Oldie But Goodie: Taj Ice Cream
The season for Alphonso mangoes typically runs from the end of March through June, during which time the fruit lords over many menus. If, like us, you hanker for the fruit all year round, we recommend a visit to Taj Ice Cream in Bhendi Bazaar to satisfy your craving. The 120-year-old ice cream shop serves its rich and creamy Alphonso ice cream 365 days a year, and it’s not made with cloying mango essence, but with generous chunks of the actual fruit. The father-and-son duo of Abbas and Mustafa Icecreamwala, the fourth and fifth generation proprietors of Taj Ice Cream, have devised a way to preserve the fruit in a manner that doesn’t tamper with its natural sweetness. They apply the same method—which they closely guard as a family secret—to preserve strawberries, which though not in season currently, tasted miraculously fresh in their ice cream.
The Icecreamwalas have built their reputation (as well as earned their surname) on serving hand-churned ice cream made out of only fresh ingredients. They prepare the ice cream in two batches in a cooking area at the back of their nondescript shop that has been in the same location, in the Saifee Ambulance lane, for over a century. On average, they prepare about 100 kgs of ice cream a day, in popular flavours such as sitaphal, mango, strawberry, chickoo, and roasted almond. The ice creams are made in a sancha, a contraption made up of a wooden tub loaded with salt-sprinkled ice and an inverted copper cylinder, which is placed in the centre of the tub.
Mustafa Icecreamwala claims that they were the first ice cream shop to introduce cassata (the multi-flavoured ice cream inspired by the Italian dessert) in Mumbai, but they no longer sell it because of its high cost of production. The duo is known to share the same set of anecdotes several times a day to the many first-time customers who visit their shop (tourists and journalists are drawn to the store on account of its name and history). Expect then for them to drop names like Sonia Gandhi, Anthony Bourdain and Ismail Merchant, who they proudly count as past visitors.Tags: Abbas Icecreamwala, Mustafa Icecreamwala, Oldie But Goodie, Taj Ice Cream
Taj Ice Cream
LocationSayed Abu Mohammed Road
Saifee Ambulance lane
Opposite Imadiya Bakery
Phone022 2346 1257
HoursDaily, 10am to 11.30pm