Panayaa – Modern Indian Kitchen — Reviewed!

The Mumbai based 2-year old brand, Panayaa, has always created a buzz within the food lovers circuit and is now all set to astonish the Pune foodies for their choice of vegetarian destination. Panayaa is known for their progressive Indian cuisine with traditional recipes combined with modern techniques and fusion.

Located on the ground floor of the Gold Adlabs Mall, Kalyani Nagar, the place is easily accessible. The first thing that comes to the notice is high ceilings, low lighting, and wood paneled walls and partitions. Small small things are taken care of. Interiors are done tastefully, quite rich and give a very earthy feeling. The creative mesh curtains are there to give you privacy as well. Private dining rooms are also there if you have a large family or friends. Mellow music adds on to the whole experience.

Menu: Appetizers are the fusion of traditional recipes with the modern twist of molecular gastronomy. Main courses are kept untouched and people looking for having classic Indian dishes can go for it. I personally loved the starters. Some of the contemporary must-haves at Panayaa are the Khaman Dhokla Oxide, Sabudana Papad Sev Puri to name a few.

Following are the dishes I tried for my lunch...
  • Cheese Palak Shorba (4/5)
  • Parmesan Cheese Paprika Croute (4.5/5)
  • Chhole Bunny Chao (4/5)
  • Bean Burrito (3.5/5)
  • Roomali Roti Italiano (4/5)
  • Bhelpuri Version 2.0 (4/5)
  • Cottage Cheese Indiana (4.5/5)
  • Corn Bhel Maze Cornetto (4.5/5)
  • Nazakti Kumbh (4/5)
  • Khaman Oxide (4.5/5)
  • Sabudana Papad Sev Puri (4/5)
  • Panayaa E Khas (3.5/5)
  • Makhani Biryani (3.5/5)
  • Dal Tadkewali (4/5)
  • Mohanthal Cheesecake (3.5/5)
  • Chocolate Landscape (4.5/5)
Since it was a tasting table, we were served tasting portions and not the usual ones. We started our lunch meal with the healthy and nutritious power packed Cheese Palak Shorba. Bright green colored, creamy shorba had the punch of goodness and taste. Loved it. On the other hand was the spicy and tangy Parmesan Cheese Paprika Croute.

Chhole Bunny Chao was the cute little hollowed out french baguette stuffed with spicy Indian chhole and topped with crispy fried onions. The outer shell was just a bit hard but the overall dish was scrumptious.

Next on the plate was the mix of Indian and Mexican cuisines – Bean Burrito. I personally found a lot of tomato ketchup in the burrito to make it bit sweet. It was a filling dish though.

Italian fusion to the classic Roomali Roti created Roomali Roti Italiano. It was deliciously made. Crisp Roti base was slathered with green chutney, ketchup, finally chopped bell peppers, tomatoes, onions and loaded with grated cheese. I loved this appetizer.

Was very keen to try the Bhelpuri Version 2.0. It was presented with a bit of drama on the table. A molecular representation of puffed rice, spices, chutneys served with curd spheres. Tangy, Spicy Bhel was placed over the crunchy papdi along with coriander and tamarind chutney. Super yumm!

A super succulent and fresh appetizer with really strong, rich and vibrant Indian flavors was the Cottage Cheese Indiana, our next appetizer. The paneer was super melt in the mouth and grilled to perfection.

With a beautiful presentation, we had another droolicious starter- Corn Bhel Maze Cornetto. Cream, spiced corn bhel was stuffed in the corn flour maze cone with a zingy bellpepper frosting. The cheese was cheery on the cake. Super yum. The crunch of the corn cone, spice of bhel and cheesiness made this dish absolute favourite.

Mushroom lovers can't miss the Nazakti Kumbh. Beautiful, succulent, perfectly marinated and grilled, this appetizer was loved by one and all.

I was eager to try another epitome of molecular gastronomy – Khaman Oxide which was a combination of freeze-dried khaman crumble drizzled with mint-coriander, tamarind chutney garnished with pomegranate 'caviars'. One spoon of it was the burst of flavors in the mouth. Spicy, tangy, sweet all in one rich flavor. Absolutely loved it!

Another signature was the Sabudana Papad Sev Puri. A very basic yet delish dish. Bite-sized sabudana papads were topped with super perfectly fried and flavored potato smash, sev and garnished with tomato julienne.

We moved to the main course thus had Panayaa E Khas, and Dal Tadkewali along with Makhani Biryani. Since the molecular twists were largely limited to the starters, the main courses were a bit off the stream, in comparison. Not bad though. Makhani Biryani was bang on in flavors but nothing 'Makhani' about it. Biryani was spicy and had proper Indian aroma and spices. Loved it though.

Next was the dessert section with some of the lip-smacking dishes - few of which were hits and few were misses. We opted for Mohanthal Cheesecake and Chocolate Landscape. The most awaited dessert for me was the cheesecake but was bit disheartened by the quantity of mohanthal though the flavors were spot on! I wish it had more of the Indian punch. The cheesecake was topped up with the berry coulis which was over sweet and overpowering the basic taste. However, the shredded baklava garnish was super yum.

Chocolate Landscape was full of drama on the table. This only dessert which is made right in front of you. A heavenly dessert for chocolate lovers with a deadly combination of brownie, mud pie, caramel, and loads of chocolate, frozen with liquid nitrogen. Worth the value! One can replace regular cakes with this sinful dessert.

Since it has just set up, staff needs some training. As far as value for money is concerned, it surely burns the hole in the pocket. But on the other hand, they do have some tempting offers to pull the crowd. Overall, a wonderful new addition to the Pune's vegetarian culinary circuit with some surprising elements on the menu.

Enjoy some of the pictures...

Panayaa-Modern Indian Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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