Another jewel in the chain of Kalra signature restaurants – Pa Pa Ya, now opened its doors in Colaba. Located right behind Taj, this place is sure to feature in the “must visit” list of all tourists visiting Mumbai. Pa Pa Ya means “high energy” food and surely so the place lived upto it’s name by serving Asian Cuisine on a global scale.
Ambience: The place has energetic interiors with dominance use of the color red making it vibrant. The place is 2 storeyed with good seating, classy décor signifying molecular gastronomy – symbolically. The place offers fine dining but in an ambience which is chilled out – perfect and exactly my taste.
Food: Oh, the food continues to delight you. A trailer of what’s to follow is shown by serving their “Amuse Bouche”. Popularly called as the Palate Cleanser, this was uniquely served in a shell. Instead of a pearl, there was a watermelon piece infused with basil and immersed in a foam made up of lemongrass. We cheered and gulped it down, all set to devour the delicacies to follow!
Here’s what all I tried, which I highly recommend:
1. Sushi Boat: Oh My God!! This is a MUSTTTTY order. Apart from how fancy its presentation is, it doesn’t disappoint you in taste as well. A boat is served on your table that is decorated with various tiny flags of countries serving sea food. And what it carries is awesome – An assortment of various Sushis: Nigiri, Maki, Uramaki. We tried vegetarian versions such as Cucumbers and Avocados and I relished them completely. There was pink ginger, wasabi and soy sauce to complete the experience. Amongst “authentic” sushi, we tried salmon, tuna, crab and everything was yummy!! Your experience is incomplete without the Sushi Boat – so please ensure you order it.
2. Grilled Chicken and Avocado Tacos: There’s limited options of chicken appetizers, so we tried this one. An interesting twist to this Mexican dish where tacos made of gyoza sheets are stuffed with marinated grilled chicken cubes and mozarella cheese. Every bite gives the crispy exterior of tacos with juicy Chicken marinated with spicy flavours.
3. Soft Shell Crab Buns: I’m not much of a crab lover, but if you are one then you CANNOT miss this. These are Sliders made with fermented Lotus flour buns that were infused with squid ink to give it a black texture, and later honey glazed. The buns were amazing soft and were stuffed with tempura fried soft shell crab, resulting it a crunchy bite.
4. Sichuan Style Crispy Prawns: Again, not much of a prawn lover but this one I couldn’t help but licking my fingers later – Juicy King-size prawns were prepared in tri-flavored sauce resulting in a superb combo of sweet, spicy and sour flavor. Every bite was crunchy and juicy and enormous size was totally worth it!
5. Lamb Redang Curry: Ah, the signature dish of Pa Pa Ya – this lamb is slowly braised to perfection for over 12 hours that makes it very tender – easily comes off the bone and literally melts into your mouth. Each bite melts into a slurry of juicy flavours, accompanied by the Indonesian curry prepared with coconut milk. It is served with Singaporean crepes, a version of our desi parathas.
6. Sea Bass: They say, save the best for the last and indeed it was! Sea Bass was well cooked- pan fried with spices giving it a brownish exterior while retaining the juices inside. These were layered with Udon Noodles with Thai massaman curry giving it a spicy and tangy taste. The combination was wow!! And sea bass just melted in my mouth!!
Service/ Hospitality: Pa Pa Ya is known for their hospitality and professionalism. Our server was well versed with the dishes and suggested us the right ones with perfect descriptions. However I do feel it would have been better if he was equally cheerful too! Why so serious, son? Overall, quick service throughout our appetizers and main course. Desserts however took ages and I din quite enjoy it. They didn’t have chocolate ball on fire 😦
Overall, it was a great experience – an awesome place if you are looking for not just a good time with friends but even good food too! I will definitely visit again.