This is what I call soft, fluffy, buttery heaven. With the aroma of coffee, of course.
It is none other than the ‘famous’ PappaRoti!! I shall explain the apostrophes: To me, it is famous. Why? Because its origins in Malaysia! And after not having it for years since it disappeared mysteriously from the other place I am from, lo and behold, I find it in – of all places – Korea!! And it’s just one of those places that leads you by smell before you even see it. That strong, almost heady wafts of coffee and butter, makes your head spin and your mouth water.. And after following the scent like a hunting dog on a mission, I arrived in front of a PappaRoti store!! I believe it was one of those times I was proud to be Malaysian, despite having spent most of my years in Singapore. I didn’t actually take a picture while I was too busy stuffing my face in Korea (a tale for another time, children..), but PappaRoti seems to make its appearance mostly in the basement food areas in big shopping malls such as Lotte or Shinsegae (I lost track again which, exactly, terribly sorry with my absent-mindedness, but I WAS incredibly hungry each time, so all other thoughts get abandoned…). I did find a lot of Rotiboy shops though, perhaps the direct rival of PappaRoti in what they do, and I remember getting myself lost almost every morning for 5 days in a row at Myeongdong just so I could get my fix of that fluffy coffee buttery goodness..
Disclaimer: I do not know which came first (edit: RB 1998, PR 2003), what the real differences are, maybe perhaps the variety (RB wins) or size (PR wins), or they’re really just the same company..?! I could still be very wrong, so don’t take my word for it. I love both. I love coffee and butter. I love peace on earth. And I digress..
So anyway. Thrilled how the Singaporean/Malaysian stores are taking off in Korea (Ya Kun, Kopitiam, PappaRoti, Rotiboy), I was jumping for joy (quite literally) when I stumbled upon the PappaRoti store in Cabramatta. The Sister, Mother, and I, polished off 2, and it didn’t take long.
Oh, that sweet coffee aroma that infiltrates your nasal orifices, wafting up and triggering the brain to simply melt and succumb, and you ask for one, and hand over those round mini-hubcabs called coins. Then you hold it with trembling fingers, the warmth from that dome-shaped bun – fresh from the oven – radiating onto your face as you bring it closer to your opening jaws.. Clamping down in one big bite, a satisfying, slight-crunch from the crisp coating of the bun, and the give of that fluffy soft bread, as that sweet coffee aroma explodes once again, combined with that luscious, undeniable smell of BUTTER…
I had a moment there. It was pretty damn awesome, really.
If you were at the Malaysia Festival held at Tumbalong Park just a couple of weekends ago, you would have been able to snag a few to taste for yourself its delights. I would have bought a truckload to stock up, but even heating it up with the oven or microwave the next day, it doesn’t really taste the same. I tried it the last time I bought a few from Kogarah, and maybe I wasn’t doing it right, but still think having it fresh out of the oven, as you receive it in the store, the best way to go. You can head out to the current outlets in Kogarah, Cabramatta, and Kingsford, if you’re in metropolitan Sydney. Insider’s info, though – There’s soon to be one coming near city folk in Central! -grin-