DIG INTO CREAMY, HAND-CHURNED FLAVOURS AT TAJ ICE CREAM
Taj Ice Cream is a small ice cream parlour at Bhendi Bazaar that serves hand-churned ice cream in fresh fruit and dry fruit flavours priced at Rs. 60. They also serve some fruit-flavoured falooda at Rs. 120.
Taj Ice Cream, Shop No. 7, 36 Khara Tank Road, Kumbharwada, Mumbai 400 003. Phone: 022 2346 1257
It's easy to miss Taj Ice Cream amidst the blue board sheets and din of redevelopment at Bhendi Bazaar. Sure enough, I double back each time despite earmarking Tawakkal Sweets as a pointer.
Taj is one of the last hand-churned ice cream parlours left in the city, its sancha ice creams dating all the way back to 1887. Sanchas are nothing but wooden barrels with copper canisters inside that need to turned by hand. Go on a quiet day and Aamir Icecreamwala, whose great-great-grandfather Valiji started the enterprise, may oblige to your request to see it.
When Valiji started off, he sold milk sweetened with dates and cooled in earthen pots. The first ice cream he concocted was mixed fruit – made of chickoo and pineapple – which became instantly popular. It still hits all the right notes. Make it your first at this tiny outpost with just four tables. As you linger, not quite through with the childlike yearning for more, pick from the 15-odd flavours it now offers that include kesar, tender coconut, and roasted almond chocolate chip. Of course, summers demand mangoes, and Taj delivers. Make that your second and walk away satiated. For winter there's the sitaphal to dig into!
Feature photograph by Suruchi Maira