A comfort food chain described as the Denny’s of Malaysia is opening up to seven restaurants in New Zealand.
PappaRich, which offers a menu of 160 items including nasi lemak and curry laksa, has more than 100 outlets in nine countries, including Australia and the United States. Its first New Zealand outlet is in Aotea Square’s Metro building.
Managing director Steven Loh said plans had already been confirmed for another to open in NorthWest Mall and one in Wellington this year.
“We see a huge potential in New Zealand, and will be opening up to seven restaurants in a bid to popularise Malaysian cuisine,” he said.
Mr Loh, 36, grew up in Malaysia but had been living in Australia since 2003, where he had also been involved with the PappaRich business.
He described Malaysian food as “diverse and complex”, with a mix of Malay, Chinese and Indian influences.
“Malaysian eateries in Auckland lack good presentation and ambience, although the food is generally well received,” Mr Loh said.
“With our upmarket coffee-shop set up, that’s a bit like Starbucks, we hope it would draw more people to eating Malaysian on a regular basis.”
Mr Loh said the aim was to make Malaysian cuisine as popular as Japanese, Thai or Vietnamese food in New Zealand.
Other locations being considered for PappaRich outlets include Westfield Albany, Auckland’s redeveloped Downtown Shopping Mall and Christchurch.