The road to Hauz Khas village is always disorienting. Traffic jams, screaming billboards luring you to get drunk quickly and cheaply, shady vendors muttering ‘ladies night, ladies night’ during the week, loud music leaking from pubs and a steady stream of people wandering listlessly. On such a hectic evening visit I discovered an ice cream parlor on my way to a resto bar. ‘Hokey Pokey’ read the sign. The name aroused my curiosity.
As it turns out, this Mumbai-based brand is much more than just funky puns. They specialize in customizing ice cream creations by mixing different flavors on what they call a “cold stone slab,” which is set at -23 degrees. You can choose from a wide variety of flavors like the decadent ‘Double Chocolate Therapy’, ‘Mad King Alphonso’, ‘Knight in Armor’, ‘Chocolate Assassin’, ‘Live and Laugh Brownie Break, ‘Fussy French Vanilla’ among others.
Hokey Pokey guys make a chocolate based creation.
But the best part? You can make your own creations! This is when you feel part of the experience. The guys behind the counter put on a great show, chopping and mixing to create some quirky designs.
I tried one of their own creations called ‘Very Very Berry’ which is essentially strawberry ice cream topped with generous amounts of sweet rainbow sprinkles, jujubes, gummy fruit and gems. The ice cream was generally light, flavorful, not too sweet and well presented.
Hokey Pokey’s Very Very Berry Creation
Their other highlight is the Double Chocolate Therapy. It is a nice mix of dark Belgian chocolate ice cream with brownie, dark chocolate fudge and Nutella. The ice cream is luscious with a slight bitterness, but it is well complemented by the dark chocolate fudge. This one is obviously for dark chocolate fans. The company claims that they only use natural ingredients and extracts from fresh fruit. Their ice creams are also 100% egg-free, which is good news for vegetarians.
And while you’re enjoying your creation, there’s something you might miss at first: a separate kiosk with a TV and headphones for watching documentaries. It’s a big effort to make the experience more inclusive and special.
But sometimes it takes more than just good service and atmosphere to impress. The guys at Hokey Pokey seem to have got this right. Not only are the staff well-trained and courteous, they don’t hesitate to do their best to please.
Hokey Pokey staff offers a piece of chocolate.
In this case this little one, and his parents. And just as I was about to leave the man behind the counter offered me a napkin and it said “Get Stoned”. I laughed and in one go all the heavy distortion of a packed HKV faded away. I got what I missed most of an experience for a long time: craziness!