Restaurant Review: Sancho’s
The last time we reviewed a new Mexican restaurant, we seem to have ticked off a few people for saying it was really more American. The problem with the dishes at Taco Fresco however was never so much their authenticity as their taste. Last week, Mumbai got another new Mexican restaurant, this time in the form of an outpost of a popular chain from Delhi. At Sancho’s, located just a short walk from Taco Fresco in Bandra, the menu states that they try “to give you the best of both worlds: a touch of ‘Tex-Mex’ along with a slice of the more traditional”.
Sancho’s, with its warm brown stucco walls and floral table top tiles, is the kind of restaurant that seems ideal for a leisurely lunch. We planned to spend an hour-and-a-half hour there, only to soon find out that they were having a bad day. It took 45 minutes to serve our starters. After we complained, one of the staff admitted that a couple of cooks had quit that very morning. About two hours into our visit, a little after we had started our main course, Sancho’s Mexican chef Victor Muruguia came around to our table, as he had to those of other customers still around, to check whether we were enjoying our meal. Though the service had been slow and occasionally inattentive, which Muruguia acknowledged and apologised for, we had little reason to complain as far as our food was concerned.
The selection of drinks at Sancho’s on offer is almost as big as the food menu, and you would do well to try them out firstly because they are quite good, and secondly, because they arrive much faster than the appetisers. We second the manager’s recommendation of the strawberry margarita: the crushed ice prevents it from being too sweet and makes it the perfect cool drink for a humid Mumbai afternoon. However, we disagree with the manager when it comes to the Las Cumbres, a cocktail of sparkling wine with pomegranate juice, a combination that did not quite work.
We tried three appetisers, which turned out to be excellent, good and just about all right: we’d recommend both the fish taquitos (bite-sized red snapper tacos), and the chips and salsa, but you can avoid the mushroom sope, corn dough canapés that had barely any taste of mushroom. The chips and salsa, seemingly the easiest to assemble and serve, took the longest to arrive (over 45 minutes) but when they did, the tortillas were crisp and fresh. We suggest ordering two salsas instead of five like we did: skip the roasted tomato salsa that you get everywhere and the sweet mango salsa for the smokey chiptole and fiery habanero versions. The chicken fajita, which we ordered as our main course, was served with blue corn taco shells instead of Mexican rice as promised on the menu. But the chicken, diced and tossed with bell peppers in olive oil and served hot on a sizzler plate, had flavour enough by itself.
In spite of the fact that it took them nearly two hours to serve us our main course, we plan to return to Sancho’s. While we don’t think it’s wise for an establishment to open for business if they’re under-prepared, in this city it’s still rare that the chef of a casual dining restaurant will come to your table and apologise for bad service. The manager told us they need a week to sort things out (they’ve temporarily stopped serving lunch), so maybe it would be best to delay your visit by a few days. If you’re in the mood to explore their relatively extensive menu, you might still find yourself spending a couple of hours there, but completely out of choice.
A meal for two with alcohol costs approximately Rs2,500. All reviews are conducted anonymously.Tags: Food review, restaurant review, restaurant reviews, Sancho's, Special Top Story
P. D. Hinduja Marg
Off Linking Road
HoursDaily, noon to 3.30pm and 7pm to 1.30am