‘Waiting only makes it sweeter’
I remember my Mom telling me something along these lines quite often, in a desperate attempt at instilling some grace, dignity and patience in a rebellious teenager. I’m sure you too would have been at the receiving end of this wisdom many a times. But the context would have been slightly different from this poor girl’s predicament in the 2011 Haagen Dazs commercial that raised a few million eyebrows – and desires! – around the world…
For a brand that pushes the boundaries of ‘luxurious indulgence’ to wicked limits globally, Haagen Dazs in India is much more toned-down in its messaging, to cater to the Indian sensibilities. Now, at Rs. 180 for a single scoop of ice-cream, whether it’s ‘affordable luxury’ or not is a debate for another day. But it definitely delivers on the luxury of taste! Little wonder then that people flock to the Haagen Dazs lounges across the country, to indulge in the creamy, oh-so-smooth and ultra-rich flavours of its icecreams and desserts. Although I have been told that there are others like me who just go to gawk at a very large wall splayed with brand ambassador Bradley Cooper’s very handsome face… After all, it’s all about indulgence, right? 😉
So last week, when the Haagen Dazs Cafe in Bandra transformed into a cosy, private tea lounge, I was there with a few other dessert-lovers, and so was Bradley! Why a tea lounge? Because Tea Sommelier Radhika Batra was pairing up some beautiful, fragrant teas with the newly-launched range of Haagen Dazs patisserie, thanks to the brilliant innovations, and unparalelled enthusiasm of the young Country Chef Anthony David.
While it rained copiously outside and created the perfect mood for us, Radhika took us through a journey of teas from dawn till dusk, from mellow to full-bodied, connecting the flavours of the teas to the different moods that we slip in and out of through the day. And along with the teas came some very pretty desserts… A poppy red Strawberry Panna Cotta paired with a blood-red orange mango cinnamon tea, an Earl-Grey infused Chocolate Mousse topped with a crunchy Macaroon, a gooey White Chocolate Berry Tart, a soft-as-clouds Baked Cheesecake and a Blueberry Muffin were on the pairing menu. But TEDDY got his usual special treatment and quietly polished off a tall mug of creamy Tiramisu as well!
Although a couple of desserts could do with a little tweaking in terms of texture and taste (thinner tart base, lighter muffin?), the Macaroons were amazing, and the Baked Cheesecake was absolutely the best I have had so far… EVER! Chef Anthony sure is a patient man, ‘cos this baby takes hours to bake, and according to him, needed many iterations to perfect. And perfect it is, even more than that popular Japanese Light Cheesecake from Breadtalk! And with a little drizzle of Salted Caramel on top, it completes the whole ‘spoil-yourself’ experience!
So… if you didn’t already have a tough time at Haagen Dazs deciding whether to have scoops of Dulce de Leche or Cappucino Truffle, or to jump headlong into the decadent goodness of the European Fondue or the Eiffel Tower… now you have more, much more to indulge in! And you’ll have Bradley for company through it all 😀