Eat like a Mexican at this Andheri restaurant

Sammy Sosa’s new seating area resembles a typical Mexican house and its novel menu serves authentic comfort food with delicious, contemporary twists

Enter Sammy Sosa, the seven-year-old Mexican restaurant at Oshiwara, and you’ll find the usual family-diner seating. However, if you crave a more chilled-out atmosphere, where you can hang out and drink at leisure, raise your fist in the air and throw in some cuss words during a match, brothers Virat and Samrat Kapoor will show you the door, literally. An extension to the present space at Oshiwara, this one leads you into a Mexican home, tiled with talavera tiles with quaint motifs, a well-stocked bar, and tables that can accommodate large groups.

The new seating area at Sammy Sosa’s
The new seating area at Sammy Sosa’s

When the owners came up with the idea to create a new space with casual seating for youngsters (at heart, of course), they asked their US-based parents to make a trip to Mexico and shop for all things local to furnish this home — ponchos, hats, colourful paintings, talavera tiles and vintage Mexican plates.

Carne Asada has a smoky flavour and The Tid Bit Chicken is a contemporary version of nachos. Pics/Phorum Dalal
Carne Asada has a smoky flavour and The Tid Bit Chicken is a contemporary version of nachos. Pics/Phorum Dalal

The pastel orange walls, bright red and green tables, and carved wooden chairs give us the feel of a Mexican home. Divided into a ground and mezzanine seating area, we select a corner table and soak in the ambiance. We do what regulars at Sammy Sosa do, leave the order to the owners — self-proclaimed ‘talking menus’ — who know best.

Virat asks us for our preferences and offers to chart our gastronomic journey. We flip through the menu, which has great quotable quotes, while we wait for the food to arrive. The beer menu is like a coffee table book, which offers 45 international beers. Alas, we have walked in on a dry day.

Sammy Sosa

Our first bite of the meal is Nachos with Beans and Salsa (Rs 290) and it comes to us in style. A bowl of freshly-baked tortilla chips is topped with black beans, salsa, cheese and cabbage with a side dip of guacamole, sour cream and salsa. While one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, you can judge a Mexican restaurant by its nachos. This one was crispy, cheesy and classic.

Those who like all things contemporary, try the Tit Bit Chicken (Rs 299), a special house dish that replaces the tortilla in a nacho dish with chicken pieces. The same toppings come on grilled chicken pieces, but will invoke many amazed exclamations.

If you are one to keep a strict control on your diet, the Spinach Ville Salad (Rs 220) is for you. Fresh spinach, American corn, roasted potatoes, cucumber and lettuce are marinated in yoghurt. While we missed a little salt and seasoning, we recommend this to those who want to steer clear of Mexican chillies.

While we take a few selfies wearing the sombreros (or Mexican hats) that hung on one of the walls, Carne Asada (R470) is placed on our table. A sight to behold, it is the good ol’ Fajitas, a Tex-Mex dish of grilled meat usually served as a taco on a flour or corn tortilla, with a twist. In a DIY serving, the soft tortilla is smoked in an oven over coal and chillies and topped with jalepenos, lettuce, olives, bellpeppers, zucchini and served with Mexican rice. Seen kids make a mess when they eat? This dish demands us to get our hands dirty to satiate our drooling taste buds.

While we skim through the menu, we spot Chello Kebabs (Rs 430), a staple street-food item in Kolkata, which fuses Mexican and Iranian cuisine. The Middle Eastern marination of the chicken in yogurt drapes its flavours around the Spanish tangy rice topped with cheese, oven baked with preserved chillies, and creates a blend that makes you pause to appreciate each morsel.

Our guilt trip ends with a light dessert, the Pumpkin Tart (Rs 229), which is low on sugar but high on happiness. The soft pumpkin filling is topped with white cream and the pie crumbles gently when we dig in. Taking cue from the 2007 Hollywood film, Waitress, in which the protagonist Jenna names every pie she makes, we call this one the To Share Happiness on A Plate Pie.

While the old Sammy Sosa made its mark with its authentic cuisine and service, its extended arm enhances the experience with its new décor and an improved beer and food menu.

We cannot rate the experience, as it was an invitation.

At: 18, Meera CHS, Link Road, Oshiwara, Andheri West
Service: Attentive
Food: Appetising
Ambiance: Lively
Price: R1,200 without alcohol
Call: 65278722, 65278744

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