The tables at Shanthi Colony’s new Theobroma are full before noon, and it’s a weekday. We find a compact two-seater in the corner and quickly jump out, lest we have to juggle our big order of gooey brownies from the Mumbai patisserie in one hand while we eat with the other. It’s been a month since Chennai’s first outlet opened in Anna Nagar, in the familiar aqua green and pink brand colors you might have seen in one of the brand’s 100-odd outlets Across the country. And soon after, a second one opened in Nungambakkam.
Just like the standardized interiors, “The menu you’ll find in Chennai is exactly the same as you’ll find anywhere else in the country,” says CEO Rishi Gour. Expect a huge assortment of brownies, croissants and danishes, tea cakes, cookies and crackers, pastries and savory offerings like sandwiches and rolls. We find out between bites of a slice of pineapple with creme fraiche (you can opt for an eggless variant) that all of these offerings are imported from Bangalore’s central kitchen to maintain quality and taste. “We have a few cold vans that leave at 4 a.m. every day to reach Chennai at 9 a.m.,” Rishi says.
We alternate the sweet with the salty and enjoy a hearty roast chicken sandwich with lettuce for the crunch, tomato slices for a bit of juiciness and homemade mustard to finish. Back to sweet: The Banoffee High, a take on the English dessert, is creamy with fresh banana slices and caramel but has a hard crust that defeats it, meanwhile we’re overwhelmed with the range of brownies available that range from sprinkles from chocolate to caramel via Chocolate & Raspberry and end up asking for the classic. If you fancy a dessert without chocolate, we recommend the lemon tart which is the perfect balance of sweet and tangy with a golden buttery crust. The Red Velvet pastry comes second.
Open 8 a.m. to midnight. INR 75 upwards.