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Halloween spirit on Level 3 of Palladium isn’t just about the spine-chilling (if butt-warming) offerings of Juicy Couture. A new Papa in residence doesn’t need to be told not to preach. Walk past this “candy theatre” - a compact storefront that’s more like a concession stand - which opened last week to be assailed by a plethora of Willy Wonka colours and the smell of spun sugar. Trick or treat?

Boo’s Your Daddy

Papabubble began life as a shop of “caramel artesans” in Barcelona, and Sumit, the Mumbai store’s friendly manager, tells us that he and the caramel artisans manning the Bombay booth have learned their secrets from the source, recruited to the cause by the company that also manages Royce in India.

If Royce is Nina singing about wanting some sugar in her bowl, Papabubble is Mika sucking on a lollipop, telling you 'if you love her, let her go.' Their neon-bright sweets look like happy emojis in their jars and plastic covers: carefully etched with illustrations of fruit, people’s initials, shaped like tiny California rolls, and adorned with shiny eyes and button noses. They also taste like smiley faces, syrup-sweet and slow to dissolve on the tongue. 

If Royce is Nina singing about wanting some sugar in her bowl, Papabubble is Mika sucking on a lollipop, telling you 'if you love her, let her go.'

We pop one and feel like we're in some kind of novelty show. To help is the view: in their bubble behind a glass partition, two of Sumit’s colleagues cut up long, gleaming strips of neon yellow and saffron strings of hardened sugar water into tiny, blistery pillows, fulfilling a Diwali order for fifty boxes of mango and orange sweets, we’re told. Light eats, anyone? 

Wrote You A Bubblet(t)er

Apart from rock candy, the Bubble boys will also make you marshmallows, lollipops the size of a baby’s face - printing your actual baby’s face on it if you give them a jpeg - and something they call “bubblets,” which are like jujubes. Flavours on the shelf rotate every week: overlaying the essential taste of hardened sugar water on any day, you might get watermelon, strawberry, apple, or something else. 

Flavours go from fruity to, er, nutty, as we discover when Sumit wafts a jar of boiled sweets with bronze stripes under our nose. The fragrance is maddeningly familiar, but we have to be nudged into recognising that it’s biryani-flavoured. It’s a great joke even if the store’s next two visitors clearly don’t feel think so. We guess not every vote can be won with a biryani packet. 

Getting there: Papabubble, Palladium Mall, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Rs 415 for a jar of rock candy; custom orders accepted for four kilos and above.

Accessibility: Elevators and ramps at every level once you’re inside the mall. 

bpb reviews anonymously and does not exchange votes for (veg) biryani

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