Fresh for the summer
Thirty-five years after it set up its first outpost in Juhu, an iconic ice cream brand has launched its first live ice cream parlour a stone's throw away
As kids, we had a tradition of parcelling ice cream from the famous Naturals for cousins who would come to the city from Delhi, which continued till the chain opened stores in the capital. Such is the popularity of the "Ice cream from Juhu Scheme", that our summers would be incomplete without scoops of their tender coconut flavour, which remains a favourite.
In February this year, the brand, which is known for its milky creations, celebrated its 35th anniversary, and with it, announced the launch of a new concept, Naturals Now (NN). Started by Raghunandan Kamath, its second innings is being spearheaded by his sons Srinivas and Siddhant. NN offers a live ice cream counter, where you can see the dessert freshly churned in front of you. They offer a large, garden-style, open-air seating area, which is a hit among kids whom we watch play hide and seek while downing scoops, when we visit their new outlet, located in the same lane as the original store, on a Friday night. It helps that the staff is warm and welcoming.
Pics/Dhara Vora Sabhnani
On the menu are seven flavours (which change every week), milkshakes and sundaes (two options for each). At the counter, seven large whirring tubs store the ice creams and they offer an option to order by the scoop (Rs 80), or a combo of all seven flavours (Rs 500), or a platter of four (Rs 260).
We seat ourselves on one of their many tables mounted on a grilled floor with several potted plants underneath, and order a platter of four and a tadgola sundae (Rs 140). Within 30 seconds of the ice cream reaching our table, we thank our stars for not picking the seven scoop platter, as the ice cream starts dripping all over our table. Naturals needs to change their tray design pronto as a lot gets wasted, and it's a messy affair.
Our platter includes a scoop of chocobite, roasted almond, sweet lime and tender coconut. The fresh churning doesn't make much of a difference to the tender coconut flavour, which tastes the same as it always has (no complaints, though). Roasted almond has a nice, nutty flavour, and scores better than the chocolate scoop. With an option to experiment, we wish they would choose a better or a different kind of chocolate to add to their ice cream. The sweet lime ice cream is our favourite, where the flavour of the fresh fruit manages to hold its own despite the strong, milky taste of the base. As for the sundae, we can hardly taste the tadgola in the creamy concoction, and feel that the subtle flavour of ice apples is better suited for a sorbet than a milky ice cream.
Stuffed with our quota for the whole month, we are convinced that the live churning doesn't make much of a difference to the taste of the iconic creation. Regardless of that, they still deliver their signature milky flavour, and the platters are value for money. So, if you wish to experience your favourite ice cream in a sit-down set up, NN will fulfil that wish.
AT: Naturals Now, 13th North South Road, JVPD Scheme, Juhu.
TIME: 11 am to 1 am
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