Modern Asian Cuisine @ PAPAYA Palladium
Place – Pa Pa Ya ( Palladium)
Location – Palladium Mall , Lower Parel , Mumbai
12th May 2017
This is going to be a tough one. Tough because the food is so good . So complex yet so simple. So sophisticated and chic yet so traditional. I am at a loss of words.
Earlier this month my sister and I were invited by PA PA YA to review the food. We were delighted. Who wouldn’t be. Its considered among the best places for Asian meals. Not just Asian but Modern Asian. Modern because the techniques and processes used are so unique and so updated with international trends. We were looking forward to it.
Ambiance : Very modern , shades of Reds and Molecular structures representing Molecular Gastronomy and uber cool décor with projected images.
Here is what we ate :
Amuse Bouche – This one was a tiny piece of Watermelon infused with flavoured foam served inside a sea shell and covered with liquid nitrogen. That’s how dramatic the food journey at Pa Pa Ya is.
Light House – Something they are famous for among their drinks. This is a Vodka based drink with Lemongrass and Galangal. Again there is liquid nitrogen involved. A very potent cocktail.
Thirsty Ride & Life On The Beach were the fruity mocktails ordered by my sister. She seemed to love it.
Crispy vegetable Maki Roll – I could go on eating this especially given the fact that I have never loved sushi the way others have. Mind you , the crispiness was coming from the dehydrated spinach that was a hero of this dish.
Avocado Mango Roll– This too in the veg sushi category made from two contrasting ingredients Avocado and Raw Mango. Mango that’s in jelly form adds its uniqueness.
Asparagus , Corn & Burnt Spring Onion Dimsum – Another beautiful looking dish. These were dimsums covered in paper thin layer of dough. Inside were amazing flavours of Asparagus , Corn and Burnt Spring onion. USP the red colour on the dish was from the beetroot and not from any artificial colouring agent. It was served on a black been / chilli kind of a sauce ( cant recollect )
Roasted Aubergine And Demerara Goutie – Aubergine is not a favourite ingredient for a lot of people but this one should not be missed. Roasting it takes it to another level. Served with Nockcham Caviar and over a chilli sauce this dish was further garnished with micro greens.
Konnakuyaki – Originally Japanese , this dish at Papaya gets a different twist. This ones made up of vegetables stuffed with cheese and a really thin , soft cover. Its made in a tomato & basil sauce. This sauce and cheese inside make it a very creamy dish. The mozzarella cheese tuile served along was not as good as the ones we have had at Masala Library though.
Crispy Lotus stem – This is crispy not because there is oil , not becase it’s air fried but coz its dehydrated. Yes. Only after coming to Pa Pa ya have I realized that dehydrated elements bring the dish to life. Sweet and spicy flavoured lotus stems are served with an Avocado Dip.
In between entrees and mains we were given a Lychee Palate Cleanser.
Pad Thai Rice – Stir fried Thai Rice was great with Penang Curry. We were too full by the time we really full.
Kao Pad Karpao Rice – A slightly sticky fried rice that was a mix of herbs , veggies and spices.
Vanilla with Panacotta – What a beauty this dish was ! Not just in its look but how it was prepared right in front of our eyes. Beautuful elements . Each element having its own special place in the entire dessert , the colours. Everything !!
Sweetness from Vanilla was balanced by Crunchy and salty nuts , little berries adding to this dish’s persona. Panacottas smooth texture and cookie crumbles roughness. This dessert is a sheer genius !
The food at PA PA YA was on point. Rather a game changer in Indian Restaurant scenario with its extra ordinary concept. But here is an experience we had that was about to be a spoiler of a mood I am sharing it anyway as this is where I felt they lacked. We were delayed to reach here by half an hour. So for an 8 o clock reservation we reached by 8:30. Our table was given to someone else. Fair enough. There were two more women who asked right after us for a table. They were given the same answer. Only difference, they were asked to wait by the Bar and we were told to come back after sometime ( strange ! as we were not offered this minus the politeness ) We didn’t argue on this point and simply asked how much time would they take. Just 15 mins Ma’am ! I was told. For another half an hour we din’t get a call. Strangest thing exactly after half an hour i.e. sharp 9 pm we got a call that our table was ready( Quite expected ) We went there. We were again made to wait and were told that its now getting ready and will take another 10 mins. From a brand like PA PA YA , this kind of service issue is worrisome. Even after we were seated. We weren’t attended for least 10 mins. Saving grace was Gaurav , he was attending to our table later. He was not only good at work but was kind. It was raining badly he even showed concern as to how would we reach home.
Small gestures like these matter whereas tit for tat ( initial half an hour wait ) doesn’t.
Taste – 4.9 /5
Ambiance – 4.4 /5
Service – 4 /5 ( It could have been a 5)
Value for money –NA ( It was an invite )
** Cover Photo Courtesy – Hospibuzz**