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    A new ice cream chain from Hyderabad sets up shop in Shanthi Colony, with cupcakes and gimmicks to keep you entertained

    THERE is no dainty way to eat an ice cream cupcake. “It is similar to having a pani puri. You just gobble it whole with the chocolate cup. I worked in the US and that was the first time I had an ice cream cupcake. I wanted to bring it to India and have made it one of our showstoppers,” says Arif Ahmed, the owner of three-year-old Hyderabad-based chain, Rock Stone, that has set up its first outlet in Chennai. Their ice cream cupcakes also come with flavoured bases (think chocolate, strawberry or butterscotch) and a topping of whipped cream to keep the ice cream from melting.
    The 22-seater outlet also has branches in Bengaluru, with plans to launch in Kochi and Vishakhapatnam soon. Ahmed has a personal connect with the frozen dessert. “I think coffee is out of fashion. I have only had ice cream with the women I dated and it worked,” jests the 49-year-old, who has previously worked in the retail section of the food and beverage industry. With 16 flavours and 42 mix-ins, Ahmed tells us that their unusual flavours are blue cotton candy, cake mix, sweet cream and dry fruit mix. As we tuck into our crunchy, nut-laden, dry fruit mix, the staff suddenly break into what they call the Banana Song. “We come up with songs and teach them to our staff so they can entertain guests who are waiting for their orders. We have also trained them to juggle with the ice cream,” says Nishaanth Sethuraman, the franchise owner of Rock Stone, Chennai. We also recommend their butterscotch tiramisu that leaves a pleasant aftertaste of buttery cream and the ice cream itself. For love birds, they have heart-shaped ice lollies in flavours like chocolate and vanilla. With plans to introduce falooda in summer, also expect extra mix-ins like sweetened, shredded coconut.

    At Shanthi Colony. The ice cream are priced from `65. Details: 434561825

     Mrinalini Sundar

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