There is little doubt about the fact that Mastani, a chilled, lavishly sweet and viscous variation of ice cream is a staple dessert for Punekars, named after the famous danseuse muse of Bajirao. Now, there are countless places that serve the Mastani. But the prominent few that promise to tempt you with a vengeance are the featured ones …
On Sadashiv Peth, this landmark parlor for Mastani ice creams still rules the roost when it comes to luscious, syrupy liquids and dollops of high-calorie ice cream that go into the making of an immaculate Mastani, fortified with a lot of other flourishing superfluities.
The flavor that is the most popular with trenchermen, remains the most sold- Mango. A frequenter of Sujata, Bhawana Thakur, who goes there every Friday to have the delectable Mango Mastani, says, “This is the highlight of my Fridays. The tangy mango taste steeped in the dense fluid has no match”.
Other places, for instance Shreeji infront of Sujata that serves its Bajirao Mastani for 40 bucks with self-made pineapple orange, also credit equally likeable Mastanis. So go ahead, and douse your taste buds with the cooling, thirst-quenching relish of this scrumptious concoction.
In the middle of a hot, busy day, what catches your eye and ineluctably sets your mouth watering when you happen to pass Moledina Road in Camp is Meridian, opposite West End. This snuggled niche is the place that offers two sets of Mastanis. The regular Mastanis come in flavors like Kesar, Bajirao and Real Mango priced between an economic 35 bucks and 50 bucks. The other set of Mastanis – the Special Mastanis – essentially offers the same flavours, more or less, but with the lip-smacking adjuncts of whipped cream and dry fruits. So a Special Kesar Mastani costs you Rs 65, a Chocolate Almond Fudge Mastani, which is all the rage, will have you shelling out Rs 75 without a grudge. A variety worth a distinct mention here is Bajirao Mastani, which comes with a filler of pistachio milkshake and a lump of strawberry cream. The owner of the parlor , Jainuddin Shaikh enthuses, “I serve Mastanis to so many people, be it freezing winter or seething sun, from all age groups. Around 3 pm, that is the lunch break, I see maximum office staff coming in summer season for the refreshing and revitalising dessert of Mastani”.
Snowman's Ice Cream Parlor
This parlor, located in Chanakyapuri, Tukaram Paduka Chowk on F C Road has a special menu put up on the wall dedicated just for Mastanis. It offers as varied flavors as mango, chocolate, and fruit frost which includes a layer of fruit softy frothing on the top of a tumbler full of thick shake. But Santosh Shinde, the manager of Snowman's, says, “Although all the flavors are equally preferred, what the customers prefer the most is Dry Fruit Mastani and Sitaphal Mastani”. When you order a Dry Fruit Mastani, it will require you to crunch the various nuts - cashews, almonds and pistachios – intermittently, as thick draughts of the accompanying lip-smacking shake flood your food pipe. “The crowd that we get here is mostly youngsters and they enjoy every bit of what they order”, Shinde says. The rates vary from 45 bucks for chocolate and Sitaphal to 65 for dry fruit and strawberry.
The tiny parlor-counter facing California Cool on F C Road has been sating the appetites of people with a sweet tooth for the past five years by serving them enticing Mastanis. But its newer, bigger fancier counterpart, in Shanti Plaza in Shivajinagar, serves the purpose to the hilt at a reasonably cheaper price than others, that is at Rs 45.
The icing on the cake with having a Mastani at Iceberg Fresh is that the ice cream scoops floating on your Mastanis here are freshly prepared at the parlor itself rather than the shipping it from anywhere. If you happen to step in around 7.30 or 8 in the evening, you can grab a Mastani with a scoop of ice cream from three to four flavors that are prepared everyday. This scoop is as fresh as it gets. Iceberg Fresh garnishes its Mastanis with flecks of fruit, chunks of cake, and bits of brownie. Sumant Ranade, the owner of the parlour, says, “The steady stream of student crowd throughout the day prefer chocolate flavour, though Sitaphal Mastanis at Rs 50 is also incredibly in demand almost always”. He also believes that Mastanis have an edge over other ice creams, “Mastanis are very energetic. They are so filling that you feel content after having them - not only do they quench your craving for ice cream but also beat your hunger. The fruit content is healthy and the drinks are entertainingly refreshing”.
Apart from students, families with children start coming in around evenings at this spacious ice cream parlor done in appealing interiors and Shinde is kept busy in the preparation of Mastanis.