[Double-meaning perverted male culprits out there who’re snickering at my post title, stop that thought process right THERE. This is just a foodblog remember?]

Anyhoo, let me present to you my super scientific taxonomy for bread…

  • The Crispy and Crunchy. Begs for you to jangle and crackle your jaws through. scrunch. <example of the Crispy and Crunchy somewhere in here>
  • The Poofy. Lusts for your finger to pierce right through and deflate it like a puffed-up balloon. pooofff. <example of the Poofy somewhere in here>
  • The Floofy, or more lovingly called, the Flllooofay. Asks that you first step away, and then come dashing towards it with full force and pounce on it with claws outstretched, sending smithereens of pillowy bread floof into the air. fllll-oooof!

[We also have the granite-rock category that is proprietary to my oven alone. Perfect for hurling across at those annoying skateboarders who slam their godforsaken skateboards against the pavement under my building every evening. thud.]

While I love bread under all three of the above categories, buns should necessarily be floofy. When I scrunch into a bun, I don’t want it to just scrunch back at me. Nor do I want that anticlimactic de-pooof where the bun is full of nothing but hot air. What I want is that soft, happy, floofy feeling, like the kind you get when you fall backward and flop onto a soft down mattress, bouncing back up a bit before sinking all the way in. That’s exactly what the buns at PappaRoti’s are – super dooper faal-looofay.

I credit this discovery to both Rads in my life – two radically awesome ladies with the same first name, one of whom I’ve known from high school in Dubai, and the other from college in the US who visited me in Dubai last year. The three of us were walking back after dinner in Dubai Mall, totally stuffed and just strapping ourselves in before we’d burst, bee-lining it towards the car so that we could wheel ourselves back home in time before passing out in a state of food coma. Until the two of them came to a halt right outside this stall, demanding that we make tummy space for whatever was giving off that frigging awesome baked buttery smell.

A bun later, I knew that this was the Best Decision Ever. Totally worth snapping your jeans zipper over. Hell yeah, I’d know.

What’s awesome about PappaRoti’s is that the buns actually incorporate a bit of scrunch along with the floof. The top of the bun is swirled with caramel coffee cream, which doesn’t really have a strong flavor, but that crisps up into a baked crunchy skin when it’s pulled out of the oven.

Check out how they achieve that crackly crunchiness…

Now here’s the best part…as you crunch through the thin caramelized outer casing, this cottony pillowy fluff just gushes out of nowhere, pumping out this warm happy fresh baked aroma right into your mouth. As you bounce through the floof within, you hit the hollow core, and there, whatever is left of the bun just collapses into a stream of buttery syrup that’s been waiting to trickle out from the centre.

I like to eat the buns Indian-style, dipping them in something like a warm chai or cappuccino so that it sponges up the warm liquid, and the now soggy bun morsel gives me this breakfast buttery caffeinated blend of awesomeness all in one go.

What was a bit off-putting is that these buns come frozen and shipped all the way over from Malaysia. Supposedly they start out as teeny balls and it takes up to eight hours for them to do all that caramel coating up top and for the buns to expand into optimal floofiness…which for some reason that escapes me, cannot be done in Dubai. The only thing left to do is to bake ‘em up at the stalls. It’s exactly one of those franchised fast food commercial concept that I typically diss out. But still, even I’ve got to admit that PappaRoti’s got that feel-good fresh floofy tea bun experience pretty much nailed down.

I promised the college-Rads – a die-hard dessert addict and phenomenal cook, who’s now miles away in India and woke up last week thinking about PappaRoti – that I’d go back and write her a post dedicated to these floofy buns. So fellow foodster in crime, this one’s all for you.

PS – I was so inspired by my bun experience (and also desperately seeking out excuses to delay proofing this post. Proof reading just has to be the most blitheringly boring and thankless part of writing…I always find that evasive typo or embarrassingly meaningless sentence just seconds after I publish. And especially months after I publish, which is why I try to forget about old posts altogether)…that I tried to create the Floofay Bun Man…or Woman. Voilà:

PappaRoti Cafe
Dubai Mall, Level 1 (above the ice rink)
Phone: +971 (4) 330-8377

Author: InaFryingPan

With a family legacy of ingenious cooks, a nutritionist and chef-extraordinaire mother, and a father who introduced me to steak and caviar when I could barely reach the table, I had no choice but to acquire a keen awareness of food during my childhood years in Dubai. But it was only after I found myself on a college campus in Philadelphia – far away from home, too cheap as a student to spend on anything other than pizza, and with dorm rooms that had little rat-holes of kitchens if they even had them at all – when I developed a heightened appreciation of food. An appreciation of food that I once ate every night at the dinner table in Dubai, but that was now an entire ocean away. I lusted for the culinary treasures that lay outside the stale walls of my college dining hall, hijacked friends’ kitchens to try my hand at something, anything , remotely edible, and greedily raided different websites in search of highly-rated restaurants. With my move to New York to work for a consulting firm that secretly harbored self-professed foodies, my appreciation transformed into a passion, an addicition. I felt like everyone around me in New York was talking about food: where to get the best cupcakes, pizza slices, banh mi, kati rolls, pho, fried chicken, and every other food item out there that is just a plain old dish in some part of the world, but that’s become hyped to unforeseen proportions in New York. What fuelled my addiction over time was travel to different cities, both for work and play, which gave me unfettered access to the culinary havens of not only New York, but also of DC, Virginia, Chicago, Houston, Vegas, Austin, Seattle and even a little city called Bentonville (Arkansas!). After 9 years away from home, I’ve finally taken the leap to come back to Dubai – with not just an awareness, but genuine appreciation and passionate addiction for what I’d taken for granted as a child. Mom, I’m back to reclaim my seat at your dinner table, and to rediscover this city with its ever-expanding menu of international flavors.

26 thoughts on “I LIKE MY BUNS FLOOFAY.

  1. sukaina says:

    I have never tried Pappa Roti but you have inspired me. That is optimal floofiness! Love it. And even though I’m not one of those perverted males, I did wonder about the post title!!! Hehe!

  2. FooDiva says:

    Great post and picies of course. I have often walked past and wondered whether it lived up to that freshly baked smell. They don’t do any other flavours aside from coffee do they, as would love to try it otherwise?

  3. Farheen says:

    Awesumness – never thot they would taste this goood! The pics are Ahhhmazzzing – can almost bite into them!!

  4. rado says:

    Arva…this post is Great…. makes me want to run and get one.
    i like my buns floofayyyyy too :)

  5. abigail says:

    My visit to Dubai Mall wouldn’t be complete without these floofay buns! I’m like a pregnant lady having monthly craving for them.

    1. InaFryingPan says:

      @sukaina – I think we all have a little perverted male inside us. ;)

      @FooDiva – you know, the coffee flavor in the bun doesn’t come through that strongly…it’s hints more of caramel. But yep, they only have the coffee version. Also, on an unrelated note, they have a wonderfully aromatic ginger tea.

      @Farheen – imagine what the real deal is like then! Go get yourself one, that’s an ORDER.

      @rado – RUN RUN RUN!! ;)

      @abigail – nice! pregnancy is the best excuse to indulge…though some of us gluttonous ’uns need no excuses.

  6. Nausheen says:

    I curse this place every time I walk by it because that smell is so intoxicating. Burnt sugar + caramel + freshly baked + butter. It’s positively sinful! Love the floofy bun man drawings.

  7. radZ says:

    haha .. love the Floofay Bun Man !!! This post is so much fun Arva … thanks for reminding me about this place :)
    Rads of Mirch Magic fame come to doobai soon so we can walk into some more delights like this !

  8. Sally says:

    Always wondered about this place. Will try it when next in Dubai Mall. (The spellcheck on WordPress catches most of my mistakes – but sometimes forget to use it!)

  9. Radhika Gupta says:

    Awwww. thanks for doing this one :) I crave these buns much more than I should … over breakfast, evening coffee… I have to make a trip to Dubai so you and Radz of Dubai can go food hunting again….

    1. InaFryingPan says:

      @ninu – :) music to my ears…if you’re in the city, go have ’em buns now!

      @Marta’s Kitchen – time to change that, go there and tell me what you think!

      @Nausheen – No run, no hide, no curse – just CAVE IN my friend, cave in. The Floofay Bun Man demands you do so.

      @radZ – …and rads1 writes in!! I know, we need to drag her back here so we can do eat-through-dubai part 2.

      @Sally – huh? WordPress has spellcheck? oh it does actually…I’m seeing the squiggly red lines as I type in this comment…but I have never seen the red squigglies (<– red squiggly right under that one) in my posts, will keep my eyes peeled next time.

      @Radhika Gupta – …and rads2 writes in too!! YES, Rads and I are a-planning for it (as you can see my elaborate plan laid out in 1 line to rads1 above) – BOOK LES TICKETS!!

  10. saleem says:

    Get some for us to eat at home – too old to go out and eat.

  11. @DevinaDivecha says:

    Haha…you always make me laugh. Nice stuff…we should go there one day and you can tell me what floofay buns to order.

  12. Robyn says:

    Oh my god oh god I need floofy bun I need floofy bun right now to stop me from continuing this run-on sentence ahhh

    It sort of reminds me of this bun I ate in Hawaii except your version sounds a lot better. Mine didn’t have a belly of buttery syrup. More things should have bellies of buttery syrup.


  13. Zerin says:

    Arva, thanks for the post. I have stood near this kiosk looking at the people ice skating and inhaling this wonderful aroma, and warring with myself if I should have it. Then my already ample hips advised me against it. But I am not listening to my hips anymore. Next time I am in Dubai mall I am running to PR’s. Great post and great pics.

    1. InaFryingPan says:

      @saleem – noooo dad, you’re never too old to go out! And these buns need to be eaten straight out the oven, so I will drive you there if I have to myself :D

      @DevinaDivecha – add this to the long list of things we have to do but never get around to doing it! that said, now you have the car….YAY FOR CAR TO TRANSPORT YOU TO PLACES WITH YUMMY FOOD!

      @Robyn – hahhaha, you never fail to crack me up! I love the Hawaii bun pic, the texture looks amazing even without the buttery pool inside – God I need to learn how to take mouth-watering photos from you!
      Me loves doodles too, floofay bun man is getting so famous he may need an agent now :D

      @Zerin – You do that girl, go there and get yourself a bun! Never listen to the hips, there’s a reason why the brain is up there in the head ;)

  14. Yasmin says:

    Arva, the other day my friends were recommending that I try out these wonderful buns. I always overlooked PappaRoti. Forgive me for sounding pretentious but I would always avoid this place since I didn’t like the location and felt it was always overcrowded. Boy, was I wrong! Forget about location. Forget about everything! I even forgot about my friends who were with me!

    Okay, I will stop now haha! Bottom line, great review and I’m glad I tried THE FLOOOFAAAAYS!


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