Papparoti may have just opened in Mumbai, but we've been sneaking in our fix for a lot longer than that. If like us, you’ve been making the trek to Oberoi Delicatessen whenever the cravings come calling, you’ll be happy to know that the original brand has brought the goods to Lower Parel - and at half the price.
Papparoti virgins wondering what all the fuss is about, pay close attention –bun-maska will never be the same again.
Our Daily Bread
With Malaysian origins, Papparoti and its little bun that’s somewhere between bread and pastry, has spawned a chain with 400 cafes around the world. Here, a crisp, toasty crust shatters into pillowy soft white bread that burrows into a salted, buttery core, and is best paired with hot tea. In the country of its origin, this is a popular grab-and-go coffee snack that subs for breakfast and evening tea, fulfilling both carb and sugar cravings. Think of it as Asia’s answer to Fika culture – a break in the day to stop and drink some coffee, munch on something sweet, and catch up with friends or co-workers.
In Bombay, Papparoti is right next to Xico, Kamala Mills. The interiors aren't much to speak of – industrial meets Scandi-chic, Edison bulbs and red brick walls, pretty enough to be relegated to generic coffee shop backdrop.
The Chosen Bun
Paired with coffee or signature Pappa milk tea, the buns are available in a range of flavours – strawberry with whipped cream, Nutella with almond, salted caramel, etc. We choose an assortment of five (yes, we’re feeling greedy), and a cup of tea. The classic bun is fragrant with notes of coffee and caramel, with the simple exterior cracking at the gentlest touch, tearing away into fluffy warm bread that is dripping melted butter. A lotus biscuit bun is decidedly more pastry than bun, with cookie crumbles on top, and generous toppings of sweet caramel and feathery warm insides. Our only grouse is that there is nothing remarkable about the cup of tea. Even a generous head of foam can't mask the fact that it tastes suspiciously like a long-brewed bag of Tetley.
We can't finish the rest and doggy-bag the remaining three, and to Papparoti's credit, the buns travel well. A dates version is flavoured with dark syrup, carrying the nutty sweetness of dates, foiled by a salted hollow. A honey bun is also lovely, without toppings but sweetened inside with subtle, floral honey. The dark chocolate however, offers gummy chocolate syrup and is too jammy and cloying. On a sugar-induced coma, we call the weekend at five buns, and stop here.
But will we back? Yes – only next time, we’re bringing our own chai.
Getting there: Ground Floor, Trade View, Kamala City, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai. Cost for two, approx. 800.
Accessibility: A couple of steps off the sidewalk.
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