Papparich QV

Name: PappaRich QV
Location: Level 2, shop 1, Qv Square, 210 Lonsdale Street
Cost: $10-15 mains, $4-$7 drinks
Cost rating: 4/5
Taste rating: 8/10
Overall rating: 8/10
Would I come back? Yes.

This is one of my go-to places when I am out of inspiration. It’s affordable, has a large range of tasty food and efficient service.

Papparich QV is the new name for the refurbished Old Town Kopitiam. The food is much the same, but with the addition of a roti and biryani section as homage to the Indian side of Malaysia. The menu has also been upgraded to include photographs of most items, and all drinks. I think Papparich has enjoyed better patronage since their renovation.

In addition to an upgrade to the menu, there are upgrades to kitchen and food preparations areas. Instead of the one food prep area, there are now a few areas organised in terms of hardware. At the back most of the noodle and curry dishes are prepared, then adjacent to that is the roasted meats section. In the far end at the back is the drinks and dessert preparation area. Sometimes you can see people blend up ice and fruit for chilled juices, and ‘pull’ tea. (Milk tea is poured from one container to another to ‘pull’ the tea and make it frothy, then strained.) There’s also the grill section where skewers of satay are prepared. There are also chefs preparing roti made-to-order.

“Smile for the picture lah, and look like you’re working!”, says one of the waitstaff.

Pretend to work, ey?/Playing roti pat-a-cake/Flip those meat skewers

When you visit Papparich, the staff will sometimes ask you if you’ve been there before. This is because there’s a novel ordering system. There are no waitstaff taking orders, and are left to do everything more efficiently. Each menu item has a code associated with it. For example, R01 is a roti dish, N09 is a noodle dish, MF14 is a drink. You write down the codes on the notepads provided, as well as table number. Then press the button on the cutlery box. A member of the waitstaff comes along and takes your written order, punches out a bill and returns the bill to you. Some people don’t like this kind of service, but I like it. It’s quick, efficient and a large party of people can take as much time as required to browse the picture menu.

Write your own order/ Add dietary requests/ No mistakes are made

ASSAM LAKSA
Score: 5/10
Would I order it again? No.

Sour fish-based soup/ Often includes tamarind/ Should have been tasty

I have reviewed this before when Papparich was Old Town Kopitiam. The assam laksa hasn’t changed, it’s still one of the worst choices out of all the noodle dishes they have to offer.

MEE GORENG
Score: ?
Would I order it? Probably not.

Dry stir-fried noodles/Original mee goreng/ Not the Indomie

Mee goreng doesn’t look bad, and I have heard it tastes good. But you can’t go wrong with stir-fried noodles. To me the mee goreng doesn’t look particularly interesting, but it is good to pay homage to our favourite instant noodle– Indomie MiGoreng.
BIRYANI RICE WITH SIDES
Score: ?
Would I order it? Probably not.

Malay Indian/biryani hybrid rice dish/Both chicken and lamb

Biryani rice with sides is just like nasi lemak but with spiced rice instead of coconut rice. If you like spiced rice, then go for it. The sides will be reviewed under nasi lemak.

NASI LEMAK WITH CURRY CHICKEN, SAMBAL PRAWN AND EGG
Score: 9/10
Would I order it again? Yes.

An ‘anytime’ food/Malaysia’s ‘national dish’/Nasi lemak. Lah.

This is one of my favourite dishes at Papparich. You get a bowlful of coconut rice, 5 chilli prawns, 2-3 pieces of curry chicken, half a hardboiled egg, peanuts, fried anchovies, slices of cucumber and a dollop of chilli paste (sambal). If you feel like having more sides, there is an option to add chilli eggplant, tandoori chicken, as well as many other things. (But 2 sides fills me up just fine.)
Sometimes coconut rice tastes too faintly of coconut to earn the title of ‘coconut rice’. But the coconut rice at Papparich definately has the coconut milk taste. It’s moist, fragrant and savoury. Curry chicken isn’t dry at all and has a mild curry taste. Good for those who can’t handle spicy foods, but still a tasty accompaniment. The sambal prawn (sambal is a kind of chilli paste) is spicier but still fairly mild. The spiciest component is the dollop of sambal in the side.

You can mix the sambal in with the rice, or leave it if you aren’t up to spicy food. I like to do half-half, that is, half coconut rice mixed with sambal, and the other half non-spicy. Or you could douse your egg into the sambal. Up to you.

IPOH NOODLE SOUP WITH STEAMED CHICKEN
Score: 9/10
Would I order it again? Yes.

Chicken noodle soup/Why are you so delicious?/A good comfort food

Essentially chicken noodle soup. You get a large serve of steamed chicken breast steeping in sweet soy sauce, and a basin of soup with flat thin rice noodles and plenty of fried onions. The fried onions are the dominating flavour, so it’s not your usual chicken soup. But it’s good to have variations of a theme, right?
VEGETABLE LAKSA
Score: ?
Would I order it? Probably not.

Noodle soup icebergs/ Most of it lurks underneath/ But no Titanic

From the picture it looks okay. There is also some layered tofu in the vegetarian laksa for some protein. Always good to see restaurants making an effort to substitute meat for other protein sources for vegetarians. But I wouldn’t order it because I believe laksa is incomplete with a form of seafood. (Even if it is just fishcake.)

WAT TAN HOR
Score: 9/10
Would I order it again? Yes.

Tasty rice noodle/ swimming in thick egg gravy/ Novel, worth a shot

Wat tan hor is a flat thick rice noodles stir-fried in a wok until it obtains an umami taste only achievable with high temperatures, or ‘wok hei’. Then an egg gravy is poured onto the rice noodles. Umami with a side of umami? Yes, please. There are also asian greens, sliced fish cake and prawns. “It tastes just like home”, according my Malaysian friend.

CHAR KWAY TEOW
Score: ?
Would I order it? Probably not.

Stir-fried rice noodles/One of my favourite dishes/ when it is done well

Char kway teow also utilises the same kind of rice noodles and also requires formidable wok hei. The wat tan hor was so delicious, but char kway teow was anemic. There was no characteristic umami smell or slighty charriness along the edges of the rice noodles. Two out of two times the char kway teow has been like this. Disappointing.

HAR MEE
Score: 6/10
Would I order it again? No.

We all have bad days/ Insipid watery soup/ Disappointing. Boo.

This dish varies a lot depending on the day. Some days it even has different toppings on it, or it is missing a vegetable component. But the worst variable is the soup quality. Sometimes the har mee looks amazing, but other days it looks watery and bland. The day I ordered har mee it was watery and bland.

ROTI CANAI
Score:9/10
Would I order it again? Yes.

It’s pronounced ‘chanai’/Fluffy, stretch, crunchy bread/ Why is it so good?

Roti canai is a tissue-thin chewy flatbread, rolled up then curled around itself like a snail, and cooked over grill. The result is a light, chewy but crisp delicious food item. While it is good enough to have on its own, there are 3 sauces to dip your roti canai in. There’s usually a curry sauce, a sweet chutney and a dollop of sambal. I like to order this and watch the chefs spin the dough, roll it into shape, and watch the transformation from raw dough to delicious food on the grill.

DRY CURRY EGG NOODLE WITH STEAMED CHICKEN
Score: 7/10
Would I order it again? Yes.

Curry egg noodle/Steamed chicken and curry sauce/ Not ‘curry chicken’

The steamed chicken is the same as Ipoh rice noodle soup. The noodle is an egg noodle cooked in curry sauce. It’s good, but after a while it becomes uninteresting.
BANANA FRITTER
Score: 8.5/10
Would I order it again? Yes.

The secret is out/ Maltose syrup is a must/Makes the best fritters

The batter is a bit thick and will go stale quite quickly, especially if it sits in a pool of melted icecream. Luckily you can request the banana fritters to be brought out after you’ve finished your lunch or dinner, so they are piping hot and crispy. There is also maltose lightly drizzled over the fritters. It’s great.

GREEN TEA RED BEAN DRINK 
Score: ?
Would I order it? Probably not.

A green tea thickshake/ For the maccha green tea buff/ Complete with red beans

This is not a drink. This is a dessert. Looks good if you are a maccha green tea buff.

 

GREEN TEA
Score: ?
Would I order it? Probably not.

As Doctor Who does/ Could I order a strong drink?/Leave the teabag in

There are so many other weird and wonderful drinks on the menu. I would rather try one of those rather than tea bag green tea. I can drink that home. But it’s nice to see they have that option open.

GRASS JELLY EGG CUSTARD SOY DRINK
Score: 7/10
Would I order it again? No.

Not a good-looker/ Grass jelly and egg custard/ Slurp them up with straw

I like grass jelly, egg custard and soy milk. But not so much all together in a drink.

HONEY LONGAN DRINK
Score: 8.5/10
Would I order it again? Yes.

Two drinks in one slot/Ooh Ahh that’s something different/ Just like these iced drinks

This is soy milk with preserved longan fruit and honey. Sounds strange, but oddly delicious. The honey and dried longan fruits sink to the bottom, so be sure to mix it up with your straw to get an even distribution of sweetness. Or not, if you enjoy a gradient. Dried longan fruits have a much stronger and sweeter taste than when it is fresh, and like most other dried fruits it becomes chewier.

ROSE/ BANDUNG DRINK
Score: 9/10
Would I order it again? Yes.

(Picture above. It’s the pink one.)

I have reviewed this in Old Town Kopitiam QV before it renovated and became Papparich. It tastes the same as before, that is, sweet without being too sickly sweet. It’s slightly musky too.

BLACK SESAME ICECREAM SOY DRINK
Score: ?
Would I order it? Probably not.

Poke straw through icecream/ Ta-da! An icecream donut/ Huh, ingenious

This is black sesame icecream in unsweetened soy milk. When you mix the icecream through it looks like a thickshake.

TEH SPECIAL 
Score: 10/10
Would I order it again? Yes.

A food science prac/ Things with different densities/Science, everywhere!*

No, I didn’t misspell ‘the’. Hah.
This is the 3 tier tea drink that you should order. It is made with black tea, evaporated milk, palm sugar and ice. The palm sugar syrup is heaviest and sinks to the bottom, next is the evaporated milk, then ice, then black tea to tinge the evaporated milk in a gradient of brown. It’s a good looking drink. Tasty too.

*: Don’t drink this in the lab. (Or drink anything in the lab.)

 

BARLEY WATER WITH GRASS JELLY
Score: 3/10
Would I order it again? No.

icky barley water

I’ve had barley water at Laksa Bar, and that was tasty and refreshing. It was warm outside, so I thought some barley water would be wonderful. Wrong. The barley water is sludgy and slimy, not refreshing at all.

AW ROOT BEER
Score: No score, I am unable to compute the taste of AW root beer into a numerical score.
Would I order it? No.

weird as heck

Can I just say AW root beer is one of the strangest things I have tasted? It tastes like…. old peoples’ toothpaste and anaesthetic used at the dentist. It was almost pleasant with its mouth numbing effervescent way, but then no, it tastes like strong toothpaste. Then it was nice again. Weird.

Don’t let the score on urbanspoon scare you into thinking it’s some kind of terrible place. Some things are poorly done, but some are done very well. At least try their roti and special three layer tea.
PappaRich QV on Urbanspoon

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