If you blinked this year, you probably missed a restaurant opening. So many newcomers popped up. But Zorawar Kalra’s Pan Asian restaurant Pa Pa Ya is a celebration of the scene, not an also ran. The best place for soloists is a stool facing the bar; dates and groups should aim for the rear, where 3D molecules light up the scene.
WHAT’S HOT: Admirers of Zorawar will recognize his signature style: first-rate ingredients gently coaxed into memorable performances. This is food that makes you think: Can rice crackers make a delicious pizza base? Can salmon chunks and pickled veggies find happiness inside a rice bun? Yes and yes!
We begin the evening with an edible treat of basil compressed watermelon which gets a delicious assist from lemongrass and sweet chilli foam. It’s served on oyster shells plated on a stone bowl. Dramatic and delicious! The sushi matrix (17 pieces of sushi served on a cuboid matrix) will fly you to Japan and back.
The kitchen high-fives vegetarians, although sliders with grilled chickpea and edamame rolled out on a toy truck is likely to find the carnivore’s hand returning to the truck, too. Do try the Sushi Burger which is a rice bun with salmon and pickled veggies in cream cheese and aioli. Among the liquid pleasures include cocktails like Lighthouse, a vodka drink poured into a light bulb and Wise Whiskey which is whiskey with rosemary foam. Both are delectable. The curtains come down with a Liquid Hazelnut Fondant matcha cake which gets competition from the white peppercorn ice cream it’s paired with. Pa Pa Ya dares you to eat differently, and rewards you in the process.
WHAT’S NOT: The changing wall colours can be distracting as also the playlist of EDM and trance. The pork belly skewers glazed with sichmi mirin and soya is distractedly sweet.
HOW TO GET THERE: Palladium Mall, Third floor, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel (West). Tel: 022-43475454.
Cost: Rs 3000 for two
NIVEDITA JAYARAM PAWAR