Blue Cheese Honey, Dark Chocolate Italian Truffle Oil and Pondicherry Vanilla are just some of the intriguing flavours mentioned on a blackboard outside a tiny store in a bylane near Bandra’s Mehboob Studio. A signboard asks patrons ‘to ring a bell’ to place their order, as the ice cream parlour is a takeaway-only joint. Our press privilege, however, allows us a glimpse into the boutique.
Alyssa (left) with sister Simone Chesson at the ice cream parlour. Pic/Atul Kamble
Just a little larger than an ice cream truck, this is where the 20-something sisters, Alyssa and Simone Chesson, have created wildly wonderful scoops. Alyssa, a Cordon Bleu graduate, has harboured the idea since childhood, “When most little girls wanted dolls, I wanted an ice cream maker!” Her addiction to ice cream led to her describing her moods with flavours: mint-chocolate chip meant a good mood and dark chocolate was cryptic for enduring a crush.
Blue Cheese Honey
Post graduation, Alyssa returned to the city to work with Yauatcha, and later, started Caramel Carousel, a takeaway patisserie that still operates from the same address. But her dream lived on. “I realised there was a gap in the market for all-natural and unique flavoured ice creams.” And Bono was born, a little over a month ago, with a little help from Simone, who manages branding, accounts and operations.
White Chocolate Passion Fruit
Creaming it up
Alyssa runs us through the making: They use only organic milk and no preservatives, stabilisers or emulsifiers. The emphasis is on natural products. Alyssa whips up the Blue Cheese Honey right before our eyes. She uses the ‘French method’ where the egg yolk and milk are tempered together, without allowing the mixture to boil. While still warm, the milk is poured over the blue cheese. Once it reaches room temperature, the cream and honey are added to the mix. It is then allowed to freeze.
We taste the finished product, which unlike our idea of ice cream, is savoury. Pungent cheese coats the palate, followed by a hint of honey, while milk evens out the cheesy flavour. The burst of unique ingredients plays peek-a-boo with the palate such that you never know what comes next.
In the Dark Chocolate Italian Truffle Oil, you can smell the truffle before you taste it. Yet, you don’t know what’s in store because the earthiness of truffle is met with the bitter-sweet of dark chocolate, making for a strange delicious and indescribable flavour.
Even the run-of-the-mill Hazelnut scoop tastes different at Bono. The secret lies in the fact that the sisters don’t skimp on the main ingredients, which are almost always exotic and pricey. Little wonder that they sell only by the (half-litre) tub, and most flavours cost Rs 600, save for the Sugar-Free Dark Chocolate Sea Salt (Rs 700), and the Dark Chocolate Italian Truffle Oil (Rs 900).
The ice creams live up to their ‘natural’ tag and you can feel the freshness. Everything is whipped up solely by the duo, allowing them to monitor the quality. In all, Bono has 10 year-round flavours along with five-odd seasonal varieties — strawberries in winter and raspberries just as monsoons come to an end.
If you’re looking for ice cream with a twist, head to Bono because there’s absolutely nothing vanilla about this joint. We only wish the space was larger to allow for seating, and that they served in single scoops too.
Time Weekdays: 10 am to 3 pm and 5.30 pm to 9.30 pm. On weekends, deliveries may be arranged. Call for details.
At: Rebello Road, Bandra (W).
Call: 9819758593 (delivery across Mumbai)