Juhu’s new frozen yoghurt store, Smooch, might as well have been designed by a dentist on LSD. That’s not to say that we didn’t like the white bucket seats, bright lights and candy-striped wallpaper, but we always find it a little tough to shake off associations to the medical profession each time we come across cornstarch interiors such as these.
They claim to offer 100 flavours on a rotational basis, which means that you can choose from six flavours on a particular day. Original Tart, Strawberry Delight, Chocolate, Butterscotch, Peachy Peach and Pink Mochi, a flavour based on the Japanese confection made with sticky rice and red bean paste, were on the menu the day we stopped by.
It’s self-service, so basically you have to choose from a medium or large plastic cup that you place under what looks like a softie ice-cream machine, dispensing the yoghurt of your choice. You could even mix and match flavours. That done, you can choose from 27 toppings. These include fruits (mango, kiwi, pomegranate), chocolate confections (Maltesers, M&Ms) and an assortment of candied and preserved fruits.
The yoghurt is charged by weight (Rs 0.85 per gram and Rs 1.10 per gram with toppings). So, expect to pay between Rs 100 to Rs 150 for a medium serving with toppings. The Original Tart tasted similar to the flavour of a crème brulée. We choose a strawberry purée topping that turned out to be cloyingly sweet, overpowering the tartness of the yoghurt. Skip the ‘fresh’ raspberries and strawberries, because they are likely to be too sour.
This flavour works best on its own The Butterscotch flavour was disappointing. While we didn’t quite expect the crunch of caramel, we were hoping for some of its flavour to come through. The highlight of the dessert, disappointingly, was the topping of Chocolate Sauce with Cookies. Fans of frozen yoghurt will like the Pink Mochi: It’s creamy and carries just the right amount of tartness. Again, works best on its own.
The novelty value of Smooch might soon wear off, in no small part due to its proximity to other frozen yoghurt shops in the area. But given that fro-yo shops are likely to become what softie ice cream parlours were to the ’80s, it seems destined to be around. At least for now.
At: Smooch, Sagarika building, Juhu Tara Road.