What: Weekday lunch
What should a person do when the mercury in Melbourne hits 38 degrees (that's over 100 degrees Farenheit for my international readers)? Eat curry, of course!
As a farewell celebration for a colleague, a group of work buddies descended upon Pappa Rich, Chadstone.
The Malaysian chain seems to be multiplying (at least in Melbourne) at a rapid rate. Restaurants are popping up here, there and everywhere, and, at peak times, hungry diners queue for tables. In fact, I have been deterred from trying the establishment on a number of occasions thanks to my disdain for waiting in line.
Well aware of the need to queue during busy times, my colleagues and I beat the lunch rush, arriving at around 12pm. The restaurant was perhaps a third full when we arrived. It was full to bursting point by the time we left at roughly 1pm.
The restaurant requires patrons to jot down their orders on pads provided at each table. A quick press of a button signifies to staff that the order should be taken. Not a particularly cordial arrangement, but certainly an efficient one.
The menu boasts a decent range of beverages, including a number of my favourite Malaysian treats. I opted for the fresh watermelon juice. The drink arrived in a sizeable stein and I was anticipating enjoying a refreshing juice (excuse the dodgy shot!).
Unfortunately, the juice did not meet expectations. I don't know about you, but when a menu refers to an item as "fresh watermelon juice", I assume that the content of said beverage will comprise solely of juiced watermelon. This drink was so insipidly sweet that I'm sure some sort of sugar syrup was added to the glass. Not good.
Mains arrived 5 minutes after our order was placed (did I mention they're efficient?). Predictably, I ordered nasi lemak. I can't really fault the dish - the curry was tasty and well seasoned, the rice was fluffy and the usual condiments all complemented the meal well. Was it the best nasi lemak I've ever eaten? No. (For the record, that honour goes to the Westin, Kuala Lumpur - room service at 2am - uh-maz-ing!). But it most definitely was not bad either.
So, would I eat at Pappa Rich again? If there was no waiting time and I happened to be shopping at Chadstone, I wouldn't hesitate to try the eatery again. It was a cheap, cheerful and relatively enjoyable meal, although I'd probably opt for a more traditionally Malaysian drink on my next visit.