PappaRich is a popular Malaysian kopitiam chain that has even found fans in frequent Causeway-crossers with its brand of authentic Malaysian cuisine. With this outlet at River Valley (it is the only other international branch), one does not have to endure the traffic jams any longer in order to have a truly Malaysian kopitiam experience.
|PHOTOS: Yong Te-Chong
PappaRich prides itself on its laidback vibe, which is something that is very much needed in hectic Singapore. Tucked away in the quaint surroundings of River Valley Road, one could almost imagine not being in Singapore. Perhaps it was because we were there before the usual lunch crowd came in, but the service was very good, and the staff was polite and smiling.
Being first-time patrons of PappaRich, we did what any newbie would do and ordered their “star” dishes. It was a mixture of both excellent and not-so-impressive dishes. The Pappa Curry Laska Special With Turnip Foo Chok was one dish that did not impress me much. It tasted more like the curry noodles we have here in Singapore, rather than the Nonya laksa we are used to. Maybe it is because I was expecting something else, but the curry laksa was quite a letdown for me.
The Pappa Nasi Lemak was much better. The attention to detail in making the rice was obvious, as the rice was fluffy and clump-free, with just the right amount of lemak taste. It is a Malaysian idiosyncrasy to serve nasi lemak with curry chicken instead of fried chicken wings, but I have no complaints; the delicious curry chicken was surprisingly light yet creamy, with delicate underlying notes of Indian spices.
Those looking for something lighter can try the Dry Koay Teow With Prawns. While I wished that the koay teow, or how we spell it in Singapore, kway teow, was softer, this is a healthier dish compared to the others. Also, PappaRich is very generous in dishing out the prawns and shredded chicken. The Pappa Asam Laksa, on the other hand, was appetizingly tangy. It piqued my taste-buds with its flavorful goodness, although I felt that they could have afforded to be slightly more generous with the prawn paste—just a touch more would have made this dish perfect.
Finally, I was rather impressed with the Pappa Chicken Chop With Fried Rice. The chicken chop was nicely seasoned, and fried to perfection. I simply loved how the chicken chop was unusually crispy, yet not overly oily, and it was perfectly complemented by the fried rice and sunny-side-up egg.
Those looking for value for money will be quite sated with PappaRich’s well-sized serving portions. They do their chicken quite well, in a variety of ways, with a varied menu to boot. I am relatively pleased with the dishes that I tried. Whether you’re a homesick Malaysian or just a foodie in general, this one’s definitely worth a casual meal or two.
429 River Valley Road
Tel: +65 6887 5055