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Hola! Mexicana

Cheerful, inexpensive eatery brings a touch of Mexico to central Delhi

india Updated: Feb 18, 2010 20:25 IST
Jimmy Chew

Don’t know if television’s Ugly Betty will okay the food being turned out at Sancho’s in Connaught Place as being “as good as her papi makes” but the cost-conscious magazine assistant is unlikely to complain about the pricing.

The Mexican eatery has added a new two-level restaurant in CP to its existing South Extension property and offers a good value for money dining experience where the food and service is good enough to guarantee repeat visits.

On the day we ventured in for lunch, the place was empty bar one expat family with a cute kid who seemed happy enough to run around while his parents tucked into their burritos.
Sancho’s décor is as all over the place and as stereotyped as Betty’s own dress sense. Of course you will find images of Mexicans with banjos and and sombreros, there’s the obligatory cacti on the burnt sienna colourwashed walls and the rustic chairs and tables. It looks like a happy family place. If you’re one of those snobs who like whitewashed walls and ironic décor, it’s not for you.

Sancho’s is also not for you if you’re on a diet. Even though this cuisine has given the world healthy guacamole, salsa and picot de gallo, Mexican food, as it is served up all over the world with the exception possibly of Mexico itself, is a greasy, deep fried, breaded, sauced and melted-cheese-over-everything affair. It appears to be designed to soak up many bottle of Sol and shots of tequila which one feels compelled to drink lots of in such cheerful environs.

The menu feels very steakhouse Tex-Mex but it is a genuine attempt at offering up real Mexican food, albeit with an interpretation a little more suited for the foreign palate.
We ordered a starter platter (Rs699), which is not on the menu but can be made up if you request it.

This is very good value for money sampler that could easily feed four people and offered up taquitos (tiny soft burritos with very tasty – but deep fried! – beer battered California fish); nicely spiced Ajillo prawns served on small pieces of bread topped with refried beans; deboned “flaming” chicken wings (very spicy and heavily sauced but really tasty); and some chicken chimichanga (deep fried tortillas with nice sour cream and roasted tomato salsa).

For mains we tried a perfectly cooked medium tenderloin steak (Rs429) served, sadly, with corn on the cob and some not so nice-tasting potato wedges. And we had the chicken Chocolate Mole (Rs499) because what is a true Mexican meal without some cocoa? Mole should be a complex sauce but while Sancho’s proclaims that their version contains some 30 ingredients, most of these had been drowned out by the cocoa and the chicken on which this chocolate frosting sat was too bland. We tried a touch of the mole with the spicier chicken wings and it was delicious.

We were too full for dessert so missed out on the yummy Churros (deep fried delicious finger-shaped doughnuts) but we left happy
enough with the meal and will possibly return with a big bunch of noisy friends when they get their liquor license. It’s that kind of Friday after-work hangout.

tastingplate@gmail.com

Vital stats
Name: Sancho’s
Address: M48 Outer Circle, Connaught Place (opp Shankar Market)
Phone: 011 43623000
Meal for two: Rs 1,400 (plus taxes)

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