I'm not a shy person by any means and I love to meet new people, but I've been in certain awkward situations that haven't helped to eradicate my nervousness for throwing myself into a crowd where I know nobody. So when I was very kindly invited to the foodie event held at Pacata by Zomato, I was very excited with a side of what-shall-I-do-if-it's-one-of-those-awkward-situations.
Let me tell you now - with the combination of the friendly staff at Pacata, the warmly welcoming Zomato team and the loveliness of everyone who attended, I really needn't have worried.
If you don't know of Zomato, it's a great website and smartphone app where you can find honest restaurant reviews of other users, including ratings, price range and other info you typically want to know. If you're out and about you can use the app to find a place nearby with good reviews, you can upload your own and post photos to recommend (or warn about) places for others - basically a very useful site for all of us foodies.
(This is not sponsored by Zomato at all, but I really enjoy using it and you can find my profile here.)
Pacata is a restaurant that brings Asian-fusion street food to a more refined and interesting level. Since street food seems to be all the rage these days, it's a great idea - all that goodness in the comfort of a cosy restaurant, with seating and cocktails? Yes please.
We were lucky enough to get a taste of some of the food they offer: I had Popcorn Chicken (which tasted a lot like Japanese Kara-age chicken, which basically means it was superb), the Chicken Satay Burger which was very good, and - weirdly enough - Pad Thai with squid ink tagliatelle. It sounds (and looks) strange, but the seafood taste worked surprisingly well, though it did make the dish a little richer than usual.
We also got to learn from a demonstration of how to make Papaya Salad (which I could have eaten a whole bucketful of). Not the papaya you normally think of - the sweet, orange stuff - but the Thai papaya that resembles an overgrown cucumber/courgette hybrid.
Of course, we got treated to some cocktails as well - I tried the gin-based Anahata Rama (gin, fresh basil, ginger, lemongrass cordial, fresh lemon, guanabana juice), and we even had a chance to make our own Hustler cocktails (fresh passion fruit, lychee, lemon juice, gin, gomme syrup). Even though mine didn't taste quite as perfect as the professional's, I was pretty proud!
I would definitely be interested in coming back to Pacata and trying out their a la carte menu - Asian fusion is hard to get right in my opinion, but so far I like what I've tried. I liked the vibe of the place too - relaxed, friendly and very comfortable. I imagine the service is great too, all the staff were so nice!