Papaya is a super addition to Delhi foodie diaries

Scrumptious food, palatable ambience and excellent hospitality, Malvika Nanda rounds up her experience at Pa Pa Ya, Select Citywalk Mall, Saket

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The date with this much-talked about outfit from the house of Massive Restaurants was set for a fine winter evening. It’s safe to say that we weren’t prepared for a massive meal, considering we dropped in to the fabulously designed, newly-launched Delhi edition of Pa Pa Ya, rather early in the evening. But, a light meal it was not to be.

Before we delve straight into the details of all wonderful things we sampled, a special mention should go out to the team of Pa Pa Ya. From the much-persuasive and attentive head chef Sahil Singh, who spent a decent amount of time, taking us through each course, to the impeccable service by Mayur Shirodkar, who has been specially brought in from the restaurant’s Mumbai cousin, the team’s hospitality was quite on point.

Simply put, this Modern Asian Bistro & Tapas Bar, lives up to the hype. The erstwhile environs of B-Bar have made room of a fine dining/casual bar setting, while the food takes you on rare culinary experience staying true its promise of reinventing Asian cuisine.
We were started off by a foamy, wafty palette cleanser made of watermelon, chilli foam, basil and lemongrass. Set on a bed of stone and seashells and served in oyster shells, they insist you take them as a shot.

Considering the outfit is based around Molecular Gastronomy, they have plenty of dramatic offerings and presentation, of course. Refreshed, we moved to Asian Margarita Pizzette (crisp corn tortillas, edamame pods, fresh truffles), and then came the delicately flavoured vegetarian version of takoyaki, sriracha caviar – Konyakuyaki, followed by the all-veg Nigiri Sushi Tree that demands all your attention.
For one, the tree and its sushi-ed offering look picture perfect and you don’t really feel like disturbing the balance. But, that’s only till you set your eyes on the petite mini Sushi burger which hits the spot on so many levels. And yes, it’s all vegetarian sushi, you read that right! But, don’t turn up your noses before you sample one of those mouth-watering sushi-bombers. We can still taste the tanginess of the pickle contrasted beautifully with softness of sushi in the mini Sushi Burger- our top favourite in the mix.
To be honest, I always had carried a severe aversion to all kinds of Sushi, because I’m allergic to all kinds of sea-food and therefore the very association of sushi with fish kept me far away from its veg-variant. Kudos to Chef Sahil, who pursued me to sample some Sushi for the very first time and I was pleasantly surprised and convinced to get another helping.

Not a very adventurous consumer of exotica in food and drinks, I’d already experimented with quite a bit with the veg Sushi tree and then came the egg-laced Roti Sour Mai cocktail with vodka, lychee shrub, frozen cardamom and desi sai mai.

Up next were Asparagus, Corn And Burnt Spring Onion Steamed Dumpling (Asparagus and Corn farce in potato and wheat starch moulded into a flower), the sumptuous Hauled Chikin Gogigui Paozu, (Roasted Korean style hauled chicken, steamed in fermented dough and pan seared), Pakchoy Kimchi, equally yummy Grilled Chicken and Avocado Tacos (Gyoza sheet shells, chingmai relish grated mozzarella cheese), Kurobuta spare ribs (Smoked and barbequed spare ribs, wild berries squash) with the sauce to absolutely die for.
Our tastebuds got a little time to recoup and be ready for the onslaught of main course thanks to their chilled palette cleanser, a citrusy sorbet with sugared sprinkles.

We curiously started with the melt in the mouth Lamb Rendang (Indonesian slow cooked curry) with was accompanied by the Roti prata or Parantha which I’m told is a one of the mainstays of Singapore street food, followed by Braised sliced chicken (tender sliced chicken, tempered dry chillies and fresh garlic) and Khao Pad Kar Pao (Thai Basil Fired Rice). The best of all was of course yet to come. Call it the desert or the magnum opus, for me it was simply the closest representative of what Pa Pa Ya stands for, even if it not strictly unique to this outfit –the Chocolate Ball of Fire.
Grand, massive, classy concoction of flavours that spell surprise, this massive ball of chocolate is flambéd with Sambuca (Italian anise-flavoured liqueur) to mould into a melting sight of deliciousness. What you find inside is candied fruits, dried fruits, brownie crumbs, vanilla ice cream, cream cheese and a dash of orange flavour. This is one highly recommended death by chocolate.

Pa Pa Ya Delhi is really much like an oasis given its situated at the topmost level of an always crowded Select City Walk Mall and even if I’d been to the erstwhile B-Bar, when you make an entrance into Pa Pa Ya, it’s a different ball game all together, not predictable at all.

It’s a must visit, for sure.

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