I absolutely adore Bandra. Heck, I love Mumbai entirely but Bandra is special for me. Its definitely got its own rustic charm, pricey restaurants in narrow lanes, adorable little cafes over-spilling like coffee from a cup in its little nooks and stuffy little shops in its crannies. Off late, Bandra’s been witness to an enormous amount of budding restaurants, cafes and recently, a chocolaterie! Sure, we have had chocolateries before but San Churros is just a chocolaterie. Period. Being the chocolate purist that I am, I was determined to check it out the day I received the notification from Brown Paper Bag! With a few teething problems and expected delays, they finally opened on a busy street, complete with bright orange walls that you simply can’t miss.
The spread at San Churros frankly surprised me. They were who they claimed to be – a chocolaterie. No unnecessary coffee varieties or an exhaustive list of ‘cold’ coffees/beverages. Sure, they have coffee and other cold beverages too but nothing comes without a dose of chocolate – just the way they intend it. God knows, Bandra needed this! So after gaping at their delectable spread and the sheer volume of the place (Bandra does have a tiny flaw – SPACE!), we ordered a simple NY Cheesecake, a hot chocolate and the speciality – Churros. The hot chocolate and Churros came with a difficult choice that every chocolate lover must decide at some point – dark or milk? I opted for the milk hot chocolate and my fellow chocolate lover decided to mix it up and go with a dark chocolate dip AND a milk chocolate dip.
We were lead upstairs and picked a table by the glass window. Good music, spacious, seemingly empty space – I thought nothing could ruin the euphoria that began with the bright orange walls at the entrance. I was wrong – kinks in service need to be ironed out. A few tables that were occupied after us got their orders (identical) before us. But, we had time so I wasn’t complaining yet. Unfortunately, the cheesecake was (nearly) the straw that broke the camel’s back. Moonlighting as a ‘plain’ NY cheesecake, it tasted orangey and bitter. Oh it was – a bitter, bitter disappointment. However, the hot chocolate and the churros turned out to be the handsome heroes! The hot chocolate was yummy! Ever since I came back from a trip to London, where I religiously drank hot chocolate from Pret A Manger thrice a day, my tastebuds have been craving good quality hot chocolate. It was happiness in a cup. The churros were yummy too! Sure, they aren’t what people here are used to but that’s what they said about cupcakes. The real hero, complete with a rich, glossy coat, is the chocolate. They also sell whole bars if you’re interested in dark, milk and white, apart from chocolate lollipops, fondue jars, truffles and other chocolates. Oh and dessert (cheesecake, marble bread etc) and savories (sandwiches, quiches and I think I saw a pot pie somewhere) too. I went again the next day and ordered the Berry Bizcocho. Oh.my.god – go there just to have this again and again and again and again. Its pastry cream, chocolate cake, strawberries, chocolate sauce and chopped peanuts. Don’t sound good together? Go and have a bite. I’ll just wait here for vindication.
Photo credit: Riya Vatnani