Think burgundy metal fins in a louvered pattern. These fins wrapped around two sides of a restaurant and the metal main door which adds a mystery to what lies beyond the walls. This was exactly how entering Zorawar Kalra’s Asian specialty restaurant, Pa Pa Ya Colaba was like. The restaurant that is right next to Colaba Socials is spread over 2,500 sq.ft.
In love with the high-energy interiors, I couldn’t wait to try the food. The restaurant is said to be an assimilation of various cooking techniques and cultures found across the Asian continent. The meal started off with a palate cleanser which is one ritual followed by all restaurants belonging to the Massive Group. Basil compressed watermelon topped with foam was served in cute shells which was the perfect way to prep up for our hearty meal ahead.
For drinks, we ordered the signature Pa Pa Ya mocktail which with the goodness of orange juice, Kaffir Lime and Orange chunks, rosemary and Thyme was refreshing and aligned with our starters. The Asparagus, corn and burnt spring onion dim-sum moulded into a flower was an enticing start to the meal but the most swoon-worthy of the dim-sums were the Crispy vegetable maki dehydrated dim-sum which was the perfect marriage of sweet and sour crispy vegetables rolled into a futomaki with spicy mayo that will melt in your mouth.
The dehydrated Crispy lotus stem which arrived next was delightfully wok-tossed and crisp. Smoked honey chilli and Sichuan pepper dust added to it and it was the most ridiculously crunchy and delish lotus stems I’ve ever gorged on. Next up was the very interesting and the first-ever Layered sushi pizza I’ve ever had. With just the right taste of zucchini capriccio, one bite and my taste-buds were on an overdrive, in the best way possible. Feasting on the last two starters which were the Spicy tuna roll and Salmon Cream Cheese and before we knew it, our plates were empty.
In mains, the Lamb rendang curry is a clear winner. The steamed minced lamb farce infused with mandarin is worth a nosh. The last in mains were the Ching Mai Curry brussels sprouts which was mildly spiced curry and a good pick for the vegetarians. It had a very neutral flavour, giving us a break from the overflow of tastes we were experiencing. Dessert was the much-talked about and signature Chocolate ball on fire. The big Chocolate Ball stuffed with Vanilla Ice Cream and Chocolate Ganache, Cheese Cake cream was served on the bed of Coffee Cream and Cookie and Almond Crumble. It was flambeed with alcohol. The chocolate ball slowly melted like mist as a delectable toffee sauce was poured on the top right in front of us. One dig into the mouth-watering dessert and we were convinced that the flavours definitely matched the theatrics.
The sense of theatre to the food definitely elevated our dining experience and we discovered that there are definitely reasons why the restaurant is one of the most highly-rated ones on Zomato. With polite and knowledgeable staff who explain every dish served in detail and swish interiors that will evoke high-energy, frequenting this place is rather justified. If nothing else, the food is enough to blow your mind!
Average cost: Approx Rs.2,000 for two people
Where: Pa Pa Ya, Colaba
Hotel Diplomat, Whitehouse Building, 24 – 26,
B.K Boman Behram Marg, Apollo Bunder, Colaba, Mumbai
Phone: 084510 11174
Note: The critic was invited by the Pa Pa Ya, Colaba but all the opinions expressed herewith are her own