While we’re not exactly thrilled about the never-ending heat wave that’s been upon us most of this year, but we’ve always been cone half-full people. The ice-cream cone that is. If there’s one thing that makes us a little less lethargic these days, it’s the thought of a delicious, creamy scoop of ice-cream.
As one of those desserts that’s universally voted as number one all over the world, it goes without saying that we all have our own versions. India has kulfi, Italy has gelato, France has parfait and the list goes on. But considering it’s been around since the second century B.C. according to some, it’s even more natural that it’s gone through many flavours and forms. Luckily for us, dessert maestros aren’t done with the innovation just yet, either. Keeping that in mind, we’ve shortlisted some of the most unique ice creams to be had across Mumbai.
With flavours as unique as beer, bacon, and masala chai, going out for ice cream may never be the same again.
I. Bacon And Olive Oil Ice Cream at Mezzo Mezzo, Marriott Mumbai, Juhu
Homemade, hand-churned with olive oil, contains chunks of bacon. We don’t think we need to say any more.
Cost: Doesn’t really matter because you know you’ll order it anyway
II. Beer Popsicles at The White Owl, Lower Parel
Freshly brewed beer turned into iced lollies and served on a base of butter cookie crumbs. Ok, hold up, we hear angels singing.
Cost: Can we get a hallelujah at Rs. 195
III. Blue Cheese And Honey Ice Cream at The Caramel Carousel, Bandra
If you’ve never experienced what happens to your palate when you mix the strong taste of blue cheese with the soothing mellow notes of honey, this ice cream could change your life.
Cost: Half a kilo of life-changing happiness at Rs. 600
IV. Bubbling Kulfi at Spice Klub, Lower Parel
This vegetarian eatery at Lower Parel is known for its molecular approach to food. Its deconstructed vada pav and test tube paani puri are hits, as are some of its desserts. But the one that really gets us is the Bubbling Kulfi. Their take on everyone’s favourite Indian ice cream is served in a flask with liquid nitrogen and five different flavourings—rose, chocolate, rabdi, caramel and blueberry.
Cost: Rs. 355 for a magical experience
V. Chai Ice Cream at Masala Library By Jiggs Kalra, BKC
If you’re the kind of person who skips dessert in favour of a cup of tea at the end of the meal, this chai-flavoured ice cream may let you enjoy the best of both. Homemade chai ice cream is topped with cutting chai foam and served with a helping of masala cinnamon cookies
Cost: Who says you have to pick between chai and dessert at Rs. 475
VI. Chocolate Raspberry Sphere at Hakkasan, Bandra
Hakkasan’s Chocolate Raspberry Sphere is the kind of decadent dessert we treat ourselves to once in a way. It consists of a sphere made of chocolate and raspberry on top of a cake crumble that’s served with a scoop of ice cream on the side. Dig in and don’t share.
Cost: Fancy but fulfilling at Rs. 500
VII. Chocolate Symphony at The Table, Colaba
If the name of this dish doesn’t catch your eye, wait till it’s placed in front of you. Just look at it. Can you even handle the amount of chocolate on this plate?
Cost: Your tummy will be a happy camper at Rs. 475
VIII. Chocolate Truffle and Whiskey Ice Cream at Gallops, Mahalaxmi
Gallops at the Mahalaxmi Racecourse has an enviable view, a staggeringly huge menu, and now, these delicious little chocolate truffles with their amazing in-house whisky ice cream. As if the richness of those truffles weren’t enough, the smooth texture of an ice cream with hints of whisky running through it is definitely going to get your heart racing.
Cost: Totally worth it at Rs. 300
IX. Cookie Ice Cream at Ellipsis, Colaba
Cookies + ice cream = every kid’s dream come true. As adults, we’re probably not that much different. And this treat from Ellipsis is going to make you happier than you thought you could ever be after a meal.
Cost: Sweet dreams are made of these at Rs. 110
X. Dark Chocolate and Candied Ginger at Sucres des Terres, Worli
Few spices compliment chocolate as well as ginger does. It adds a layer of depth and warmth to the chocolate that’s very hard to resist.
Cost: Very palate pleasing at Rs. 650
XI. Drunken Waffle Sundae at Indigo Deli, Colaba
It’s probably best to make this your meal—instead of attempting to finish a deli-size portion of anything—before tackling one of these sundaes. First, come deep-dish waffles. Then, come scoops of rum & raisin and chocolate ice creams, granola, jelly, fresh cream and rum anglaise.
Cost: Popping that top button on your trousers has never felt so good at Rs. 515
XII. Green Chilli Ice Cream at Bachelorr’s, Chowpatty
Everyone’s favourite late night ice cream joint has been around for ages. Next time you swing by, try their Green Chilli Ice Cream. Beware: you can’t see the chillies, but the spice lurks on the inside.
Cost: A spicy mouthful at Rs. 35
XIII. Green Tea Mochi Ice Cream at Kofuku, Bandra
Green tea ice cream is the classic end to a Japanese meal. It’s made from pounded sticky rice with an ice cream filling and puts a confectionary twist to ending your meal with green tea.
Cost: Don’t be put off by the colour, they’re delicious at Rs.250
XIV. Guava Chilli Sorbet at The Sassy Spoon, Nariman Point
The sourness of guava mixed with the searing heat of red chillies, the deep warmth of black pepper and a tongue-tingling dash of chaat masala.
Cost: Adventure in a scoop at Rs. 140
XV. Guava Glory at Apsara Ice Cream, Walkeshwar
Apsara at Walkeshwar has been dedicatedly serving ice cream to legions of fans for years. No summer night is complete without a massive traffic snarl outside their store as people grapple to get indoors and order their favourite ice creams to go. While most go for traditional options, we suggest the Guava Glory. It’s delicious and just what summer calls for. Plus, they even sprinkle chaat masala on top.
Cost: Rs. 250 for half a kilo of sweet-yet-tangy goodness
XVI. Kolkata Meetha Paan Ice Cream at Amaya Indian Grill & Kitchen, Kurla
This dessert will probably put an end to the average Indian family’s after-dinner dilemma: dessert or paan? Good news! You don’t have to choose any more if you opt for the Kolkata Meetha Paan Ice Cream. It’s got gulkand, little sultanas and shredded betel nut and coconut.
Cost: Get the best of both worlds at Rs. 145
XVII. Lemongrass Ice Cream by Bina’s Homemade Ice Creams, Chowpatty
Bina Doshi makes delicious unique ice creams from her South Mumbai workshop and all her ice creams are hand churned. Try the Lemongrass; it’s incredibly refreshing. She only makes ice creams on order, so you know you’re always getting fresh stuff.
Cost: Rs. 450 per litre
XVIII. Masala Chai Popsicle at The Bombay Canteen, Lower Parel
Yet another fusion offering, Bombay Canteen’s masala chai popsicle is made by Sucres des Terres and consists of India’s favourite hot beverage frozen on a stick and served with biscuit crumble and caramel sauce.
Cost: Any time is chai time at Rs. 200
XIX. Orange-Apricot Ice Cream at Soam, Babulnath
Soam’s endless queues are usually for its delicious food, but in the peak of summer you’ll find those waiting for a table simultaneously bemoaning the heat and lusting after this restaurant’s Orange-Apricot Ice Cream. Doesn’t get much better than a refreshing fruit blast when the mercury soars.
Cost: At Rs. 160, order multiple scoops
XX. Nolen Gur Ice Cream at Oh! Calcutta, Tardeo
As kids, we would sneak little lumps of gur from our kitchen stores and gobble them up away from the prying eyes of our parents. As adults, we may not resort to such behaviour, but that doesn’t mean we’ve lost our love for good ol’ gur. The best way for any mature, respectable adult to scarf down this sweet treat is by way of ice cream, and Oh! Calcutta’s Nolen Gur ice cream is a real treat.
Cost: Super pocket friendly at Rs. 120
XXI. Prune and Armagnac Ice Cream at Café by the NCPA, Nariman Point
We’ll confess we aren’t crazy about prunes, but when they meet Armagnac in a sweet marriage of flavour the result is not something to be trifled with. This decadent treat is an absolute winner and one serving is usually not enough.
Cost: A mature dessert at a reasonable Rs. 250
XXII. Sea Salt And Truffle Ice Cream at Yuuka, Lower Parel
The salt in this ice cream seriously heightens the rich truffle flavour, adding a new dimension of taste, while the three accompanying tofu balls coated in sesame add texture.
Cost: Intensity in a bowl at Rs. 850
XXIII. Sticky Rice & Mangoes served with Tender Coconut & Sesame Ice Cream at Icekraft, Oshiwara
Hand-churned ice cream on a freezing plate is served to customers at Oshiwara’s Icekraft, as each patron is invited to create their own dessert. Once you pick your flavour base, you can mix and match any three toppings and a sauce, so let your imagination run wild and go ice cream crazy. From the Motichur and Rabbdi to the Aam Panna pop rocks ice cream, Icekraft experiments with delicious flavours, and they’re topped with Pulse Candy crunch. For those looking for some chocolate decadence, the Double Chocolate Cookie Dough is the one to try. And for the truly experimental sweet-toothed bunch, the Sticky Rice & Mangoes with Tender Coconut & Sesame ice cream is exactly as scrumptious as it sounds.
Cost: Ice cream innovation for Rs. 209.
XXIV. The Big Bang Theory at Joss, Juhu
This one is as unique as they come. To be honest, it’s more of a unique dessert with ice cream playing a central role, than a unique ice cream by itself. A special silicon mat is laid down at your table, and the chef lays out the universe in front of you—crème brulee for planets; drizzles of mango, chocolate and raspberry sauces for orbits; crushed nougat for stardust and stars made of meringue. The piece de resistance is a meringue bomb in the centre (Earth) that breaks open to release cream, ice cream and blueberry coulis. The Big Bang Theory is a live dessert demo that no one should miss out on.
Cost: Expensive at Rs. 1,750, but the experience makes it worth it
Ice Cream Sandwiches at K Rustom’s
No article on ice cream in Mumbai is complete without the mention of the legendary K Rustom’s at Churchgate. We’ve been addicted to their ice cream sandwiches since we were kids. They were once a weekend novelty thanks to our parents but now that we can buy them ourselves we tend to stop by a lot more often. They have an exhaustive range of flavours ranging from regular chocolate and coffee, to fruity offerings including papaya, mango and strawberry, and even rather more unique flavours like ginger lemon. Stop by and take your time to browse the chalkboard menu before deciding on one (or five).
Cost: Rs. 80, a pittance for nostalgia
Words: Neville Bhandara
[Know any more unique ice creams that should have been on this list? Tell us in the comments section below and we'll add them to the updated list.]