When a restaurant is packed to the gills even on a Tuesday night, you know it’s doing something very right! Zorawar Kalra’s Pa Pa Ya was one of the first few bistros to boast an extensive pan Asian menu in Mumbai, and since it opened in Palladium a few years back has been doing brisk business till date. Now, it gets a spanking new address in BKC with a new look and menu.
A mix of grandeur and comfort, while the seating is in the form of tables and circular booths (much cosier) the main attraction is the kinetic ceiling that actually moves. It’s the first time in India that an eatery has one and it moves in sweeping waves above the bar much like a hypnotic installation art piece.
Having eaten at the Palladium outlet twice before, I decided to forego trademark favourites like Lamb Rendang Curry and Pork Belly With Quail Scotch Eggs to instead focus on some of their new dishes. There’s even a new cocktail list of which Love Potion (lychee, berries, vodka, egg white) and Long Thailand Iced Tea (tequila and gin) stood out. In starters, Hauled Chikin Gogigui Paozu Kimchi dumplings came really well flavoured with Xinjiang Lamb being just the right side of spicy – garlic, chili flakes and a circular lavash covering. This place is a sushi lovers’ den so either opt for the assorted mix of the Sushi Tree or the mega Sushi Matrix that has 30 pieces. Every dish is beautifully plated and the lightly crunchy Rock Shrimp Tempura came like little gems in a glass. In mains, Nasi Goreng is a full-on feast with a fried rice mix of chicken and seafood while Gong Bao chicken is a fanciful variation of Kung Pao.
Their new dessert Aerated Chocolate, Matcha & Crème Anglaise was pretty good, but it’s really that old devil Chocolate Ball that continues to steal the show with its flambé of Cointreau, brownies, dark chocolate, coffee cream, vanilla ice-cream and assorted crunchies. Bliss!
The dish I was most looking forward to was unfortunately disappointing. Fresh Water Lobster had too little lobster and a seasoning of garlic and roasted peanuts that just didn’t go with it.
(Pa Pa Ya, G-2, Ground Floor, 3rd North Avenue, Maker Maxity, BKC, Bandra East, Mumbai; Tel +91-22-7400433430)
By Farhad J. Dadyburjor, Mumbai