Food Review: San Churro
Hot & Cold.
There was a disconcerting piece of news in the papers last week about the world’s cocoa supply getting exhausted by 2014. We sincerely hope that like the impending apocalypse in 2012, the imminent chocolate drought is also an urban myth. If the thought that it just might be true has made you sick with worry, setting off an anxiety attack only chocolate can calm, we strongly suggest that you abandon all other worldly activities and visit San Churro, the new cafe at Waterfield Road in Bandra. Chocolate items account for 90 per cent of the menu at this chain from Australia. They include chocolate beverages, chocolate desserts, chocolate fondue and churros with molten chocolate.
With leather tub chairs and glass tables, the sprawling (it can seat 90), split-level San Churro resembles, as a friend rightly observed, an insipid five-star coffee shop. This is probably because, despite the predominance of chocolate on the menu, San Churro is positioned as a coffee shop and not just a chocolate cafe. They offer six kinds of coffee including the Spanish latte, essentially a double espresso with condensed milk. The dull decor is brightened up somewhat by the mosaic tiles, which border the white, orange and mocha walls painted with illustrations that depict Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés bringing cocoa to Spain (legend has it that he owes his discovery of chocolate to the Aztecs).
The staff recommended that we begin by indulging in the “Classic Spanish” hot chocolate to savour what’s left of Mumbai’s winter. San Churro make their extremely thick version of the drink by melting dark couverture chocolate into milk. Be warned, this is a potent beverage even for grown-ups, especially those who are given to cheating on diets. The more kid-friendly option is the “Hot & Cold”, which is hot chocolate with a scoop of vanilla ice cream that makes the drink sweeter though less intense.
At San Churro, even though the chocolate drinks and the viscous chocolate sauces (served with fondue and with the churros) are made using their own brands of dark, milk and white chocolate, it’s hard to tell apart their chocolate infused beverages from the ones we’ve had at A Chocolate Affair, which opened in Bandra in August last year. They’re equally decadent and mouth-coatingly rich, but the churros (deep-fried doughnut sticks) at San Churro make a more lasting impression because they were not as chewy as they were at A Chocolate Affair. The calorific, sugar-dusted confections come with a pot of sinful, dark molten chocolate (two pots if you order a large platter).
Even though their culinary goal is to “sweeten thy soul”, San Churro also has a savoury foods counter, well stocked with subs, quiches, sandwiches and non-chocolate confections like cheesecake, banana cake and cookies. Opting for savoury eats at a coffee shop is always a gamble as they tend to be dry but judging by San Churro’s freshly baked, flaky mushroom vol-au-vent (a French puff pastry), we can say that the chef is equally attentive to the cocoa-less dishes on the menu. If you don’t mind their choice of boring furniture, San Churro has all the makings of Bandra’s new favourite coffee shop, free wi-fi included.
A meal for two costs approximately Rs450. All reviews are conducted anonymously.Tags: A Chocolate Affair, Cafe, Chocolate, Food review, San Churro
Shop No. 11
Opposite Red Box Cafe
HoursDaily, 9am to midnight.