Mumbai Food: LA's taco king to serve Mexican menu for Sancho's version 2.0
LA's taco king, chef Esdras Ochoa, is ready with an authentic Mexican menu for Sancho's version 2.0, which opens next weekend
Since his arrival in Mumbai, Esdras Ochoa has been taking auto rides across the city in search of good pani puri and other street food. The 36-year-old chef, apart from wearing his cap backward, also wears the title of Taco King in Los Angeles, where he first put up a taco stall in 2009, to pay homage to his hometown Mexicali, a US border town of Calexico.
At the time, it was to make ends meet during recession. "I wanted to be a fashion designer, but life had other plans," says Ochoa, whose Instagram handle shows off his beautiful artworks.
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He is in Mumbai to collaborate with chef Amninder Sandhu for the relaunch of Sancho's. Interestingly, the journey began last year on the sets of Final Table, a culinary competition show on Netflix, which release on November 20.
"We bonded over chillies, an integral element in both Indian and Mexican cuisine," says chef Sandhu. "I told him about bhut jolokias, the spiciest chillies in the world from the North East, which is where I come from," she adds, as Ochoa shared notes on the habenaro, arbol and moritas.
Mex Street Corn : This remind us of butta, but one juicy bite and the butter poached corbs drenched in mayonnaise tell us it's richer, rubbed with hints of the feta-like cotija cheese. Tajin - a spice condiment of chilli peppers, lime and salt - does the zing job here. Rs 275
The two hit it off over their love for food, and, Sandhu even travelled to Mexico after the show to get a taste of its fare finding a similarity in Indian cuisine. The restaurant is ready to open its domed orange door on November 23, replacing The Korner House in Pali Hill. Designed by Gauri Khan, the space is divided into a casual alfresco and an indoor - the two realms separated by large glass panel windows that open out like a sun roof.
World Famous Ensenada Fish Taco : Each of the classic Ochoa style soft-shell tortillas hold a wedge of beer-battered red snapper drenched in chipotle mayonnaise and salsa arbol. Rs 525
The space has elements from Mexico in the form of an Aztec carpet wall panels and Freida Kahlo portraits.For the kitchen, while the chillies like habanero, arbol and moritas will come from Mexico, Ochoa tells us about the feta-like cotija cheese, which takes some effort to bring here. "I could start a cheese cartel, and El Chapo will be proud of me," he laughs.
Chefs Amninder Sandhu and Esdras Ochea. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
Ochoa, however, breaks a few myths. "We don't use black olives, nor eat nachos regularly. Burritos are a rarity, and do not have sour cream," he says, adding, "The first Sanchos, served Mexican food. This one will serve authentic Mehican food."
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