Massive Going Massive
Massive restaurants in the recent couple of years has grown really massive in the indian food scene. Owned and led by Zorawar kalra they have ventured into some stereo typical cuisines and have turned the tables around with their very own blend of progression and innovation in each one of them. From Made in Punjab that houses a very traditional Punjabi cuisine to the swanky, chic and award winning Farzi café. They have it all. Pa-Pa-Ya is their newly opened restaurant which houses modern Asian cuisine. It’s a restaurant which marks their entry into the Asian dining scene in India.
Wheres Mr Babbar…
The restaurant is situated in LP which has definitely become the capital of the food scene in Mumbai. The number of restaurants opening left right and centre in LP is amazing. Even more amazing is the rising cost of meals here. I am still looking for Raj babbar as he had told us a couple of years back that we can have a full meal in Mumbai in just Rs 10. Papaya has opened in the lavish Palladium mall. Bang opposite the new Palladium social which is always so full that you will never get a table there.
Swanky Sci fi Looks
As I entered the joint the ambience of this place is something which will definitely amaze you. The interior decorator of this resto loves sci fi movies and that’s evident from the get go. The place is done up in bright red and silver with these big hexagonal objects hanging around that reflect light. There are strategically placed projectors on the roof that hits light onto these objects which create a very cool, modern and sci fi sort of a look on any free space they can get their hands on. With some great tunes running in the background and the bar tender trained from the farzi café king pin himself conjuring up some drinks in true farzi style everything was setup for a great meal. I have seen more fireworks at the bar then I did in Diwali this year. It was surprisingly good
The staff here are dressed smartly and wear headsets on one of their ears which keeps them connected with the kitchen almost always. You may also find a CID agent or two in them sometimes (Iska matlab samjhe daya). Most of the staff here has been hired from taj is what I was told. I will need to learn how to poach from the smart guys at Papaya. I was attended by Anirudh. His previous experience was at taj as well so he definitely knows how to give top notch service. Shout out to the awesome service he gave. His knowledge about everything in the menu shows the training that has gone behind training their staff in this restaurant. They can perfectly describe each and every dish to you and also give you apt recommendations as per your taste buds. They are always there to listen to if you need them. Thank you Anirudh for the amazing service you gave me and for all the dishes that you recommended they were all nothing short of stellar.
Here Comes the Food
So someone asked me can you describe your experience at Papaya in 1 sentence. I said have you experienced Inception it’s just like that, though dilwale failed to be like inception Pa-Pa-Ya definitely tries and succeeds in giving a wasabi type experience in a lower budget. I started of my meal with the Sushi matrix. It’s an isometric customised and very jazzy looking platter with assorted sushis like the Carbon Sushi, Hamachi nigri, tuna nigri and salmon nigri served with wasabi and soy. Each and every bite was a delight when it comes to having sushis here. The head chef working at papaya used to work in Wasabi Taj and his experience clearly showed up. The carbon sushi was my favorite of the lot because of the crispiness of the squid ink unfused rice and the flavour of it on a whole when you combine it with soy. The presentation of this dish here is very click worthy too. But to be honest each and every dish is so well presented in papaya that you will be clicking pics for each and every dish. I wont be surprised if people end up only clicking pics till the food runs cold
Crispy Lotus Stem
Then came the crispy lotus stem. It consisted of wok tossed dehydrated lotus root mixed with smoked honey chilli & Sichuan pepper served along with avocado cream on the side. As I took the first bite of this dish I was amazed as to how a very simple lotus root could burst out such a combination of sweet and spicy flavour. The stems were cooked and mixed so well that you would want to have them every time with your drink. The avocado cream dip is their take on the mayo dip that you can have this with and it definitely surpasses its mayo counterpart in all aspects. It’s a must have dish if you come here and are a vegetarian.
Grilled Chicken & avocado tacos
A Japanese and Mexican fusion dish which consisted of grilled chicken made in Japanese style with Sichuan sauces and served in Mexican style tacos made out of gyoza sheets. The filling in these tacos did all the talking for me. They were whipped up in no time. These tacos would put tacobell to shame.
Edamame and Chickpea Slider
And here comes the Papaya version of Bao’s. These days the Chinese version of Wada Pao has ruled the kitchens in Mumbai and this one was no less. Fermented lotus flour buns with a very delicately made patty which consisted of grilled edamame beans and chickpeas served on a toy jeep certainly made me go hungry for more. The buns were super soft and went well with the patty. The buns inside had a hint of wasabi to tingle your taste buds which was smartly mixed with some Japanese mayo and veggies. Another vegetarian slider that was surprisingly well done
Pan seared roasted aubergine dimsums served on a bed of Cantonese chilli sauce. I never knew that an aubergine dimsum would taste so good. Don’t know whats up with aubergine these days but each and every aubergine dish I have has turned out to be surprisingly good. These dimsums just melted in my mouth. The chilli oil just added to the flavour. Another stellar dish that too a vegetarian one.
Shittake burrata croquettes
Another one of those vegetarian starters which were mind numbingly good. These are a must have if you’re here. Consisting of panko crusted croquettes that were stuffed with shitake mushrooms and green pea mash coated with burratta. Burratta is a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream. One of the best croquettes I have had till date and a must have if you’re here. Don’t count the calories when you’re having this though
Braised Sliced Chicken & Thai Fried Rice
No matter how much jazzy food I have the indian in me wants to end the meal with Rice and curry which drove me to order this combo. For mains we had the sliced chicken with Thai fried rice. The Thai basil fried rice were wok tossed and had a very balanced flavour. It wasn’t overpowered with basil. They perfectly accompanied the sliced chicken which was a stellar main to have the rice with. Briased tender slices of chicken, wok tossed with diced onions, bell peppers and leaks with a chilli garlic base. A great combo recommended by anirudh and something I would recommend for chicken lovers to try it if you’re here
Chocolate Ball of Fire
The chocolate ball of fire is one of those signature desserts you should definitely get if you’re here. Chocolate ball stuffed with vanilla truffle ice-cream, orange cheesecake, coffee cream, cookie crunches on side and flambéed with Sambuca and dark rum. This chocolate ball melts right in front of you after being set on fire by the staff. Not only is it a visual treat to watch but is also a great dessert to have. I will not recommend to have this dessert if you land up here on a dry day as the absence of rum makes a big difference in the output of this dessert. Just make sure you have your mask on while this dessert is being prepped for you
Papaya definitely is a must visit place if you are in palladium and yearn for some Asian food. It is also a good place to dump some sushis especially if you’re a sushi lover who dreams about matrix and boats of sushis. Meal for 2 excluding drinks can cost Rs 2500 depending on what you eat. Ask for Anirudh in case he’s there and he will definitely ensure you have a nice time.