Tag Archives: chocolate

Le Pain Quotidien: A Review

Belgian chain ‘Le Pain Quotidien’ has opened up its local branch for about a year now, and business is good. The restaurant, divided over 2 levels, is usually spread out over one.

We ventured into LPQ one morning, and it wasn’t a truly fine one until we left. The space is understated and classy, with a charming European touch. The light shades of wood on the tables provide a subtle contrast with more caramel shade found on the walls. The staircase leading upstairs is a sight, as is the chandelier atop.

Translating to ‘The Daily Bread’, the name of this restaurant seems like an apt practical joke, as nothing here is pocket friendly, but everything is well worth the money. Our order was a three egg omelette with ham and cheese, an espresso and a dark chocolate waffle.

The staff was well spoken and courteous, and tend to pick up fast on what you might want. They suggested a portion of the fresh chocolate eclairs, which they said were fresh out of the oven. We relented.

The crowd was interesting. One would expect to see many of the rich ‘SoBo’ sort, but there was a surprisingly high amount of backpackers. They sat on their small tables, and seemed to be planning their activities for the day from Lonely Planets, Time Out Mumbai for travellers, and other such publications. It was a rather interesting mix.

The food arrived at a slow pace, but in such a pretty restaurant, we aren’t complaining. The dark chocolate waffle came with a small side of fruits, and the omelette with some vegetables. The espresso, though only a shot, came in a tall glass. It made me get a little creative and take this:

The Iced-Espresso Shot

The waffle was beyond ordinary. It was warm and soft, with the portion of sauce wafting over every crevice on the surface of the waffle. The omelette looked small and tasted perfect, filling me up rather unexpectedly. The espresso was nothing out of the ordinary, but the winner was the chocolate eclair. It was rather cheap compared to the other items on the menu. But being fresh out of the oven, it was delightfully creamy on the inside, with a generous covering of chocolate on the outside. It was the perfect ending to a superb meal.

We will come back, though if we did often, we might not have money to buy lunch, dinner or even a vada pav. It’s definitely break worth breaking the bank for, but not daily, unless you’re one of the local Richie Rich.

Le Pain Quotidien: Dhanraj Mahal,
C. S. M. Road, Apollo Bunder.

– Sarvesh Talreja

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Restaurant Review: Chocolateria San Churro

Tucked away in the large glass building of Akruti Skypark in Breach Candy is a small joint that just spells happiness.

We’re talking about Chocolateria San Churro’s. You may be wondering, what a Chocolateria could mean. You’re probably thinking on the correct lines- in case you’re thinking of chocolate oozing out of shakes/desserts/anything possible. That is EXACTLY what San Churros is about. With a new branch opened at breach candy just recently; this underrated eatery is just the place you must visit when you feel like committing sin. Their menu is dessert. Of course, there are a few savoury sandwiches, but their highlight is chocolate dips served with churros. A long deep fried stick made of flour. San churros has a great variety on their menu, ranging from the regular cheesecakes and pastries to their signature desserts (and boy, they are signature!) to creamy, rich hot chocolates. They even have merchandise to take home; though it is a tad absurd to take back a mini chocolate fondue pot (of hardly 200ml) for 800INR. Their assortment of dips is milk, white and dark, all of which taste equally divine when had with churros- depending on your preference. With a beautiful grey and orange ambience, San Churro oozes with uniqueness. And let’s face it, chocolate will never go out of fashion.

We would recommend (and so would the waiter) the Berry Bizcocho [Rs 250]. It apparently does the best too. Possibly because of its just perfect combination of ingredients: Nuts, Chilled Custard, Milk Chocolate, Strawberries and Brownie bits. (The photo should explain better)

Their display of desserts was quite neat and orderly, unlike most bakeries that seem to think otherwise. With huge sofa-like chairs, San Churro naturally has a lounge like feel to it, with a very

In spite of the fact that a few things on their menu still aren’t available; like the fruit skewer we still love the place. Another thing that will probably hold you back is the lack of much of a fruit variety to dip with your chocolate. Say you aren’t so much of a chocolate person and would prefer to dip fruits into your chocolate rather than biscottis and brownies, there isn’t much of a variety except strawberries. Whatever happened to bananas and pineapples with chocolate? Especially because strawberries are seasonal in India, San Churro could do with this menu tweak.

All in all, there isn’t another place that satisfies your chocolate fondue cravings more. Or for that matter, liquid chocolate at all.

San Churro

101, Ackruti City Emerald
Bhulabhai Desai Road
Mahalakshmi, Mumbai.

A standard meal for 2 goes to approximately Rs. 1000 including the 10%service charge.

DISCLAIMER:  The photos of this post are owned solely by sanchurro.com. I have only copied them from there as most guest-taken photos end up looking unappetizing.

-Avanti Adivarekar

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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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Trippin’ on Chocolates

Aptly registered under ‘Mood Swings Confectionery’, Pure Sin is perhaps one of the very few chocolate outlets that imparts a slight hint of bitterness to almost all of its products. Tucked away in a garage-sized area on the ground floor of a residential building in the busy Churchgate area, it is likely that you will fail to notice their board, which is not quite strategically placed.

Established in 1993, it has managed to retain its loyal clientele and attracted many more customers over the years. While it primarily caters to corporate orders especially during festivals, its impressive range of liqueur chocolates is what makes us return again and again.  Each of them have innovative names, ranging from Crusin’ the Caribbean (a heady fusion of dark rum and chocolate) to Appletini (a combination of fresh apples and vodka – a clear winner!) and a funny ‘Rumpunzel’ as well. The non-liquor range consists of sixteen varieties of chocolates – Cashew Rocks, Baby Brown, What the Fudge and Berry d’Cheez being clear favorites. The staff is friendly, obliging and happy to help you decide what to settle for. The fact that they generously offer chocolates for tasting earns them brownie points. The prices range from Rs. 1350 to Rs. 2250 per kilo for the liquor range and from Rs. 1215 to Rs. 1350 for the non-liquor ones. Unlike other chocolate parlors, they will willingly pack a tiny box of chocolates weighing 100 grams, which we generally prefer.

Chocolate Box

Photo Courtesy: Khorshed Deboo

‘Pure Sin in Circles’ (Rs. 35)  is a round biscuit coated with dollops of chocolate and available in four flavors- hazelnut, orange, milk and caramel.  They also take orders for party themed chocolate lollipops (Rs 25 to 35 per piece).

Pure Sin in Circles -- Hazelnut flavoured

Photo Courtesy: Khorshed Deboo

However, what impressed us the most was the sinfully assembled and thoughtfully wrapped lot of chocolates packed in tiny boxes. Each chocolate is carefully wrapped and tied with a tiny ribbon. There is an assortment of colors for the ribbons, which helps to find out the flavor of the chocolate as per a printed ‘key’.

Its tagline goes like this….’Too beautiful to open, too delicious not to.’ Well, enough said.

At: G-5 Pil Court, 111 Mahrashi Karve Road, Mumbai 20 

Or visit them on Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/PuresinChoco

– Khorshed Deboo 

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Chocolate and Caramel in an Ice Cream

Walk into your closest Moshe.

See the jams? And see a cookie jar right beside it? Open it. Yank out the least broken of those squares and buy it. (Or actually, even a broken one will do)

Caramel Biscuit

Photo Courtesy: Khorshed Deboo

We were on a money saving phase recently and started hunting for the cheapest of places. But, let’s face it-who can’t resist a trip to Moshe’s?

Anyway, we discovered this little square tucked away in a jar. Priced at Rs 50, It is probably the cheapest thing on their menu,along with granola bars. We’d generally wait to rip the cling film off these and begin munching into them till we very recently discovered a more innovative way to satiate sugar cravings.

Caramel Biscuit  at Moshe's

Photo Courtesy: Khorshed Deboo

Buy a small Mother Dairy Vanilla Ice cream cup (It’s for Rs.10!)and pour it into a bowl. I chopped up the biscuit into tiny squares and sprinkled them in the ice cream bowl.

Thus came to being our newest, quickest and cheapest dessert solution.

You know the best compliment we got? That it tasted like a McFlurry! That sent us to Cloud Nine.

– Avanti Adivarekar

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The Bain Marie and the Fondue Pot

Today, we were contemplating whether to buy Fondue pots or not. [Gorgeous looking ones at that]

Now, fondue pots obviously won’t substitute a water bath which too, we don’t know where to buy from. So, we’re am going to check at the regular utensil shops. But till then, what do you think would be a smarter buy, since they aren’t substitutable, or are they?

-Avanti Adivarekar

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Look who’s back!

If you couldn’t find time off your busy schedule and thus gave the Kala Ghoda festival a miss, you’ve lost out on some serious chocolate indulgence. After a noticeably successful stint at KGAF last year, we were half-expecting Glee to set up a stall. And boy, they did!

 

At ‘Glee Chocolates’ as the name goes – perhaps the most crowded stall at the festival, be it any time of the day, the prime attraction was the idea of having strawberries dipped in chocolate fondue, at Rs 20 per piece. (We were a little disappointed when they hiked the prices to Rs. 30 within two days of the festival. However, it seems their loyal clientele was irked and so they had to revert to the original price.)  Chocolate nibs and beans, available in three variants- plain milk, white and dark, were a melt in the mouth. Waffle sticks dipped in hot, molten chocolate were purely decadent. But what caught our fancy were the creatively made pencil-shaped and crayon- shaped chocolates, available in a range of flavors like almond, mint, hazelnut, coconut, caramel and dark ones as well. Reasonably priced at 25 each, they were completely worth our money.

Check out http://www.gleechocolates.com/ for their entire range of products.

– Khorshed Deboo 

 

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