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Papaya –The Best Dining Experience in the City

Tehnaz Dastoor

To dine at Papaya is a soulful-enriching affair, a gourmand’s dream and a mind-exalting experience!

Mr. Roopinder Singh, who handles the entire PR for Kolkata Papaya invited Ritusmita Biswas (Digital Brandz) and me for a food-tasting which turned out to be a gastronomic delight.

We were taken around the place to admire the 360° bird’s eye-view of the city with Park Mansions and Loreto House looking lovely from above. There are 2 bars, with drinks on offer − an Island Bar in the main dining area as well as a Waiting Bar for those who would like there drinks with Tapas whilst waiting to be seated. There is also a private dining area for smaller groups celebrating their birthdays, anniversaries or just an afternoon with friends, not to be disturbed by other patrons and a live sushi counter.

Once we concluded the tour, we were seated by a large window and began what is possibly the best meal which we have had the pleasure of tasting in this city.

Dish:Watermelon Amuse Bouche/Prawns Grilled

The watermelon amuse-bouche began our one and a half hour epicurean journey which was accompanied by a couple of suggested drinks. We were then offered the asparagus, corn and burnt spring onion lightly flavored with black bean sauce, which was a perfect appetizer. This was followed by the Pla Samrot Gung or grilled prawns tossed with a 3-flavored sauce accompanied with citrus cream.

Dish:Lobster/Sushi Tree

We moved onto the fresh-water lobster with Lantern Chilies and Roasted Peanuts. The prawn balls were cooked to perfection with the chilies complimenting the dish perfectly and my personal favorite of the afternoon!

For sushi, sashimi, nigiri and maki lovers, I would highly recommend the sushi tree. We tried out the yellow tail maki, salmon, scallops and spicy tuna nigiri and sushi rolls. For those that are unaware of the different kinds of sushi, the nigiri rolls Nigiri (meaning two fingers in Japanese) sushi is a thin slice of raw or cooked fish which is layered atop a mound of vinegary rice with a small amount of ‘mind-numbing’ wasabi placed between the fish and the rice.

Dish:Pork/Grilled snapper

Following the sushi we were treated to the Twice Cooked Pork Belly, some superbly cooked skewered pork in a tasty sauce. Our penultimate dish was the grilled shredded chicken with avocado tacos in gyoza sheet shells. This was my least favorite dish as I was treated to some superb tacos this winter in Mexico. However, for those not lucky enough to travel overseas the tacos were well-prepared.

Our last item of the main course was the Penang style grilled snapper with dehydrated coriander. The fish was wrapped in banana leaves and the grilled snapper slices with straw mushrooms tasted like the finest that I have had in East Asia.

Dish:Chocolate opened/Mochi Icecream

Finally, we moved onto the desserts – the Chocolate Ball on Fire and the Mochi Ice Cream. The Chocolate Ball is a Family-sized dessert and the dark chocolate just melts as the server pours alcohol over it. If you like dark chocolate, this is a must try.

As most of you may know, I am not at all a dessert person although I have had loads of mochi ice-cream in the States, and this here, will not disappoint you! If you had to pick one dessert go for this. The ice creams were a perfect blend of sweet and sour flavors, none overwhelming the other, with their much-needed cooling effect in the mouth, after this sumptuous meal. Fully satiated I then looked at my host and noted – “Thank you Roopi, for now, I have died and gone to heaven!”

For those of you that haven’t had the opportunity to try out Papaya, you must.

Photo credits:Tehnaz Dastoor