Scoop to Conquer

The Taj Ice-cream parlour at Bhendi Bazaar uses century old methods to stand apart

This is one ice-cream mothers won't make a fuss about if their children demand an extra scoop. The flavours are real, as the fruit used is real. There is nothing synthetic or artificial about it. It has to be eaten fresh as the family that has been running the joint for over 120 years avoids artificial preservatives, another plus for any mother who keeps strict watch on what her children eat.

These are just some of the features that have kept the century old Taj Ice cream parlour at Bhendi Bazaar ticking for so long. It has been running successfully and the fact that it has drawn some famous people says a lot about its quality, particularly as there is not advertising. The taste just spreads by word of mouth.

Probably the oldest ice-cream parlour in the city, it's located on Saifee Ambulance Road in Bhendi Bazaar. One of the most unnoticeable joints in the lane, it has earned customers only by maintaining high quality.

The 120-year-old joint is run by the Icecreamwalla family that derives its name from the business. The ice-cream is prepared in two batches in the work area behind their nondescript shop, which has not shifted from the place for over a century.

On an average, they make about 100 kg ice-cream a day, in flavours such as sitaphal, mango, strawberry, chickoo, and roasted almond. The ice-cream is made in a sancha, a wooden tub-like contraption loaded with salt-sprinkled ice and an inverted copper cylinder placed at the centre of the tub. It is in this container that the ice-cream is churned by hand.

The Icecreamwallas say the devices are the same their grandfathers used. "If we had modernised and let go of the traditional way of making ice-cream, we would not have been so successful, and would have lost an ancient method. We would also have lost old customers who keep coming back to us," said Hatim Icecreamwalla, co-owner of Taj Icecream centre.

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