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Sugar, spice and all things ice

Cloying sweet flavours are a thing of the past. Now, ice cream makers are indulging our dessert cravings with audacious, adult flavours. We freeze on the six best in the city

india Updated: Dec 04, 2012 16:01 IST
Sonal Ved

Non-conformist ice cream makers have taken it upon themselves to surprise our palates with unpredictable flavours. With an array of savoury herbs, exotic teas, cheeses and hot spices being swirled into cones, this generation’s ice creams do not intend to please the inner child in you.

We tracked down six of the most outrageous and delicious adult ice cream flavours available in Mumbai. Read on.

Ice creamFlavour: Parmesan

Where: Ellipsis, Colaba

If you always insist on an extra sprinkling of parmesan cheese on your pasta or don’t mind eating leftover crumbs from your block, then this scoop will woo you in no time. Just like the rest of the menu at Ellipsis, the parmesan cheese ice cream is artistic and plays with flavours unheard of. It is made using the thick rind of aged parmesan cheese that is right beneath its waxy covering.

While the taste of the dessert is salty and richly cheesy, its effect dulls down within a few bites. This is essentially because your palate gets accustomed to parmesan’s subtle salinity and from then on the sweet cream begins to dominate your senses. The scoop comes perched on cheese crumbs that create a textural contrast. Add to that a dash of acerbic five-year-old balsamic vinegar and you are transported.

Price: R330

Contact: 6621 3333

Flavour: Goat cheese
Where: Vetro, The Oberoi, Nariman Point
Goat cheese or chèvre is a dairy product made from goat’s milk. This cheese has a tart taste and a creamy texture that works wonderfully to offset the sweetness of any kind of dessert. When mixed with sugared milk, vanilla seeds and cream, it turns into one of the best-selling ice creams at the swish Italian restaurant Vetro. Since chèvre has a peculiar flavour of its own, the ice cream has a subtle taste but is characteristically sour in flavour. It is served in deep bowls and the portion size can be gobbled up in less than 10 bites.
While the scoop doesn’t have the flawlessly smooth consistency that is found in commercial ice creams, it has swirls of solidified milk that vouch for its freshness.
It melts too quickly and the taste jumps being from sweet to sour in a matter of seconds.
Price: R300
Contact: 6632 5757

Flavour: Rosemary
Where: Indigo, Colaba
When you think of flowers, you think vases and when you think of herbs, you think pastas. But at this Colaba-based restaurant, petals perch on salads and desserts come laced with sprigs of herbs. The rosemary ice cream made with vanilla-infused milk and slender leaves of rosemary is one such invention.
Here, a small scoop of ice cream is teamed with multiple edible elements such as an upside-down cake, charred fruits and baked pieces of pineapple. While the ice cream’s quantity is meagre, its presence lights up the platter with a peppery-sweet taste and a grassy fragrance that reminds us of driving through pine forests. We especially loved the snappy sheets of chilli-flavoured caramel that balance out the creamy smoothness of the ice cream and add a bite to the otherwise downy preparation.
Price: R455
Contact: 66368999

Flavour: Matcha powder
Where: Wasabi, Taj Mahal Palace and Tower, Colaba
The Matcha ice cream from Wasabi goes wonderfully with Mumbai’s balmy weather.
At the Japanese-themed sea-facing eatery, the dessert is served as two small scoops of ice cream deftly plated on paisley-shaped china. It is served along with two beads of kuromame beans — a Japanese soy bean that is cooked in sugar syrup for four days before use.
The beans add a touch of exotic to the green tea ice cream and glam up its look with their stark black colour. They are soft from the inside and have a plum-like skin which adds an interesting bite to the smooth asparagus-green-coloured ice cream.
Price: R695
Contact: 66653366

Flavour: Tahini paste
Where: Amadeus, Nariman Point
Tahini is a paste of hulled sesame seeds that is frequently used in Middle Eastern cuisine. The thick buff-brown liquid has a nutty aroma and viscous texture that blends beautifully with ingredients that are not too overpowering. At Amadeus, the oily mash is used to flavour vanilla-scented milk and churned for hours to create the tahini ice cream.
The cold dish works well to end a flavourful Spanish meal and is one of the few eggless desserts at this restaurant. To us it comes as two small white scoops topped with bits of roasted sesame seeds. While the basic ice cream has a milky taste with on and off nutty notes, the seeds add a faint crunch and ensure that you keep chewing until you have polished off the
Price: R220
Contact: 22821212

Flavours: Popcorn and lemongrass
Where: Bina’s ice cream, Napean sea Road
Bina Doshi is SoBo’s very own ice cream ninja. The Napean Sea Road-based chef specialises in ice creams that are preservative free and made with all-natural ingredients. This is probably why all the tubs are filled with airy, soft gloop that has faint hints of its namesake flavour.
Though the menu mentions some conventional choices, we suggest you head straight for the caramel-soaked popcorn or the refreshing lemongrass icecream. While the former charms you with its buttery goodness, the later is like a spa for your mouth. Both the desserts have dense textures, but use no cream or additional fat to create that. If you live between Mahalaxmi and Marine Drive, the dessert can be delivered to your doorstep. Bina requires a minimum order of one litre and a three hour notice to put your sweet tooth at ease.
Price: R400 onwards
Contact: 99303 12999