PA PA YA – The new and much instagrammed Asian sibling of Masala Library which opened at Palladium mall, Lower Parel sometime last year and has been creating a buzz ever since and when my dear friend Jerlyn D’Silva (A couple of pictures have been clicked by her) extended an invite for an exclusive tasting at the chic and pompous Asian bistro, I happily obliged.
Yet another recherché offering from the House of Massive Restaurants, Pa Pa Ya, ladies and gentlemen is best described as a modern and radical reinterpretation of Asian cuisine.
A restaurant of such caliber, located inside a high-end shopping mall like Palladium has its own set of followers and a glamorous clientele indeed, well PA PA YA tried way too hard with the décor, in an attempt to create a characteristic space, over the top, edgy and funky interiors with 3D hexagons morphing into glowing tetrahedral atoms, a rare sight, displeasing at times.
Little things are given center stage at PA PA YA! Aesthetics, well trained staff and owners who take responsibility. One word – Top Notch!
The menu is a delight, ranging from sushi, dimsums and small plates to main course dishes that are not often found in Pan-Asian restaurants in India. The dishes on offer showcase some classics and all-time favorites, retaining their original essence, enhanced using elements of modern cooking techniques like elements of molecular gastronomy and presentation to add an element of surprise to the dining experience.
The place boasts of some outrageous combinations to give a person the kick he/she needs. Pa Pa Ya endeavors to offer a holistic dining experience and thus showcases a range of cocktails and non alcoholic drinks in its signature beverage section, which have been given the same tender, love and care as the cuisine, applying extensive use of molecular mixology with absolute cutting edge innovation never been seen before.
Life on a Beach – A concoction of orange juice and passion fruit is what I tried initially only to know Pa Pa Ya serves much better mocktails which are refreshing, another drink I tried was Pine Ginger Passion which was way beyond the tolerable glucose limit.
The Must Haves
Salmon Uzukuri – The Salmon Uzukuri approached first – delicate slivers of salmon dressed in burnt garlic and jalapeño, tomato, basil and konnyaku (a rubbery and somewhat flavorless food that appears in certain Japanese dishes). The taste and then the after taste! Wait for it, because it’s legendary.
Uramaki Sushi – In Japan, uramaki is an uncommon type of makimono (rolled sushi). Rice on the outside and seaweed on the inside, topped with crispy fried greens was a decent rendition to the dish.
Mandarin zest infused lamb dumpling – A personal favorite, a stellar option on a rather enthralling menu that arrived on my table with style. The meat was succulent and the dumpling wrapper did not disintegrate when cut with a knife. The wasabi jelly on the side did the trick and I am going back for this one.
Kale and Pokchoy Dimsums – The crispy papad and the spicy dip on the side was the only saving grace for the carnivore in me. Filled with loads of vegetables and dressed in a mushroom gaozi, this dish is surely a winner for the vegetarians (I am not one)
Bombay duck – Well, aren’t we all familiar with this? I thought so too, but to my surprise, the perfectly fried Bombay duck came on the bed of mashed potatoes with a garlicky sauce on top. I think everybody, no matter what they eat should eat at least some percent of seafood, actually the seafood at Pa Pa Ya, and to be precise, the crispy fried Bombay duck at Pa Pa Ya!
Lamb Rendang Curry – Rendang is in my bloodstream, I think, a part of some core neural bit of circuitry that was formed when my parents started feeding me lamb shanks as a kid. Traditional lamb randang curry is a fairly time consuming dish where lamb shanks are slow cooked in different spices. Served with a Singaporean prata (Parantha/Bread) it’s a must have at Pa Pa Ya, they had me sold on this one. I definitely had a Lazeez Story to tell.
The Sweet Treats
Molecular Dessert and Pannacotta – Talk about drama and a sense of bamboozlement cloaks you when you dine in at Zorawar Kalra’s high energy dining space. The razzle dazzle meal which had its fair share of hits and misses, did jump in with desserts, loved the interplay with flavors. Vanilla ice cream made in front of you, on your very table, Liquid nitrogen baby! With lemon meringue and sponge, sprinkled with caramelized nuts, I’d have written more, dear friends, but I’d like to leave it here to your wild imagination!
Chocolate Ball on Fire – I didn’t try this one as it contained alcohol, but let me tell you, the aesthetics nailed it. A big ball of chocolate stuffed with vanilla ice cream and chocolate ganache and lots of chocolate sauce poured on it. A chocolate ball on fire, literally!
Getting there – Level 3, Palladium Mall, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Bombay.
Team Pa Pa Ya managed to make sure we had fun and trust me that’s a neat trick to pull off, also I’d like to thank them by putting it this way, “Pa Pa Ya manages to break stereotypes in its attempt to deliver a dining experience within a shopping mall.”
Disclaimer: The invite was for a complimentary food tasting event. This review is a narrative of my experience at the event. The views expressed in this review are solely mine and others are more than welcome to agree or disagree with the same. The review is in no way influenced either personally or commercially nor has it been lifted, copied or plagiarized from any source however I have done my due diligence on the event via publicly available information on the internet.
All Rights Reserved.