Post a brief relocation to St. Mark's Road, Lakeview has returned to a newer, swankier Kannan Building

My father does not have a gambling problem. And to prove it to us he would take us out to a Chinese dinner and ice-cream when he won a good hand in rummy. And when he lost, he would still take us out to a Chinese dinner and ice-cream.

My earliest memory of dessert is as a five year old, sitting on the bonnet of the family car, a beige Ambassador, TMT 4969. I would insist on eating my chocolate sundae by myself, in an attempt to prove to nobody in particular that I was a “big girl”.

Chocolate ice-cream, more chocolate ice-cream, chocolate sauce, nuts and a single wafer (which I always saved for the last) all positioned strategically in a steel ice-cream bowl, is how I remember the sundae at Lakeview Milk Bar.

Lakeview Milk Bar was started by an Englishman named James Meadow Charles in 1930 and was then handed over to Vraj Lal in 1947, a gesture that is almost incongruous when placed in the backdrop of history.

Located smack in the middle of M.G. Road and bang opposite the boulevard, Lakeview had it all — prime location, scenic view, and an ice-cream tradition that bestowed upon them institutional status. And through the years not much has changed. Except for a brief relocation to St. Mark's Road, which was not so good for business, Lakeview has returned to a newer, swankier Kannan Building, right where they left off.

The Lakeview Milk Bar is now an institution, with a rich and creamy history that now includes a more expansive menu with fast food and faloodas. Way back in the 90s, dessert was followed by a walk along the boulevard. Today, a double sundae is followed by nostalgic discussions about the boulevard that was and an old-timers failure to accept the monstrosity of a metro.

My father stopped playing rummy a long time ago, but we still go for the occasional Chinese dinner and double sundae, in glass bowls now, and I still save the wafer for the end.


Paper PlateJanuary 13, 2011