“The eyes eat the food first” – This notion was so evident at this modern-day molecular gastronomized restaurant Pa Pa Ya. The amazing hospitality regaled us with lavish food where the Sushi matrix was the magnum opus.
“What on earth is Molecular Gastronomy?” This candid manifestation of my mom’s bewilderment on hearing the aforementioned term made me realize that how far we have come in the realms of food world. Gone are the days when our eyes used to get satisfied with the humble appearance of the dishes, where you could easily recognize them from their simple looks. The contemporary food culture and modern cuisine include transforming the ingredients into extraordinary and spellbinding presentation styles where, most of the times, it is almost impossible to guess the dish from its sight.
A lot more is on the horizon for the food enthusiasts, I believe. We are in a completely different era now where the greatness of dishes is not only measured by the taste but also by their spectacular visual appeal whatsoever.
It has, kind of, become a norm and not a fad. We, especially the food reviewers, have started giving lot of importance to the term, “the eyes eat the food first.” However, that still comes second in my food review list, and taste is the foremost parameter because that element will make a place worthy of repeat visits and not the presentation alone.
Albeit, the popularity of molecular gastronomy can be seen at many places these days, my recent encounter with Pa Pa Ya, where this concept is their titular theme, was refreshing, regaling and different from usual, and it also helped me in beating my mid-week ennui.
What I liked at Pa Pa Ya and Why
Nine appetizers; I was done, dead tired and was looking for an imaginary bed to sleep. No exaggeration. My glutted stomach compelled me to skip the main course and even the desserts, believe me. Their amazing hospitality regaled us with lavish food and drinks (Mocktails). Their service was the highlight par excellence, and their passion and fervent desire to serve you the food was very evident. Without a scintilla of doubt, full marks to this aspect; however, please note that I was invited to review their food.
The starters were a mélange of Japanese, Mexican, and Malaysian flavors but the Japanese cuisine was dominant in most of the dishes at Pa Pa Ya. I experienced mixed emotions where some of the dishes – almost 70% – took me on a great excursion while some were just good.
The Sushi matrix was their magnum opus in my entire spread where the delicious sushies were presented in a stellar manner.
The thinly sliced and crispy Japanese Lotus Stem tossed with honey and chilli was delightful. With a pinch of Mexican touch, the beer battered Avocado tacos were very good too. The open faced Burmese dumplings stuffed with wild mushrooms and cream cheese were cooked to perfection, and I thoroughly enjoyed them. The beetroot infused dumplings and the pan seared ones were ordinary, and the Tofu Carpaccio – extremely silky tofu slices – did not excite me much.
The palate cleaner seemed an interesting concept which was sour, sweet, with a tad heat. The mocktail with a punch of citrus filled my palate with freshness, and the bombardment of citrus flavors in my mouth just took away all my weariness. Absolutely beautiful…
What might annoy you.
Not to blame anyone, but Pa PA Ya was extremely loud. I had to scream for a simple conversation. The place is dimly lit; hence, I would have loved to see the beautiful colors of the not-so-expensive molecular gastronomized food in a natural daylight. Also, the spread was not balanced as I unable to experience main course after the nine appetizers. My humble request will be to please make it well balanced so that the food reviewers can have some space for main course as well.
I definitely enjoyed most of their sapid items presented with finesse and innovative techniques. I liked the boldness in the flavors where the melange gives you a different experience. I am coming again with my hubby next time to try their main course and desserts in particular as I missed them during this endeavor. Thanks to their generous spread and hospitality.
N.B. The food was on the house as it was a food tasting endeavor.