Let’s Talk About Asian Buns (Not Mine): PappaRoti on Robson St.

I heard about PappaRoti last year and wondered, “What makes these buns different from typical Chinese bakery buns like pineapple buns and mexico buns?” So naturally, I found out.


Located at the corner of Robson and Nicola, across the street from where Chau Kitchen & Bar used to be. This is PappaRoti’s first location in North America.


They’re like a cafe but open late for your bun cravings.


“Father of All Buns”? We’ll see…


Robson St. is probably their best bet of surviving, with prices triple the usual Chinese bakery prices. Toppings, while interesting, are pricey too. Although kaya (I’d pronounce it gah-yeah) would be an interesting and authentically Malaysian topping. I’m not sure how they add the topping…whether they plop it on top or on the side. I just got a plain “original bun” to try out.


Those chalk drawings are pretty cute though! I guess in the grand scheme of cafe eats, $3.65 ($3.85 after tax) isn’t that much these days, for something that’ll tide you over until your next meal.


Soups, sandwiches, wraps and fruit if you’re not into buns.


Big selection of teas.


Coffee courtesy of JJ Bean.


No acidity, huh? Guess they’re not going for the hip Revolver Coffee crowd.


Their coffee blend names reek of marketing. Hey, let’s give these blends cool names even though we’re not located anywhere near these neighborhoods!


Here’s the bun! Presented nicely on a cute wooden board with superfluous dusting of powdered sugar and coffee/cocoa powder (not sure which).


It does look nice. Pristine, delicate, cute with a touch of elegance.


…big Asian bun aficionado…

They give you a knife and fork, so I knife ‘n forked it (at first). Very light and fluffy texture, with a crisp caramel/coffee cookie topping. The caramel and coffee flavours in the topping are gentle, mild, but there. Sweetnes is restrained. None of the heaviness, oiliness or greasiness of typical Chinese buns. In the very centre, I got a hit of savouriness, which I learned later was their “rich, buttery filling“.


Nice room. I like the long table. Tactile. Although I’m pretty sure it’s a mass-market simulacrum.


Nice area at the back for chatting and relaxing over your buns.


Nice guy behind the counter said these were the countries where PappaRoti has franchises. I’m a sucker for wall graphics.

Bottom line:

Would I go back? Well, I’m not a huge sweet baked goods eater nor a coffee drinker but it was nice to try and I appreciated the lightness and clean flavour. If you’re a big Asian bun aficionado, you’d enjoy it.

PappaRoti on Urbanspoon

Addendum: Check out this interesting article “10 Common Misconceptions About Malaysian Food” if you were wondering about the relation between this “roti” and the more well-known “roti” (canai/prata/etc).

If you act quick, you can try a bun for FREE this weekend:


Don’t tell them I sent you… 😛

3 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Asian Buns (Not Mine): PappaRoti on Robson St.”

  1. Hi – just so you know the names of the coffee are provided by JJ bean – those names are the one’s used by JJ bean in all its stores.

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