Sunday, March 07, 2010

Melt in a bit of nostalgia with exotic ice creams

Melt in a bit of nostalgia with exotic ice creams
Jayashree Nandi | TNN

Melt in the peach melba sundae or munch on a Caribbean omelette, this small restaurant will wrap you in the nostalgia of old Bangalore and treat you to the most sumptuous snacks.
Lakeview Milk Bar is back in a spanking new avatar. It was the show stealer even then, when MG Road used to have a boulevard and there was hardly any pollution on the roads. An Englishman named James Meadow Charles started the restaurant that started dishing out ice creams in the 1930s and sold it to a 19-year-old Indian Vraj Lal in 1947.
The transfer of ownership also has an interesting story. According to some, the Englishman had won a jackpot at the Derby and the fortune was so huge that he suffered a heart attack. His wife could not manage the business alone and Vraj, who was close to her, had taken it over.
After treating Bangaloreans to delicious ice creams, milk shakes and sandwiches for several decades, the shop had to close down in 2007 as the landlord wanted to construct a new building. The property case was in the court. They reopened recently, almost at the same place.
“My father took over the business from my uncle. He used to wonder who will eat ice creams in a cold place like Bangalore? But against all odds, he took forward the business. He used to cycle to work with milk and cream for the shop. It became very popular. There were times when the restaurant would be open till 3 am on Christmas and New Year days,” says Deepak Vraj Lal, who currently owns Lakeview.
While the name blends perfectly with Bangalore that used to be a city of lakes, Deepak’s father used to jest that the Parade Ground overseeing the restaurant was actually a lake. Many customers still buy the joke.
Most regular customers don’t even look at the menu. They know what to order. The hot favourites here are the Lakeview special ice cream and dry fruit ice cream.
Lakeview offers a continental breakfast. Vegetarians can have fruit juice, baked beans, corn flakes, seasonal fruit bowl, toast with cheese, coffee or tea, while non-vegetarians can choose eggs, French toast or chicken sausages.
They have a variety of exotic omelettes like the Caribbean omelette, Hawaiian omelette, Spanish omelette and masala omelette. Sandwiches, lamb, chicken, vegetarian or mutton burgers, lamb roasts, Hawaiian pizza, salami pizza and mushroom magic to name a few. You could go for some exotic ice creams too like the bloody mary ice cream, the Peach melba sundae, Garfunkel special, Rhapsody special or settle in for the good old chocolate, vanilla, litchi and others.
“Youngsters like experimenting. They go for the sizzling brownie or the fresh fruit bowls which ice cream with the fruits of their choice,”adds Deepak. Many Bangaloreans have spent some very special moments at this place, Deepak recollects that a 70-yearold couple had celebrated their engagement party here when they were very young, they still come together to share an ice cream. Though MG Road has changed much since then, the ice creams are the same.
Meal for two: Rs 250 Timings: 8 am to 12 midnight Phone: 080-65584501


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