4th floor, Atria Mall, Worli, Mumbai
Tel: 022 65583333 / 6666
Meal for 2: Rs 1,000
Packaging counts. That’s what you realise after a meal at Pala Fala. For, no matter how authentic and flavourful the food, eating a meal on the top floor of a dying, dusty mall is depressing. We’d been hearing about the Parsi bhonu at this Worli restaurant for a few months. Their all-you-can-eat Sunday lunch buffet—including mutton cutlets, chicken croquettes, sali chicken, patra-ni-machi, dhansaak and lagan-nu-custard—seemed a spectacularly good deal for Rs 599. And yes, a peek at the menu also got us enthusiastic for specialities like prawn kevaabs and bhinda par eedu.
The problem is the location. Pala Fala is perched on the fourth floor of the Atria mall, in a terminally ill food court amidst under-renovation spaces. The downed shutters and cement add little to the ambience. But the fact that all the tables are full is a ringing endorsement.
Most customers head straight for the excellent buffet. The mutton cutlets are plump and perfectly spiced. The sali margi is a trifle sweet but addictive. The patra-ni-machi is succulent and smothered in redolent green chutney, while the lagan-nu-custard is the stuff of baugs and birdy dances. Only the dhansaak is flat and disappointing, as is the absence of kachumber and lagan-nu-achaar. Determined to sample more adventurous fare, we choose some from the menu. The Jardaloo Boti (Rs 300)—mutton cooked with apricot—is magnificent. The children of course are delighted with the chicken salami cheese balls (Rs 200). The kolmi pulao daal (Rs 300) is a prawn pulao fragrant with saffron and rose water—an unusual combination that receives mixed reviews. I would love to experiment with the mixed meat biriyani stuffed with chicken, mutton and prawns and other unique offerings.
So should you head to Pala Fala? The food is definitely worth sampling. Perhaps the best option is to order it home on a windy monsoon night. At least till Pala Fala finds itself a new, happier location.