Celebrating the rich symphony of Malaysian Flavour @ PappaRich, Castle Hill

Their concept is simple:  bringing the traditional Malaysian Coffee shops into the 21st Century.  Their continual expansion to become the household name of ‘authentic Malaysian cuisine’ replicated for the eighth time at its new home in Castle Hill, opening just a month ago, with owner, Grace at the helm.

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Typical dishes from the hawker market stalls are brought from the open streets into a sit-down dining experience that’s really setting expectation levels for this style of cuisine to a new standard.   You’ll find this in the classic Satay peanut sauce which we had with our chicken skewers (also available in beef).   The meat on its own soothed with the marinade of lemongrass and turmeric, just as good on its own.  But the dipping action required here rounds off the staple experience which is essential when opening your Malaysian cuisine experience.

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Throughout the meal, keeping us entertained were the ever so flavorsome crispy chicken skin.   A mountainous heap of indulgence perfectly queued to enhance the bite of the curry, bring crunch to the softening noodles, to dip into the sambal, satay and sweet chili sauces, but a nice prelude to the mains.

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Malaysia has been fortunate to carry influences of Chinese, Indian, Thai and Indonesian.  It its tastes, smells and colors, you’ll see an exotic blend of cosmopolitan cultures.
There was something very familiar about The Crispy Noodle dish, Pappa Wat Tan Hor, which we enjoyed. Almost reminiscent of a Chinese chow mein yet distinct characteristics in the consistency of the egg that is weaved through and left to cook in it’s hot broth while adding the texture that coats the prawn, fish cake and chicken.   The wok fried noodles retain their crunch but absorb that rich sauce and as you work your way through the bowl, its the chow sum that provides the essential crunch to this dish.

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Perhaps a descendant of the Thai influence would be in the Pappa Char Koay Teow.  Much like the Pad Thai is the very familiar flat noodle, prawn, fish cake, egg, bean sprouts and chives.  Again the subtle elements making it very Malaysian, the smokey charcoal flavor that comes through due to the way its cooked.

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These influences extend from the use of the wok to the combinations of spices used in both these dishes.


When traditional Southeast Asian herbs and Indian spices meet, fragrant combinations of the Malaysian curry base (coriander and cumin) with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, cardamom, star anise and fenugreek fill the air.  You’ll see the obvious merge of these cultures in the Roti Canai.  That all too familiar contrast of inner fluffiness and crisp outer casing designed for dipping into the Curry Chicken sauce and accompanying dhal.   Malay food is generally spicy. Dishes are not always necessarily chilli-hot per se, but there will always, at the least, be a chilli-based sambal on hand.

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Rice is an essential staple in Asia, so naturally, at the core of Malaysian cuisine.  The Nasi Lemak uses an Indian basmati, which is common in many biryani dishes.  The elements of is why it is considered to be the national dish of the country.  A dish of rice steamed with coconut milk, served with dried anchovies (ikan bilis), peanuts, hardboiled egg, cucumber, however this rendition uses samba fresh prawns (instead of dried shrimp) and curry chicken (the best of both worlds).  A great salute to the past while modernising the portion and variation for big appetites like ourselves.

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It’s essentially, a malaysian coffee shop, so the coconut juice was a nice way to cool things down between dishes.

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One of the desserts demonstrates the versatility of Roti when paired with banana and vanilla ice cream – simple flavours working in magnifcent unison.

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However, if you enjoyed the dipping action at the start of the meal, why not end it the same with with the Roti Bom, A thicker and sweeter Roti Canai with the dough wound in a spiral, served with condensed milk and sugar.

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All in all, it was  a symphony of flavours, showcasing the best of Malaysian and its  highly complex and diverse flavours.

We would like to thank PappaRich for their hospitality and to Wasamedia for the invitation to dine.
Blog by Joseph Lloyd, contributor for aroundtheclockfoodie

PappaRich Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ho Jiak is a top Malaysian Restaurant

Ho Jiak has long been in Strathfield but has now found a second home in the relatively new Haymarket location. Ho Jiak specialises in Nyonya (Chinese Malaysian Cuisine), which which we can only describe as flavour upon flavour and even more flavour! The food is inspired by the Chef’s Grandmothers home cooked meals with exotic ingredients making for a flavorful dining experience.
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The interior of the restaurant is set up into two dining spaces. The downstairs portion of the restaurant reflects how we picture the streets of Penang in Malaysia to look with plenty happening – there is a hawker style set up, with splashes of colour everywhere. Beautiful artworks adorn the walls. The upstairs section takes you into Grandma’s home, with some beautiful mosaic tiles imported from Malacca, some elegantly painted family portraits and family photos. There are also Malaysian antique crockery and cookware, adding to the authentic homely feel, it definitely feels like you are visiting someone’s home. The upstairs part is perfect for larger dining groups as well.
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Ho Jiak is a licensed venue, so you can enjoy a glass of wine, which the suggestion of Pinot Gris perfectly matched the food. We visited with foodie friends Spooning Australia and e.m.i.l.y_eats which afforded us to try many dishes on the menu. The starters were creative and moreish. The Pai tee was a big hit, with paper thin crisp pastry cups you can fill with a tasty topping, they also come with lettuce cups to make a type of san choy bao. If you want to try something a little different, try the loh bak which is pork jowl wrapped in bean curd and deep fried. It is damn tasty.
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We of course had to try some Malaysian favourites, what we know as comfort food including: the char kway teow, this is simple and delicious. This noodle dish could never disappoint. The Ho Jiak version is super tasty and had a good whack of chilli. Their indomee goreng with the inclusion of premium ingredients with the salted duck egg and crab meat elevating this dish to next level and the chilli also providing some heat.
Another display of premium ingredients is the wagyu portion of the menu, the Rendang Gu another traditional meal. This version was made with quality wagyu. This stew was popping with colour, full of flavour and the meat melt in your mouth.

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All of the items served were of a high standard, but there were some particular standouts. These included the Sam Wong Dan: a savoury custard made with a trio of egg; the century, duck and humble chicken egg. This dish had amazing flavour and silky texture and is a must order. The most suprising was the kangkung belachan. This is one for the vegetarians. The kiam ah nui squid, stirfried with salted duck egg yolk, butter and curry leaves was a flavour sensation and we would go back and undoubtedly order this. The Laksa is one of their signature dishes, and as to be expected was also very good, and be prepared – this is also hot.
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Desserts are inspired by Teh Tarik (pulled tea), or poured back and fourth between two jugs. This is the national drink of Malaysia  and is a mellow way to finish after a taste sensory overload from the preceding meal. To sooth the taste buds a teh tarik ice cream or teh tarik affogato made with the teh taic ice cream with kopi(coffee). Ho-Jiak also do a housemade teh tarik liqueur or a cognac hot chocolate to sip on, these options are great if you have gorged and are lacking capacity for dessert.
Ho Jiak is a top spot to get a Malaysian meal. The chef’s inspiration from his Malaysian upbringing evident in the setting. He is passionate about his restaurant and his cooking and this was inspirational to hear. The food is ridiculously good, using premium ingredients and traditional Malaysian flavour. It is at the top of our list for Malaysian food in Sydney. Make sure you pay it a visit.
92 Hay Street,
Haymarket, Sydney NSW

Ho Jiak Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato