Cream and shout
We did a taste test at three of 2018's most exciting ice-cream parlours to check which tub you should be picking up first
It's home style
On a breezy Sunday in December we head to Krème de la Krème - The Gelateria, a cosy little space located in Vile Parle, and founder Aditi Nayak Chaudhari's brainchild. On offer are a range of ice cream-based treats in intriguing flavours. We call for guava chilli and filter kappi (Rs 76 each for a single scoop).
The guava chilli is reminiscent of the sweet and ripe fruit we often purchased from roadside thelawallas who would serve it with a sprinkle of rock salt and chilli powder mix, much like the scoop here is garnished. The creamy filter kaapi captures perfectly the South India's favourite caffeine fix.
The oatmeal cookie sandwich with strawberry shortcake ice cream (Rs 142) has warm and brittle cookies ensconcing a hearty dollop of strawberry ice cream with a mulled flavour that you won't find in mass-produced and overtly sweet variants. It comes with an added surprise of spongy shortcake pieces, rendering our little Sunday outing a truly merry one.
TIME: 12 pm to 12 am
AT: Hanuman Road, Vile Parle East.
Ambience: The space, speckled with pastel colours and dotted with warm yellow park benches, looks straight out of an Enid Blyton book. Etsy-variety miniature indoor plants and knick-knacks like a decorative auto add to its toy-town look.
Service: The waiters are friendly and prompt as well as forthcoming when asked for suggestions. They seem to be well aware of the menu and good at guessing who is likely to enjoy which flavour.
Pastry-very berry cheesecake
A berry affair
Of all the places we visit, that are either humbly done-up or have an endearing vibe, Huber and Holly with its two-week-old Juhu outlet is the largest. Their menu features ice cream pastries and cakes over and above handmade ice creams and tornado shakes. First up, we call for a creations cookie monster (Rs 175), a combination of silk chocolate chip and cookies and cream ice cream loaded with cookie buttons, crushed oreos, and liquid chocovita, that is akin to chocolate syrup but less rich and therefore compromised.
Creations cookie monster
This "creation," so to speak, is a classic example of how too many cooks spoil the broth and the overload of all the assortments overshadows the ice cream entirely. It's much too sweet for our liking, too. The pastry-very berry cheesecake (Rs 200) is a decadent ice-cream dessert with a blueberry base (that's a little too thin) and intermittent layers of vanilla and blueberry ice cream donned with frozen berries. The only issue here though, was having to wait for quite a while for the sweet treat to soften after we almost had a spoon flying across the room trying to break into it.
TIME: 11 am to 12.30 am
AT: Beach Haven II, Juhu Tara Road, Juhu.
Ambience: Located in a prime spot the outlet is sure to draw crowds. The interiors aren't memorable for it follows a basic QSR-like module with long tables and simple chairs. We had opted for the bar stools facing the road.
Service: The servers here are forthcoming and eager to take you through the menu and help select items, however we wish the space was more interactive.
Ringing in the Dilli chills
We remember spending endless nights in Delhi tucked inside fluffy quilts, enjoying feel-good movies and sharing a tub of the city's famed Giani's ice cream with our roommate back in 2015. So, earlier this year, when we noticed an outlet in Hill Road, we could hardly contain our excitement. When we finally paid a visit , we waste no time in calling for chunky monkey (Rs 81) - our favourite flavour from the joint - a creamy vanilla scoop with swirls of chocolate caramel and hints of biscotti. Two years later, it continues to taste just as good, though perhaps melting sooner in this city.
We try a new addition (or at least new to us, having been away from Delhi) - the berry pudding, a blueberry-flavoured ice cream with rich textures and spotted with soft pieces of cake. We are happy to notice that the quality or service hasn't declined even as the franchise spreads its wings across Mumbai, opening outlets at lightning speed with a target of 15 joints by the end of the first quarter of 2019. It seems of all the things Mumbaikars hate about Delhi, this won't be one.
TIME: 12 pm to 12 am
AT: Giani's (all outlets).
CALL: 9987507368 (Hill Road)
Ambience: The interiors are simple and no-frills, barring one wall that is covered with doodles reading "I 'heart' Mumbai" and cartoon-like caricatures of ice cream kiosks.
Service: Warm and friendly. Late into the night, some flavours were out of stock, following which we were gently urged to opt for similar options that the servers were aware of: a good sign.
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