TRY THE EXOTIC FLAVOURS AT FAMOUS SHARMA KULFI CENTRE
Famous Sharma Kulfi Centre is a kulfi and ice cream shop at Kalbadevi. Kulfi flavours include kala jamun, rabdi, and paan masala as well as perennial favourites such as malai and kesar pista.
Famous Sharma Kulfi Centre, 2/12 Dadiseth Agiary Lane, Kalbadevi, Mumbai 400 002.
The ganji-clad owner clambers onto his counter, harried after a six-hour power cut in the middle of the summer. “Thankfully, we have deep freezers, or everything would be ruined.” He needs to cool down, but I’m the one who asks for kulfi.
Famous Sharma Kulfi Centre makes no pretence at modesty. Cursing government engineers, the owner tells me that it is over 75 years old, and his family has been manufacturing ice cream and kulfi for one-and-a-half centuries.
Flavours on offer range from the mundane malai to kala jamun. When I pick coconut cherry, he extricates a slab from the freezer, plops it on a plate, unwraps it, and employs a butcher’s knife to cleave it into bite-sized pieces. Whichever you choose, he will insist on adding a small chunk of another flavour as a sample. He forces me to try pineapple dry-fruit (I detest pineapples), and I love it.
Round two for me is paan masala (high hopes: fulfilled) with a side of gulaab. He leans down to present a child with an assorted platter and apologises for not having chocolate chip in stock.
While there are branches at Nepean Sea Road and Chowpatty, the Kalbadevi outlet is the mother ship. Do not leave without polishing off some rabdi kulfi, or you will be condemned by the kulfi gods to kulfi hell, which I suppose is like kulfi – cool and cooling and heavenly and such a treat.
Feature photo by Suruchi Maira