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Papa’s – Welcome to Chef Hussain Shahzad’s ultimate dinner party

The team behind The Bombay Canteen and O Pedro launch a 12-seater chef’s table in Mumbai.
The 12-seater table at Papa's in Bandra

Who knew a sandwich shop could be home to a hella cool 12-seater chef’s table? A step above, quite literally. Sameer Seth, co-founder and CEO of Hunger Inc. clarifies this isn’t a food concept; expect to enter Chef Hussain Shahzad’s playground. Aiming to present new rules of Indian cuisine and fine dining, Papa’s offers an experience that is elevated, imaginative, and thankfully fuss-free. 

A speakeasy-esque attic reminiscent of a 1980’s-style Mumbai home

You walk up the stairs of Veronica’s in Bandra to enter an intimate 1980s-style old-worldly Mumbai home, adorned with art deco memorabilia from personal homes. Designed by Shonan Purie Trehan of Studio Language Architecture, the space has the woody warmth of a Wes Anderson filter and mood lighting that washes over the space into hues of cosy chic.  The space is peppered with strong design like the dinner table which the team from Out Of The Shed, a multidisciplinary design company, repurposed wood from a previous restaurant project. You can read more about it here. The same team worked on the gola machine that plays a theatrical part in the upcoming salad course. The compact space hosts a speakeasy bar with an incredible bar programme curated by Pankaj Balachandran from Countertop India.

Special hurrah for Papa’s Hut (inventive take on the classic Bloody Mary), Green Day (who knew charred capsicum sings in a cocktail), and the Espresso Martini. If you are feeling adventurous, let head bartender Harish Subramanian decide the tipple for the night.  Oh, do remember to ask for another bebinca. No dear, shudder not. This savoury reincarnation has layers of tofu, truffle, celeriac, and dates.


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A creative confluence of Chef Shahzad’s culinary journey

An alumnus of Eleven Madison Park and mentee of the late Chef Floyd Cardoz (fondly known as Papaji). We first took notice of chef Shahzad’s courtesy the food at O Pedro. Chef Shahzad says, “Papa’s celebrates all the rules I’ve learnt, followed, and broken in the kitchen. This is an opportunity to push the boundaries of what we know as Indian fare and get people to eat outside the lines.” 

The sit-down meal is served tasting-menu style, peppered with anecdotes by the team about its origins, ingredients and inspirations. Enjoy the tasting menu as-is, or pair it with wine or cocktails.

Food at Papa's in Bandra

Photos: Papa’s

Start with the Watermelon & Rasam broth, inspired by Chef Floyd’s signature dish—rice-crusted fish and watermelon curry. What is a dinner party without an irresistible disco samosa? This one may just be India’s only doctor-approved version with a chamomile tea jelly case. Nah, we prefer the original and unhealthy one. The modak is surprisingly filled with yak milk ema datshi or char siu pork and apple for meat eaters.

The soup course interestingly matches the personality of yak milk and the silkiness of a French onion soup. The crowd pleaser course is the What The Duck!, an Ambur-style biryani-meets-paella cooked with Indrayani rice. The vegetarian option is kimchi-style fried rice-paella. If fried rice is your soul soother, this course will do the deed. Kashmir-inspired yakhni, sour apples and morels sitting in a puff-pastry parcel, served with a pumpkin makhni sauce is another excellent course. Potato Chips is a play on the popular honey noodles with ice-cream served across Chinese restaurants in India. This rendition has crunchy fries, truffle honey, Champagne sabayon, and a tangy lemon sorbet. No one shared their bowls.  (maybe a line on what you didn’t like or was a weird course?)

The team does a fine job in adding elements of wonderful surprise and eclectic ease into fine dining – something this category could only gain from. We can see Papa’s moving in the same direction as their year-old Veronica’s that sees queues on weekday afternoons too, and all of Hunger Inc’s. other establishments. How does this team manage to produce hit after hit, one can only wonder. Maybe it’s their homework or their ability to pull off the no-marketing marketing look. Maybe it’s the culmination of market readiness, and evolving dinner base in Mumbai, and a pursuit to honour the namesake.

Chef Hussain Shahzad at Papa's in Bandra

(left) Chef Hussain Shahzad. Photos: Papa’s


Address: Papa’s at Veronica’s, 3R3G+JMX, Waroda Rd, Bandra West, Mumbai
Reservation: Tel: +91 77388 95597 | Email:
Opening Hours: Wednesday to Saturday | 8 pm till late
Pricing: ₹4750/- (plus taxes) for vegetarian | ₹4950/- (plus taxes) for non-vegetarian
Pairings: + ₹ 4500/- (plus taxes) for wine pairings |+ ₹ 3250/- (plus taxes) for cocktails pairing | + ₹ 2200/- (plus taxes) for non-alcoholic beverages
Seating Capacity: 12 diners
TLM Rating: Definitely go!