My grandmother gifted me the addiction. I’d visit her during holidays, and to keep me occupied, she would suggest making our own ice cream. It was a simple process of grinding mangoes to pulp and mixing them with sugar and milk. The milkshake would then chill in the freezer overnight and welcome me to a large bowl of mango ice cream by morning.
Homemade ice creams are magical. Grandma’s days are gone, and most of us are busy-busy, but mercifully, there are places that sell these fluffy wonders.
Gokul’s did a stellar job for the longest time near my Goregaon house in Bombay. Oh and the green chilli ice cream at Bachelor’s on Marine Drive: pure, piquant ecstasy.
Each city has its own favourite ice cream parlours, but perhaps nothing beats Mangalore (called ‘ice cream town’ for a reason).
Coastal Karnataka cherishes its ice cream, but Mangalore has something of a cult following thanks to its thriving dairy industry, and longstanding brands that have rescued locals from heat since decades. Even the founder of Juhu’s famous Natural Ice Cream happens to be from Mangalore.
Tempted? I say ice cream is good enough a reason to travel. There are hundreds of ice cream parlours in Mangalore; below are the few that cause maximum addictions.
1. Ideal Ice Cream Parlour
I for Ideal, for iconic, and for institution. Ideal – and Pabba’s, also owned by the same guys – has been the undisputed market leader pretty much since they opened gates in 1975.
The award-winning parlour purportedly invented the decadent Gadbad ice cream, so well known on the coast today (layers of different flavours, dry fruits, jelly, fresh fruits and all sorts of blissful emotions).
When there, also try Parfait and Dilkhush. Their four main outlets have always been popular addas for Mangaloreans. I is also for India’s largest ice cream parlour, and it’s an Ideal outlet right here in Mangalore!
2. Hangyo Icy Creamz
Hangyo’s is a well-known brand from Mangalore, with Icy Creamz being their most popular outlet.
They started out with softies, but now boast signature products like ‘icy stones’, which are a treat of vanilla, caramel or chocolate dipped into an exotic flavour and sprinkled with nuts. Their kulfis are equally robust, heavy, and worthwhile.
3. Bonda Ice Cream
Nothing like a successful food experiment to make a super hit that keeps people hooked. In a nondescript store in the Dongarakeri area of Mangalore sits Mr M Seetharam Kamat, formerly an electrical engineer and currently the famous inventor of Bonda Ice Cream. This is ice cream made and served in the choicest tender coconuts!
4. Desert Ice Cream Parlour
While the old and established granddaddies like Ideal stand on solid ground, the locals’ love for ice cream is so strong they always welcome more entrants. Amongst the newer swankier ones is Desert’s, fast picking up a following.
Another premium ice cream brand, we’d say try Flavours24 for one of those typically Mangalorean ice cream experiments. Theirs is called YoBun — it’s an ice cream burger, ‘Chill Inside, Hot Outside’ as they say.