Choosing from the extensive menu in Mathikere’s Ice Park is no easy task
I’m with a colleague, it’s the afternoon, and we’re sapped by the heat. I recall passing what I thought was an ice-cream joint, and we stagger back to find a small colourful place called Ice Park, with the menu pasted all over its walls and pillars, and attractive pictures of chilled juices and tropical fruits. We exchange a glance. We crawl in.
One look at the menu and I’m flabbergasted; its endless. There are fresh juices, “special” cream shakes, “special” ice-creams, smoothies, “smuthy’s” and more categories that my now-dehydrated brain cannot comprehend.
There’s even a small section devoted to fruit salads, lime-based drinks and juices with spirulina. I fear I might be seeing things, but a printed sheet of paper on the wall exhorts me to imbibe the nutritional algae, listing the benefits I may derive from it, while a picture of a tall glass with a frothy green liquid stamps itself on my imagination.
I’m tired, the sun has given me a pounding headache, and having to choose from so many options proves more than I can handle. I feel bullied into finally asking for the spirulina energy juice with “pineapply”, but to counter that, I get the Arabian special cream shake and wait for my colleague’s order to arrive.
Turiya Vats and her friends, all final-year physiotherapy students at a college nearby, sit on the few chairs that Ice Park has set out for its customers as they tuck in to Maggi noodles followed by fruit salad with ice-cream, which Turiya recommends quite highly. All regulars there, they also recommend Ice Park’s light meals, particularly the grilled sandwiches. Point noted.
Apart from the sandwiches, grilled or otherwise, Ice Park also offers an assortment of burgers, chicken items, and various preparations of instant noodles; plain, veg, egg, chicken, and lastly, cheese. All of their food items are unbelievably reasonable — the cheapest being the veg noodles at Rs. 20 and the most expensive being the jumbo special burger at Rs. 70 — and this applies to their drinks too.
Their lime juice with ginger is wonderful and refreshing, with just the right punch to get you on your feet again, while the Arabian shake is pleasantly creamy and mildly chocolaty, with chewy fragments of dates that collect at the bottom if you let it stand for too long.
A member of staff tells me the joint is about two years old, with a branch in Jayanagar. Nearly all of Ice Park’s clients, he says, are students from the colleges nearby. And when I ask him about various items on the menu (composed with a cheerful disregard for conventions of spelling) that confuse me, he explains quite patiently that a “smuthy” refers to ice-cream with toppings, and a “black shek” is a black currant milkshake. He also obligingly shows me the small bottles of powdered spirulina with which the energy juices are made. Which brings me back to the tall glass of green liquid in my hand.
No getting around it
It starts off harmlessly enough, tasting like pineapple juice with a hint of shredded grass. Halfway through my drink, the grassy taste grosw stronger, and soon after, I have to abandon my brave attempt.
You know how they say that if something is good for your health, then it can’t be tasty?
Well, in this case, I guess they’re right.
(Ice Park is at #93, opposite Ramaiah college, Pipeline Road, Mathikere. Call 9900447026.)