As they say, the apple does not fall far from the tree, Zorawar Kalra’s Pa Pa Ya is just as fascinating as Jiggs Kalra’s Masala Library. Being a Sushi lover, a visit to Pa Pa Ya has been on my wish list ever since I heard about this place. While I haven’t visited their first outlet in Lower Parel, I recently visited their new outlet in Colaba. Sushi is already quite an exquisite dish but Pa Pa Ya takes it to a whole new level.
Located right next to Colaba Social and behind the iconic Taj Palace, this place is a must visit. The ambiance beautiful with its red and yellow theme, probably derived from its name which means High Energy.
We began our evening with a round of Amuse Bouche to prepare our palate for the sensory feast that was to follow, it consisted of Basil infused Watermelon, served in a shell with Lemongrass Foam.
Spicy Shiitake Roll and Crispy Roll : The first round of Sushi was vegetarian, and they tasted far better than any of the Non vegetarian Seafood Sushi I have tried over the years. The Crispy roll had an amazing combination of textures with the Softness of Rice and the Crispness of deep-fried Spinach. Worth a try!
Sushi Tree : If only Sushi grew on tress, I would have a whole plantation of Sushi Trees. It had varieties of Salmon, Tuna, Crab and Eel. It was the first time I tried eel and it was very flavorful and the best Sushi I had that night. Do try it out!
Also worth mentioning that the Ginger and Wasabi served along with it were out of this world, very strong and absolutely delicious.
Pork Buns : Though I can’t remember the exact name of this dish, the memory of taking a bite into this dish will be long cherished. Soft, sticky, chewy, bursting with flavor and piping hot in the middle. Almost burnt my mouth trying to eat it at one go but it was worth it!
Carbon Sushi : The dish synonymous with Pa Pa Ya, finally I get to try it out. It was totally worth the wait, however the rest of the dishes were equally good, I wonder why this dish stands out among them.
Hargao Green and Sushi Arancini : The Hargao looks delicate, feels delicate and tastes the same way too, worth showcasing in a museum. While the Arancini had a blend of strong flavors and crispness or bread crumbs.
Pla Samrot : This was my favorite dish of the day, a perfect blend of sweet and spicy with a dash of sour in the middle. The Deep Fried Shrimp is glazed with a sweet sauce, the Dehydrated Pineapple has a sweet taste which turns sour in the middle while you end with a mild heat from the Green Chili Sauce at the bottom, Delightful!
Soft Shell Crab Bun : Just as I felt that I have tastes the best that Pa Pa Ya has to offer, the next dish was a dream come true. I wanted to try out Soft Shell Crab since a while and finally here it was, totally worth the wait. The Slider Buns are blackened with Squid Ink, making this dish even more exquisite, while the crabs are served Deep Fried – Tempura Style. To sum it up this was the best burger/slider I have ever had, mild flavors and a mix of soft and crisp textures. I wanted to have another round, but then we would have to skip mains.
Amuse Bouche : After so many rounds of explosive flavors, the mild tasting Coconut based amuse bouche was a nice way of cleansing the palate for the main course.
Main Course – Kao Pad Karpao Rice, Singapore Chili Crab, Wok Fried Chicken and Mantao Buns : Just as I was sulking about the Soft Shell Crabs, voila, there it was for Mains as well, served with a Spicy and Tangy Singapore Chili Gravy. It was the best dish from the lot, while the others were nice too. The Chicken had a strong taste of lemongrass and the Rice was flavorful too. The buns were soft and Chewy, went well with the Chili Crab Curry.
Chocolate Ball on fire : Finally time for desserts, I was eager to know if it would be just as fascinating as the rest of my meal. The name said it all, a treat for all your senses. The aroma of Flaming Sambuca, the sight of a Chocolate Ball melting, revealing its inner goodness and the mad mix of flavors, what a way to end a perfect evening!
The Drinks we tried of there were Fuku Sour, Kasoi Tail, Whiskey Sour and my favorite of the lot, U-Isuki-Sho. The Fuku Sour is a Melon and Raw Mango flavored drink, the Kasoi Tail comes with an aromatic incense stick, the Whiskey sour was just perfect with its layer of cream from the egg white and the U-Isuki-Sho tastes as good as it sounds, a watermelon based drink topped off with Vanilla Ice Cream and infused with Bourbon.
Overall, this was one of the best places I have ever visited, and totally worth the cost especially if you are a Sushi Lover. Can’t wait to visit this place again. A special shout out to the staff, the best service I have ever received, a perfect combination of politeness and professionalism, with good knowledge about all the dishes, the manager and his suggestions surely made our evening extra special. A bench-mark for other restaurants to follow.
Location : Hotel Diplomat, Colaba, Mumbai.
Cuisine : Asian, Sushi
Cost for 2 : Rs 5000 (approx)