On a recent Saturday morning J announced his intention to make a trip to our local Kathmandu store to buy some clothes before his next overseas work trip. In a (successful) effort to get me to go with him, he suggested we get dumplings in Box Hill afterwards. This man knows the way to my heart!
Kathmandu has recently opened an outlet in the Brand Smart shopping complex on Whitehorse road, and I said it might be worth a look before heading to the other store down the road.
We parked outside the old Freedom building and wandered up to Brand Smart, passing PappaRich on the way. We both thought it could be a viable alternative to dumplings.
The Kathmandu store was a bust (tiny with very little stock), so we walked back out and decided to have a look at the PappaRich menu on the way past (I do like a restaurant that has a menu outside).
At the time of writing, PappaRich, a Malaysian food chain, has five restaurants in Victoria, with a sixth mystery shop also listed on the website! There is also one restaurant in Sydney, and they plan to expand to other states, as well as their international locations such as Singapore, China and Indonesia.
These restaurants seem very popular and busy. I have seen the queue at the Glen Waverley location out the door and 30 people deep along the footpath!
As we were having a quick flick through the menu at the Nunawading location a waitress come out to say hello and entice us in. She did her job well and we were shortly seated at a table, which by the look of it, was the second last empty table in the place. We were seated about half way between the entrance and the kitchen on the left hand side looking from the sliding doors. I think we got there just before midday and by the time we left about 35-40 minutes later, there was a queue at the door (which made it hard to get out).
Another friendly waitress gave us menus and asked if we had visited before. After answering in the negative, she gave us the run down. Basically, you do all the ordering yourself. Each menu item is coded with a letter and number combination and you write the code on the order chit, along with the quantity required, and any notes, for example, you want something spicy or with extra nuts.
After you have completed your order, you push a buzzer attached to the cutlery box and a staff member will come and collect your order chit and whisk it away into the kitchen, and, with any luck, food will soon start arriving at your table.
The menu is extensive and includes picture and we did take a while to make a decision. Though in saying that, I knew I had to have the roti canai, one of PappaRich’s specialities, in one form or another. From the PappaRich website: “Roti canai is a type of Indian-influenced flatbread originally from India but also found in Malaysia and Indonesia. It is soft and fluffy in the inside but crispy and flaky on the outside”.
I ended up choosing the roti canai with curry chicken.
I really enjoyed it. J did to, he kept stealing my roti!
After much deliberation J settled on the Papa prawn mee (yellow noodles served in our special Pappa broth, served with fresh prawns, hard-boiled egg, chicken slices, bean sprouts and water spinach).
He loved it, and couldn’t keep saying how good it was. I tried some of the broth, but it was too fishy for me (seeing the broth is made from prawns this was hardly surprising).
We were also able to get our dumpling hit with a serve of vegetarian Siew Mai.
And a serve of vegetarian shui kau.
Both were great, the only issue we had was that they went cold quickly. It was a windy cold day and every time the sliding doors opened a gust of wind would blow in. The entrance is protected by an annex like feature (and there are outside tables) but it was still a bit chilly inside.
Once your order is placed with the kitchen, your order chit is returned with the bill attached. You take this to the cashier just inside the door to pay.
Our total, with four dishes and two cups of Jasmine tea was $35. It might not be as cheap as other establishments in Box Hill, but we were happy with the price and thought it was great value for the quality we got. The staff were all friendly and we will definitely return. Similar to what I said in my Dandelion post in relation to the authenticity of Vietnamese food, I am not Malaysian, and have never been to Malaysia, so can’t comment on how authentic PappaRich is. However, again like Dandelion, I enjoyed the food, and for me, that is all the matters in the end.