For around the last 18 months I have been working in Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast. I thought it might be fun to share a few of the more inexpensive vegetarian dining options that I pick for a quick, casual lunch.
First up, one of my favourites and a fairly recent addition to the area, is PappaRich a Malaysian chain serving Malaysian hawker style cafe food.
I first stumbled over a PappaRich kiosk in a foodcourt on a trip to Sydney last year. The food was so good, that on subsequent trips to Sydney, I went out of my way to have a meal there.
So mucho, excitedo when I saw the signs go up for PappaRich opening a restaurant in the Chevron Renaissance shopping centre in the middle of Surfers Paradise. Click here for Google map directions, but if you know the area its right next to the Cavill Ave tram stop.
Chevron Renaissance has a covered outdoor area which is great most of the year round, but on a hot day, if you are looking for an airconditioned restaurant, this restaurant isn’t, so you need to go elsewhere. The waitress who seated me said that it was slightly cooler inside but not by a lot. It was hot!
I’ve eaten here a few times now and never had a problem getting a table, even on a busy day. You are seated, given a menu and told to fill in the order form with your meal item(s) of choice, number required and any comments. Once done, you press the buzzer and a server whisks away your order form to the kitchen.
Every time I have eaten here, the service has been fast and the food is served within around 10 minutes. There is no problem to be easily back at work after my 1 hour lunch break is over, even with a 10 minute walk to and from the office.
The next photo is the view from my table, it looks like no other diners around, but the tables either side of me all had other people dining.
A quick comment about the menu, many items have photos so you can see what you are a going to get. Unlike McDonald’s, the items on the menu really do look like your meal when it arrives.
So what did I order that was vegetarian? A C14, also known as a Roti Canai with Vegetarian Curry Mutton which includes dhal and sambal. There are a number of vegetarian items on the menu which are all clearly indicated as vegetarian, but the C14 is so delicious I haven’t ever ordered anything else. A word of warning, if you don’t like spicy food, do not order this.
The photo below is what it looks like. The sambal (the red) is a jam like consistency, sweet and tangy with a kick of chilli. The mock mutton are like little dense parcels in a spicy gravy. The dhal is very similar to an Indian garlic dahl or tardka dahl. This one is creamy in texture and mild, a perfect contrast to the spicy components. The roti itself is slightly sweet, buttery and flakey.
The meal is plenty filling for lunch but not heavy. In terms of pricing, its $15.90 which is on the high end of what I’m happy to pay for lunch, but as I take my lunch to work most days, I don’t mind occasionally treating myself.
Note that they don’t tend to bring water to your table so if you want a drink you will need to order one or likely they would bring you tap water if you wished.