This is the first post in the Auckland series.
Malaysian cuisine is mainly influenced by close traditions and cultures from its Malay, Chinese, Indonesian, Thai, and Indian citizens. It is one of my favourite cuisines, because of its diversity of flavours across Asia.
Living in Dunedin does not have many options for Malay food, except one restaurant called K L Aroma. Kenny and I both enjoy going there for their famous char kuey teow.
We originally planned to go elsewhere for dinner on our first night in Auckland, however, since we arrived late, most of the restaurants had stopped service. We then decided to come here for dinner, and they were kind enough to give us a table even though it was close to closing time.
The interior was simple, yet very open and comfortable. The menu was really appealing to me and included lots of photos. This definitely made decision making a lot easier since the menu has more than 160 items! It might take some time to read over the entire menu, but you will surely find something that you like.
PappaRich offers a lot of Malaysian/ Asian drinks on the menu, such as barley grass jelly, soya milk, Teh Tarik (tea and condensed milk), kopi (coffee), and Cham (mixture of coffee and sweetened tea). I ordered iced Teh terik coffee jelly, which is pulled tea with condensed milk, served with ice and coffee jelly. It was very similar to Hong Kong milk tea. Very silky and delicious.
We started with Roti Canai to share, which is a classic Malaysian breakfast with a bit of Indian influence. The roti is a stretchy and flat bread that is made to order. It was flaky and crisp on the outside, and soft and a little chewy on the inside. The roti was served with a mild curry, sambal (a spicy sauce), and Dhal (a mild lentil based sauce).
My dad and I loved the sambal sauce, it was pretty spicy (which we both like) and full of flavour from the chillies, shrimp paste, and various other spices and herbs. We ended up saving some of the sambal sauce to have with our mains! My mum who cannot handle spicy food did really enjoy the curry sauce and Dhal, and it was quite fun to try the different sauces with the roti.
The picture above is the famous national dish of Malaysia, Nasi Lemak. It is steamed coconut rice served with curry chicken, prawns, dried anchovies, roasted peanuts, sambal sauce, cucumber, and a hard boiled egg.
It is a showcase of different flavours and textures on one plate, from the delicate coconut rice to the salty crunch of anchovies, the tender bits of chicken and flavorful prawns. It was delicious. I particularly loved the chicken curry, it was rich, aromatic, and paired with the coconut rice fantastically.
I ordered Hainanese chicken, it was served warm in a housemade soy sauce. It was probably the most tender chicken I have had (and mum agreed!), and tasted great with the sauce.
Instead of the signature chicken rice, I chose to have noodles alongside the Hainanese chicken. The noodles were served in a rich and savoury chicken broth, topped with fried shallots, bean sprouts, and spring onions. I loved it!
This is red chicken and eggplant biryani, a fusion of Indian and Malaysian cuisines. Biryani is an Indian spiced rice dish prepared with basmati rice, and many spices and herbs. It was served with sambal eggplant, red chicken, and a pappadom (the thin and crispy cracker).
I quite liked the fragrance from the rice. However, since the meat and eggplant were already rich and flavorful on their own, I found it a little too salty and ‘rich’ having both rice and the meat together. Apart from that, I did enjoy the dish.
Overall thoughts: PappaRich is a quick meal idea for both lunch and dinner. Although quick, they certainly make delicious and authentic Malay dishes. I would highly recommend coming here, maybe even multiple times!
Address: Sky City Metro, Shop 2.01-2.03, 297 Queen St, Auckland