Churros ‘n’ Cholocolate ‘n’ Glebe

Churros y Chocolate“You can get your chocolate from the Bald Man, or you can get it from the Hot Man,” says Kelly Smith, the founder of Chocolateria San Churro, as she stares up admirably at her long-haired hunk of a mascot who she obviously thinks stands up well to competing chocolatier Max Brenner’s icon. Indeed, from his menu perch, the long-haired, chin-bearded San Churro does have a pretty face, which Kelly admits may have gotten a bit of embellishment and inspiration from a dancer in a J-Lo video. As you do.

I’m not sure if they sex up churros like this in Spain, but in any case it’s a welcome sight to see a fair dinkum Spanish doughnut in Sydney. Until recently, I could only get questionably fresh churros from Cafe Hernandez (a far cry from their excellent coffee), with the worst part being a stubborn lack of dipping chocolate. Then I finally found the real deal at Newtown’s Madame Fling Flong last month, but it’s an aside to the cocktails and funky grooves, whereas there is a full-scale churro assault going on at San Churro.

Chocolateria San ChurroHere they’re putting serious bucks behind their churros, expanding from their four original outlets in Melbourne to open this initial Sydney outpost in Glebe, with Miranda and a forthcoming Chatswood store hot on the heels. I arrive at the Glebe doors at 7pm-ish for the opening night party, held a mere four weeks after the doors first opened. (Isn’t Glebe such the hot foodie hub at the moment?) The place looks so Northern Hemisphere with its wintery black-painted wood exterior. Inside, the wooden floor is packed with journos, locals, staff and distinguished guests and is soon filled with the frenetic strumming of flamenco guitarist Jorge Campano, joined by the stomping and spinning of two flamenco dancers.

The churros are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside – one fellow food journo finds them a bit too dense, but I’m pleasantly happy – and come with any of three thick-chocolate dippings: milk, white or dark. A peak over the counter unveils the churros being fried up in large oil vat in the corner. There are also plenty of other chocolatey diversions to tempt the hardcore ‘holics: eight types of hot chocolate, an abundance of Spanish truffles for couverture chocolate, milkshakes, ice-cream, sundaes and more.

When the speeches start, we get a bit of a history lesson. Apparently, cocoa was absconded from the Aztecs by Cortes in the 1500s, who then brought the beans back to Spain and delivered them to the king. For about 100 years, chocolate was a tightly held secret by Spanish monks until, wouldn’ja know, San Churro let the choc out of the bag.

Chocolateria San ChurroLittle would San the Hot Man have guessed that half a millennia later, someone would roll his unveiled state secret in a ball, cover it in a textured substance and immerse it in a cauldron of bubbling oil. Which is exactly what the Choclateria San Churro does with its deep-friend chocolate truffles (‘trufas fritas’), and they are the crowing achievement here. The crisp exterior gives way to an oozing, hot, gooey chocolate centre, and it is a masterful way of spoiling one’s appetite before dinner.

As for the churros, they do the trick and should give the Bald Man a run for his money… even if I do miss enjoying mine slouched in a cushy vintage couch at Madame Fling Flong.

San Churro Chocolateria, 47 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe, NSW, (02) 9692 0119.

Chocolateria San Churro on Urbanspoon

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Debbie on October 23, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    Thanks for the feedback Simon. I didn’t mean to imply that the Good Living review was a result of PR (of course). It was really just an off-the-cuff comment, as I feel like I’ve read about a billion reviews of the place at this point. But obviously that’s sometimes just what happens when a place is so bloody good that everyone wants to spread the word.

    It must indeed be tempting sometimes to keep such news to oneself. I sometimes wonder if Matthew Evans regrets that Spice I Am review now for that reason.

    Anyway, I’m sure GPD is great. Obviously I’ll have to check it out for myself at some point.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Simon Thomsen on October 22, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    To answer Debbie’s rhetorical question, no-one did PR for GPD. They didn’t want the publicity, or the attention (I think they even avoided being listed on directory assistance initially), but we found it, and wrote about it anyway, because it’s bloody good, although my plan would have always been to tell you it was rubbish so i could still get a table there….

    Reply

  3. Yet another place I”m glad you reviewed, as being a fan of Churros (and all-things-Spanish-food generally) I’m curious. Although I do wonder how sustainable such a place is once the novelty wears off.

    And have you been to Glebe Point Diner yet? Is it all it’s cracked up to be? I do think if I read *another* review of the place I may scream. I’m sure it’s good and all but I can’t help wonder who is doing their PR as the attention does seem a tad excessive.

    Reply

  4. Posted by John Newton on October 5, 2007 at 7:50 am

    It was the missionary nuns at Guajaca in Mexico who first introduced chocolate to sugar and vanilla, believing that the spices and flavourings added by the indigenous people made it a drink of the devil: the sugar turned it into a sweet Christian drink. These nuns also invented the savoury chocolate sauce known as mole, still used today in Spain.

    But of course you knew that the history was a crock – not of chocolate but shit

    Reply

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