have filled out what looks like a mini-golf scorepad, press a little button and someone runs over to collect it from you. A fantastically simple way to order with no fuss or misunderstandings, but it pretty much removes the personal experience from the service.
We opted for an array of dishes to get the full Malay experience. Roti Canai with Curry Chicken, Satay Chicken, Pappa Char Koay Teow, Prawn Dumplings and Nasi Lemak with Beef Rendang were whipped up pretty quickly, but brought to our table in a relatively odd order. I would say a restaurant should either bring out all of the entrees, and once you’ve finished them, all of the mains. Instead it was main, after a few minutes an entrée, a bit later another main, and so on.
Despite the jolted delivery, everything tastes great. All of the dishes have big hits of flavours, and come out as close to the beautiful pictures in the menu as possible. Some of those spicy sauces aren’t for the faint hearted though, so proceed with caution.
One thing to consider is that PappaRich isn’t licensed, so there’s no alcoholic beverages on the menu. Before you begin your boycott, they do offer a broad range of pretty exotic concoctions. An Iced Coffee and Tropical Lime were tried and tested, and it’s clear that Malays like it sweet. They are super sweet, but they do offer you the option of less sugar syrup than is designed.
The desserts are also traditional Malay offerings, so as well as a good old ice cream sundae, you can try something new with the Tau Foo Fa King and Sugar Syrup, or the ABC.
While the international food landscape of Adelaide used to just venture into Italian, Greek and vaguely Chinese territories, now we're treated to cusines from far corners of the globe such as Afghani, South African, Korean, Nepalese and Malaysian. Well, this Australian ain't complainin'!
PappaRich is at 116 Gouger St, Adelaide