Original Sin

I have always wondered but never questioned (you don’t ask questions while eating chocolate) why chocolate desserts are advertised as “sinful” but are only a source of child-like happiness & how that is even related to sinning.

The revelation happened at Sandy’s Chocolate Laboratory.

What I had made Death by Chocolate ancient. I almost died of happiness and was catapulted straight to heaven. I had Yin and Yang, a combo of molten white and dark chocolate. They call it “chocolate potion” and it was truly like a magic potion.

And enjoying it was every inch a devilish sin! Yes, I found the true meaning of committing a sin by eating that potion. I got really high (serious, with goose bumps and all!). Though I am a diehard chocoholic, I’d never discovered nirvana this way. I got a huge kick; an overdose of happiness yes, but it was accompanied by the feeling of having experienced something I was completely forbidden from doing. “I feel like I’ve just killed a person,” I told my friend jokingly.

I half-stumbled out in a happy daze. I was really glad my friend took me to office on his bike, because I doubt I’d have been able to ride mine with concentration.

Now, Sandy’s Chocolab is constantly on my mind. I’m itching to commit more sins. Hopefully, I’ll be going there again today.

Ok, here’s information that, according to me, doesn’t fit into an article on sinning, but I gotta say it anyway: Sandy’s has a range of desserts, cakes and chocolate creations to turn saints into sinners. Most of the desserts and potions are between Rs.80-200. A couple are priced very high. There’s one that’s actually called OMFG (the price is OMFG too – nearly 700 bucks; but it’s enough for more than 3 people, I heard.)

Sandy’s also has sausages, meat, hash browns, waffles, pancakes, panini and more. The meat hovers between affordable and expensive, at around Rs. 160. The cake slices start at around Rs.130 and go sky high - upto Rs.220-240 apiece (yeah, unheard of).

So, go commit a few sins with their potions and desserts! Bring out the devil in you!

Sandy’s is in RA Puram, on the lane behind Madras ENT Research Foundation, close to Cream Center (have dinner there and dessert here!). The lane is off Greenways Road, near the signal before St. Mary’s Road… blah blah, ok if you don’t understand, sorry. I’m bad at giving directions :-P. Check out Google Maps.

Couz Kahaniyaan

Me and 3P (a.k.a. Preethy), my cousin share an eternal bond built over more than a decade’s summer holidays (and countless other breaks) spent together.

Preethy wasn’t my style icon. But she was definitely fashionable, right from her childhood - always dressed up in well-put-together outfits. She earned the name ‘Style Miss’ from another of our cousins. Her 100-watt smile and model’s stance is a part of nearly every childhood picture.

Coming back to our childhood activities, here are some of the unforgettable ones…

When we were in Class 4, we pretended to be the wives of two famous movie actors at that time and played ‘house’. (She was the ‘wife’ of Rajnikant.)

One day, we were digging right near the stone steps in front of our house. After digging through several layers of mud, we thought we’d found the top of a treasure chest. Further digging revealed that it was the third step that was buried for long.

Our ‘greatest enemy’ was Eshwar, our neighbourhood kid who had quite an adventurous streak. We had plenty of fights, but we also played together sometimes. On one of those occasions (when he was all of 8 or 9), he reversed my Dad’s car out of the garage – I don’t know how I let him, and my Dad will, without doubt, get wild if he knows this!

(Are you rolling on the floor yet?)

We also came up with a ‘one-of-a-kind’ venture – The Sriram Parliament – named after
Sriram Colony, where I used to live.

‘The Sriram Parliament’ had three members – Me, 3P and her bro, Shyam, sitting on cane chairs in the garage. The chief and only political activity was snacking on biscuits.

We’d invited Eshwar to visit. He had a look and declared that he would hold an exhibition at his house the following week, where toy houses and buildings made of biscuits would be on display. (Obviously, he was inspired by our biscuits… lolz.) Of course, the exhibition never happened.

We also concocted a ‘magic potion’ in my backyard once – a complex formula created with leaves, twigs, mud and water. We then uttered some ‘mantras’ and made a wish. 3P and I wished that we should pass in our Annual exams. Shyam wished that he would get a bicycle. We passed (of course… we studied well), and he got a bicycle years later.

When we were about 14, we collaboratively wrote (I think, I wrote many of ‘em neways) about 72 short sonnets on various subjects – the chief one being infatuation. We threw that book away later.

We were also budding event managers. We planned and held 2 parties that were quite a hit among neighbourhood kids – a birthday party for Shyam, and a Christmas party. Too bad, we didn’t undertake more events.

Those were some of the most memorable things we did. Wait for more…

The French Loaf delivers the good(ie)s. Admirably!

Each day I would pass The French Loaf bakery near my house, thinking it would probably be too expensive. I buy some snack every other day and had thought that this place wouldn’t be economical for that habit (I spend a lot – but not without guilt keeping me away from some expenses :-D).

Yesterday I was loitering around that area, visiting a couple of shops but not finding what I needed. I decided to check out French Loaf, propelled by the desire to simply buy something I liked that evening :-P.

I scanned the goodies on display and my stomach made quick decisions. The prices were surprisingly affordable for a classy place. I chose a brownie, paneer puff and an apple pie (single serving size, for the day after – it was too pretty to resist).

I enjoyed the brownie in layers. It was topped with chocolate – yum yum. Then as I took a bigger bite, chunky walnut pieces delighted my taste buds – big enough to yield complete joy and satisfaction. And it was priced at just Rs. 33! It was a golden discovery for me, after trying average and downright sad ones at that price. Note this – many bakeries make yummy cakes but are best judged on the basis of their brownies.

The paneer puff was awesome. The filling was perfect, so was the crusty part. It wasn’t annoyingly flaky or buttery. Worth every bit of its 15 bucks (yeah, you read the price right!) All their puffs, rolls and croissants are priced in the range of Rs. 15-35. And each would probably be just as yummy.

Coming to the apple pie, I had it for breakfast today – because I couldn’t keep it around for long and no one would share it with me. I am not a big fan of fruits, but this one was nice with a satisfyingly thick crust that didn’t have toothache inducing hardness that I worried it might have (also, I haven’t really tried pies before). The apple pie comes at around 40 bucks.

I have lots more to try – croissants, pizza slices (yeah, they had some inviting looking stuff – but only one variety and they don’t sell whole pizzas), vegetable rolls, cakes. But the sweetness of the apple pie hasn’t left my mouth. And I can’t spoil myself with these every other day. I’ll probably wait a week before indulging again.

I hope I got you very hungry. Run to the nearest branch of The French Loaf, try some of their goodies and share your comments right here! Happy eating :-).