Paan Paan is a new bread shop off Duplication Road. They make good bread. If that seems like a simple review, it is, but finding decent bread in Colombo is surprisingly hard.
Roast paan or kade paan, which you get from any streetside shop, is the gold standard. This cheap bread is almost uniformly delicious, such that they serve a variation at the high end Ministry Of Crab. The middle and upper classes of bread, however, are largely non-existent. You can’t find a good baguette or European style loaf. While a few places have understood that this type of bread is more expensive, they haven’t understood that it should also be good. BreadTalk is perhaps the worst offender, a Singaporean chain producing over-priced mediocrity.
Paan Paan is different. They make some pretty decent bread. We had a friend pick up some bread and muffins so we don’t know much about the Lorenz Road store, but we know what the food tastes like.
The Country Herbs Bread
The Country Herbs Bread (Rs. 150) is, wait, I forgot, will try it again. The CHB is… wait, it’s all gone. The CHB is a traditional looking loaf, but what sets it apart is when you open it. The crust is herby but thin, so the real pleasure is the fluffy breadiness inside. We had it with cheese and olives and some pickled chili, and it was excellent. One of the greatest joys of living in Europe or the west is having these simple snacks of bread and cheese, but it all depends on the quality of the bread. Roast Paan is best with hodi (curry gravy) and most supermarket bread just isn’t quality enough. The CHB cuts it. It’s good. We’ll get more.
We also tried the Orange And Poppy Seed Muffin (Rs. 85) and the Blueberry Muffin (Rs. 85). One friend thought they were a bit soft and cupcakey, but there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that. They’re sweet and pretty delish.
Update: Paan Paan does awesome party platters of sandwiches, subs, savouries and sweets – you can read our review of it here.
Check out their Sunday Times review also.