While on the trail of discovering new places, I recently came across a small cafe at the busy Hudson Lane called “Papa Buns”. If you have ever been to a buzzing market street in daylight, you’d realise how difficult it is to make a choice between the quirky cafes sprinkled across the lane. So instead of my regular favourites, I decided to try out this outlet as the name sounded so unusual.
With a name such as ‘Papa Buns’ I was expecting some maska-type-buns served with hot coffee on the menu. But to my surprise, there was much more to offer. The menu boasts of international cuisine and had some offbeat combinations of bread and gravy. While the name and their speciality buns come from Malaysia, they serve some South African specialities as well. Then there are dishes from Turkey, Mexico, Spain, Middle East and Italy. Limited but selected items from each of these countries are enough to make a stop at Papa Buns.
Though I should have opted for ongoing Pizza festival on the onset, I decided to start with their signature dish – stuffed buns. This was completely opposite to what I expected it to be. Their freshly baked buns were much larger (crispy outside and hollow inside) was stuffed with a combination of vegetables or chicken gravy. This was nowhere close to the cheese-stuffed buns or slices of bread I had till now. A hot bun with an espresso on a rainy day or during winters can be one of the best comfort food, so make a note there.
Next, I ordered Bunny Chow, a dish from South Africa. It’s again vegetable gravy now stuffed inside the hollow of freshly baked bread loaf. Every bite of this piping hot gravy got bits of bread along with it. The best part is that Papa Buns make its own bread with options of white, brown or multigrain. Next on the list were some bruschetta and chef special pizza. Fresh and just out of the oven, both were loaded with apt amount of cheese and vegetables. These were enough to make me happy.
However, to my disappointment, this fairly new place is still facing its teething problems. The fridge wasn’t working, so there was no desserts or ice in my paan mojito. The seating is very basic and little small. Still, I chose to ignore all these with an assurance that my next visit will be more fulfilling. I hope to visit them very soon.
(The writer is an ex-journalist, a self-confessed food lover and a doting mother)