Smitten by an ice cream sandwich

K Rustom might be located in a nondescript building in South Mumbai, but its ice creams that come in a variety of flavours, from chocolate to kokum, are a league apart

It is hard to locate K Rustom Ice Cream; unless, of course, you have been there before. It is even harder to believe that a place so revered by the food lovers of Mumbai can stand so inconspicuously in a deserted building. Luckily, I have not had to find my way to Rustom’s tonight; I’ve been driven by friends.

I have heard a lot about K Rustom’s ice cream, so my expectations from the place are sky high. In my head, I have a picture of the place too: a cosy ice cream parlour with pastel-coloured walls, white wrought-iron furniture, and chequered table cloth. I am also dreaming of scoops full of creamy and tart raspberry and blueberry flavours placed on delicate waffle cups and my mouth’s already watering. My reverie is broken when we pull up in front of a nondescript empty building in a rather dark lane. I wonder why have we suddenly stopped when I am told that we are at our destination.

Rustom’s, which is known to be an iconic ice cream place in the heart of South Mumbai — it stands just a few yards away from Marine Drive — seems like an indifferent little shop, unaffected by the glitz and glamour of its upmarket surroundings. The people inside look indifferent too. A man who seems to have been a part of the shop ever since it first opened over 60 years ago, a lady who sits behind the rickety wooden desk, and the boys handing out ice cream to the eager crowd. The shop itself is nothing but a congregation of multiple deep freezers, a few plastic chairs and a hand-painted board.

It is the board, with a list of the flavours on offer, that first catches my attention. The options seem endless, and the variety is mind-boggling. They have everything from chocolate to paan, coffee, toffee, guava, peach, almonds, rum, and even kokum to kharbuza. The flavours are unique and diverse. After much deliberation, I choose Nescafe.

The ice cream comes to me sandwiched between two paper-thin wafers, placed on a flimsy paper napkin. It is neither a scoop, nor a slice, but a thick slab; like an ice cream sandwich. I am not sure how to eat it when I see my friends biting into the whole thing. I follow suit. The mouthful of frozen dessert numbs my palate for a second, and then the layers begin to unfold: it is at once creamy, luscious, flavourful and decadent. The sweetness is measured and the texture perfect. By the time I am on to my next bite, I am already in love with Rustom’s, the indifference and the plainness of the place notwithstanding.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 1:35:19 AM |

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