Pa Pa Ya ~ Modern Asian Bistro & Tapas Bar
Pa Pa Ya is the new “it” place in Mumbai and one knows this because it seems next to impossible to get a table. A week in advance, I called four times (they kept hanging up in the middle of the conversation) to get a dinner reservation for my father-in-law’s birthday and got a 7:30 p.m. seating for Sunday January 17, 2016.
The staff on the phone don’t sound like they are in the best mood (don’t hold that against them because I am sure they are being hounded for a table). I was told very categorically that if I am more than five minutes late, they won’t hold the table and when I asked if they could put a candle on any of their desserts, “No” came they reply (FYI - you can bring your own cake and candle).
Anyhoo, On January 17th, I received a call from them to confirm the reservation and I was informed that I cannot be more than 15 minutes late. Fair Enough. Post which I received a text message from the restaurant stating the same. Okay I get it I cannot show up late!
So you see this is the big fuss created over getting a table here and we showed up fifteen minutes in advance hoping the food is worthy of all the fuss and hype.
I am happy to report that the food lived up to the sky-high expectations. The menu is like no other offered in Mumbai with a wide selection of dishes that can be best described as Modern Asian. With so much to choose from we ordered 11 dishes between four people. The food was simply exceptional; in terms of taste, quality and presentation. The attention to detail on each dish was commendable and you could tell that each meal is prepared with a lot of care.
View this gallery to see some of the dishes we enjoyed. Keep in mind the pictures aren't the best due to the dim lighting.
Dishes I can’t wait to eat again:
The Sushi Burger, Sushi Pizza, Spicy Avocado Maki Rolls, Crispy Lamb Wrap and Chilli Chicken Shawarma were yum, yum, yum... My husband loved the scallop and crab ravioli (as I am allergic to seafood, you'll have to take his word for it)
Dishes you can skip:
Grilled Chicken and Avocado Tacos and a drink called The Everest
I found The Everest to be a really expensive gimmick that was just not worth the money and here is why....
The Everest was recommended to us by our server and was an epic fail. He described it as a visual treat that was unique to Pa Pa Ya and can be shared by all four of us. A bartender came and setup a glass tower with a grey goose vodka bottle on top, the then lit the entire thing on fire (think flaming Lamborghini but as a sky scrapper) as he poured five different types of liqueurs over the top.
A novel idea but really poor execution. Also the drink in itself (INR 2,000 for one) was just too sweet and just two sips each for four people. We were given make-shift long straws to sip from, but because they had put one straw inside another to give it the length 2 out of 4 straws didn’t work.
Best of all when I said my straw didn’t work, I wasn’t given another one (mind you there was wait staff at our table watching the bartender at work and I tried the drink in the end using my husband’s straw).
The bartender then proceeded to dismantle the glass tower, splashing the drink all over my hair, clothes, bag, tableware and phone. The result a sticky mess. While I excused myself and cleaned up, the staff didn't clean the table until half an hour later when we asked them to.
They service was also extremely disorganised in terms of bringing out the food and drinks. While my husband and I got our main course super fast, my in-laws were kept waiting for forever for theirs to arrive. They also goofed up on the drinks order and forgot my mom-in-laws drink all together, until she asked for it again.
I am hoping the service hick-ups were a one off thing or teething problems given that they are relatively new.
Would I go back to Pa Pa Ya and would I recommend you go check it out? Absolutely! A big YES but only for the yummmmmmyyyyy food.