PA PA YA, NEW DELHI
After eating at PAPAYA or PA PA PA at Select CityWalk, I had a good night’s sleep over a lovely gastronomical indulgence. This is yet another Zorawar Kalra’s brain-child restaurant and it claims to revolutionize Asian cuisine in its entirety. After being loved by food connoisseurs in Mumbai, this modern Asian-bistro is all set to enter the hotbed of new eateries in the capital. With creativity high on its cards and where flavors stand relevant, this one sure has the caliber to make a cut above the rest. I just hope it keeps up to the high expectations of the food capital of India not just now but always. Food and travels are my favorite and I am definitely impressed!
As my work would have it, I had a chance to dig into its abridged version of the menu before it opens to the public before Christmas. Husband and I loved digging into the fresh and fashionable elements of gastronomy and we came back arrested with adventurous Asian flavors. The delectable food and innovative presentations got our attention astutely and absolutely. More than my words, I bet you will trust the pictures below.
Who wouldn’t love to savor an exciting menu and whisper under the high ceilings? In Select City Walk, on the level four, with a ceiling height of over 70 feet, this is being touted as the highest restaurant in Delhi-NCR. The information had piqued my interest already and I was keen to look into it. When dineout gave me this opportunity to get over the Monday blues, I was all game for it. At 7:30 p.m., I happily walked into this chic and classy restaurant to be impressed with the beautiful space and the well-done wood work. Overall, the interiors exuded sophistication and style. There was high flowing energy at the elevated bar in the center while the sushi bar on the other side looked pretty inviting. The section of the ceiling that went high in the air got everyone’s curious eye. In addition there was enough room to move around, catch up a drink from the bar, walk to the Sushi bar and groove when in the mood. Unlike the other high-end restaurants in some parts of the capital, this wasn’t stuffy at all. As far as the services were concerned, the entire staff was on their toes that evening. For me, the most cheerful part of the decor was food platters for sure.
The Expectations were high and they were met too!
PA PA YA says that it offers an assimilation of various cooking techniques and cultures found across the Asian continent. However, when I was seated on my table, I wasn’t thinking about any of the above but only about the food that I was going to eat. (Typical foodie) Soon when the carefully done platters began to arrive, my eyes felt pampered already. The taste buds and stomach couldn’t wait to savor. It took a lot of courage to hold myself and not get distracted with the looks because I wanted to ensure that the flavors were equally impressive as the presentation. When I had tasted a couple of starters and was thoroughly convinced, only then did I fall for the shell bowls, wooden platters, stone decorations and unique trays in which the food was served. The menu was just the way I had wanted it to be but I will definitely not shy away from giving full marks to the presentation and the palette. No doubt, the combination of food and art is a winner here. Honestly, when you have Zorawar Kalra as the creator of the brand, its unfair to expect anything ordinary.
On The Menu
The Sushi Matrix came first and it gave a kick-start to our feast for the evening. The three dimensional arrangement of the sushis was as delighting as the offerings. I tasted one and immediately picked on the second. I quite relish sushi and this was delectable indeed. Next came the avocado tacos, corn and scallion kimchi. While the taco was crunchy, the filling inside was flavorful. I tasted the chicken tacos too and I felt the vegetarian tasted better. The crispy corn curd melted properly in the mouth and it was nicely subtle on the taste buds. Edamame chickpea sliders looked cute and classy and when I tasted them, I was all the more in love with them. The crispy lotus stems looked interesting but I found them too sweet for my taste. The Pizza was as thin as it could manage to be and I liked the freshly grated cheese on it. But if I had to recommend my favorites, I would go with leek and water chestnut dim sums and Avocado Tartare, smoked fermented miso barley dashi. Both tasted as pleasing and wonderful as they looked. The desserts were good but did not match up with the great food.
What I Really Liked – Great balance of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. All the dishes had innovative taste unlike that I had had before. Undoubtedly, Asian food lovers will see a different side to it here. I quite liked the idea of eating sushi with hands instead of chopsticks. The ambiance is classy. There is absolutely no clutter and enough space to have one’s own privacy. The food is great and the presentation is awesome. I have more admiration for the food and its creators especially after knowing that a lot of ingredients was put together to create one interesting bite. And I can’t get over the taste of Avocado Tartare. They were amazing. Kudos to the PA PA Ya team who served them to me again and again!
What could be better? – The desserts could be better for sure. I wasn’t impressed. Some tables should have better light for people like me who love to see their food and relish it through their eyes first. There aren’t many teetotalers in town but yet there should always be a great mocktail to make them feel pampered if they arrive. (I say this because aren’t into alcoholic drinks)