Sancho’s Has Relaunched In Khar I All The Deets

By Devika Pathak December 5, 2018
Sancho's Lively Interiors Designed By Gauri Khan

I moved to Mumbai much after Sancho’s heyday, which meant I walked into the newly launched restaurant with no expectations or bias. Helmed by LA’s taco king Chef Esdras Ochoa (featured on Netflix’s The Final Table), I was excited to try some real Mexican food in Mumbai. Designed by Gauri Khan Designs, the décor is terribly underwhelming. When you think Mexican food, you think colour, spice, flavour and fiesta however the décor here focuses on shades of grey punctuated with unimaginative bursts of orange and red. Though I appreciate the modern interpretation of Latin American design styles, I don’t feel it worked well here.

Choosing a seat on the spacious patio, we started off with three cocktails: the Seasonal Slush Margarita, Sancho’s Paloma and Tommy at Sancho’s. I don’t think I’ve had better tequila cocktails in Mumbai, and considering how fast tequila is overtaking gin as the city’s drink of choice, Sancho’s is already poised for success. The last cocktail featured tequila, lime, agave nectar and was topped with a burgundy pinot noir reduction which appealed to my love for wine and cocktails simultaneously, a must try.

Sanchos Has Inventive Cocktails

Sanchos Has Inventive Cocktails

To accompany our drinks, we ordered the Chips & Salsa Trio featuring three kinds of delicious salsas of which picking a favourite was nearly impossible. We also had the Rags to Riches Guacamole which can be as rich as you choose based on your topping. We chose the black truffle pate which I wish we hadn’t because the gauc shines bright enough on its own and requires no distractions. We skipped the Munchies section on the menu as everything seemed a bit too obvious and fried and dove right into the good stuff, the tacos.

If you eat one thing this week, it has to be Ochoa’s Lamb Barbacoa Taco. A lamb leg is braised for eight hours and spiced with guajillo and morita chile, topped with salsa roja and served in a soft taco. Ochoa told me that they were still working on the tortillas, as finding the right corn flour has been difficult. The current tortillas are tough and chewy which is the only issue with the tacos. Deep and layered in terms of flavour, the lamb was perfectly cooked and incredibly complex.

New Zealand Lamb Barbacoa

New Zealand Lamb Barbacoa

We also tried the World Famous Ensenada Fish Taco and the Silver Lake Veg tacos. I can’t say no to a fried fish taco, and though I felt the cabbage was superfluous, I enjoyed the flavours and textures of this dish. As for the Silver Lake Veg made with roasted candied sweet potato, crispy kale and feta cheese; I loved the fact that here was a delicious vegetarian dish that was healthy, not fried and innovative.

The Rosarito Shrimp Cocktail was to me, a slightly watered down ceviche though my companions found it refreshing. We shared a portion of the Fuego Fajitas which can be made with the Chef’s Garden Selection, Flame Grilled Chicken or Shrimp A La Plancha (which is what we chose). Take everything you’ve ever thought about fajitas courtesy of TGIF and Chili’s, and throw them out the window because these will blow your mind all the way to Baja. The acidic, spicy shrimp went perfectly with the dense refrito beans, fresh guacamole and tangy salsa. A great dish to split between two people. The Pollo Con Papas was another winner, flame grilled chicken on a bed of fries, marinated in a charred lemon sauce you’ll be licking off your fingers. Ask for an extra portion of the jalapeno sauce it comes with because you will be putting this on EVERYTHING.

Pollo Con Papas

Pollo Con Papas

My sweet tooth is infamous and so are churros. Though a basic dessert, it’s easy to go wrong with these. I can confidently say that the churros here are the best I’ve ever tasted. Super light and fluffy, the only thing better than these deep-fried treats were the delicious sauces served with them. The salted dark chocolate that I could drink by the cup and tequila dulce de leche which needs to be turned into a cocktail were wild, complex and so nuanced, I almost ordered a second serving.

UV's Famous Tres Leches Cake

UV’s Famous Tres Leches Cake

Bandra has been in dire need for a place like Sancho’s. Somewhere that is affordable yet not a hole in the wall, where you go with the girls for a night of cocktails, a dinner date or a family lunch. I agree that there were a few bumps on the menu, but I think Ochoa will iron everything out before he heads back to Los Angeles, though he does promise to come back at least once in three months. Pick Sancho’s for your next meal out for a fiesta of flavours that you will definitely be coming back for.