Tag Archives: business

A head to head Theobroma shootout

Theobroma is one of the nicest joints in town when one is looking for comfort. Their range of breads, brownies, desserts, cakes, etcetera probably have ‘comfort’ as a secret ingredient. They moved from being present on only the tip of the city to being present in Bandra as well.

The Bandra outlet has more space, a more eclectic mix of people visiting, and yet, it retains the Theobroma characteristic of good food served slow. One can’t help but wince at the lack of parking amenities at both locations.

While the name translates to ‘Food for the Gods’, their chariots will have to be left in the skies, or in the hands of the trusty valets of the second location’s parking lot.

Anyway, being at the Colaba Theobroma after it has been redone is slightly sickening. In comparison to their earlier warm wooden tones and orange light, it now appears to be more like Red Riding Hood’s bedroom, with whitewashed walls, and childishly reassuring hues of aqua. If you walk in to the Colaba outlet during a meal, be prepared to fight for your right. Not to a seat, but to walk along the counters and pick a dish without crashing into someone.

Sure, the place is cramped, but we wouldn’t complain simply because we love the food too much, like the Chicken Mayo Wrap here:

Chicken Mayo Roll

What we prefer about the Bandra branch, however, is that apart from the two-levelled setting, there is more space. There is space near the dessert counter, and near the packaged sandwich section. One can browse around more at leisure and pick their meal. The service is significantly better than at the Colaba outpost, where sometimes the waiters look at you as if you are actually speaking in Greek.

The food is the same, but the quantity for some dishes is more at the Bandra branch. While we happened to call for Chicken Rarebit sandwiches at each branch, the one at Bandra came with vegetables as a side. The size of the bread was decidedly bigger. The same order at Colaba yields a smaller piece of bread and fries that are much off colour.

It is odd that a restaurant that made its name in town chooses to be partial towards the suburban branch, even though it clearly generates more revenue.

Theobroma @ Colaba:
Shop No 24, Cusrow Baug,
Electric House, Colaba.

Theobroma @ Bandra:
Link Square Mall, 33rd Road,
Off Linking Road, Bandra West.

Sarvesh Talreja

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On a Dessert Trail

18th century, Paris: Chocolate wasn’t always considered an after-dinner treat. When it first arrived in France from Latin America, the French weren’t quite sure what to make of it. Parisian doctors soon declared that chocolate has therapeutic properties and thereafter, the number of confectioners in Paris mushroomed by the dozen.

21st century, Mumbai: We smell an uncanny analogy here. There has been a spurt in the number of chocolatiers and pastry chefs operating in the city- either by establishing their own cafes or retailing online. And they aren’t just restricted to blue-blooded Bandra or the crest of Colaba. Plus, Mumbaikars have certainly moved over the classic Chocolate Truffle and Black Forest and are trying out new options. Cupcakes have become a popular item, with every café offering an endless list-smiley cupcakes to photo cupcakes, cupcakes with figures and the miniscule, bite-size ones as well. ‘Tart’ at Nariman Point promises outlandish frostings ranging from Chanel logos to bikinis, sunglasses, phones, umbrellas and lipsticks too.

For those who cannot travel far and wide to get their hands on an original French Crème Brule, even that’s available in Aamchi Mumbai. Le Pain Quotidian (Apollo Bunder) is the best place to dig your spoon into one.

Classics such as macaroon, tarts, fruit pies, custards, puddings and melbas are slowly reappearing on most dessert menus across the city. “It is precisely the love for nostalgia that has caused these oldies to surface on the dessert scene. Also, dessert does not necessarily spell chocolate,” says Aashiyana Shroff, owner of Tart. “It seems there is something rustic about them. It reminds people of something that their grandmothers baked at home,” opines Mehernosh Khajotia of Celebrations Fine Confections at Warden Road.

As far as gifting options are concerned, more and more people prefer giving chocolates instead of ladoos or pedas. These chocolate treats are making their presence felt strongly not only during weddings or birthdays, but festivals like Raksha Bandhan and Diwali as well. There are myriad options-right from the humble Cadbury to Belgian 22-carat gold-plated chocolate and even chocolate modaks.

Why the sudden shift? Simply put, people are now being more experimental and do not wish to stick to conventional options. Gifting chocolates spells class and they have a longer shelf-life as well. Plus, a serving of low-calorie, dark chocolate has almost half the calories than two small gulab jamuns. Moreover, customized gift-boxes of doughnuts are also doing the rounds during every festival, be it chocolate kalakand during Diwali or red-cherry hazelnut during Christmas. Classic desserts in shot glasses are another novel, delightful way of presenting gifts.

 

Bottom-line: Mumbai certainly can’t get enough of desserts. Even if fractional redemption is showered upon us.

-Khorshed Deboo

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