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How I found the ice-cream rolls of my childhood in Kolkata

I had almost given up hope of ever finding ice-cream rolls I had in Thailand. Until I strayed into The Steak Factory in Salt Lake

Ayush Chatterjee 31 March 2017, 7:51 PM
T2 Video
The Oreo Chocolate ice-cream roll-ups at The Steak Factory were a revelation

The Oreo Chocolate ice-cream roll-ups at The Steak Factory were a revelation Image: Ayush Chatterjee

Thursday gave me a pretty unique #throwback moment and it came on a platter. A a plate of ice-cream, to be specific. Now, I'd need to rewind to a moment in time a few years ago, before I tell you what happened yesterday, for it to make sense.

I had visited Thailand a few years ago with my parents. During that trip, I had sampled a type of ice-cream like no other. It was not boxed or refrigerated. It was made live, in front of my eyes. It was an ice-cream roll-up of sorts that they made with strawberries and cream and it had really left me enchanted as a child.

Strawberry ice-cream roll-up
In addition to the Oreo rolls, Chef Chanda also whipped up this Straberry version. Image: Ayush Chatterjee

It left a lingering after-taste, one I wouldn't forget in the coming years. But I never went back to that place in Bangkok, nor did I find out what it was called. Much later, I came across videos on the Internet but I'd pretty much given up hope of getting to taste that dish again.

Just recently, though, I found out about a restaurant in Kolkata that makes the same ice-cream. Inquisitive, I went in search of the place before reaching The Steak Factory in Salt Lake. As I saw the sign of a steak house, the glimmer of hope began to fade. But right then, I realised there was an attached cafe beside the main eatery.

Upon entering, my queries were confirmed and I was taken to the ice-cream station to get a closer look at the magic happen.

That was when the chef and owner, Rohan Chanda, came out to greet me and tell me all about the novelty that sets his restaurant apart form every other in the City of Joy.

"This type of ice-cream is called a Thai Fry Pan style ice-cream roll," he said. "I had seen it being made in America when I was working in Miami a few years ago," he informed me. He also explained why it has the name, even though it involves no frying.

"When I opened my restaurant in Salt Lake last year, my partner Indradeep Mitra gave me the idea to install this machine. He got this idea from watching Chinese women make it in New York," he recalled. "The best thing about this particular ice-cream is that it can be made with any ingredient under the sun and it has no sugar," he continued, as he began cooling the plate.

Chef Chanda then whipped up a delicious plate of Oreo-flavoured ice-cream rolls and I got to capture my perfect nostalgia moment.

Watch it here and drool.

"Ours is the only restaurant in Kolkata that makes this particular type of ice-cream," he concluded before drizzling some chocolate sauce and serving it to me. I took a bite and went back in time.

While this cannot be made at home, a plate at The Steak Factory goes for Rs 160, regardless of the mix of ingredients one picks. So, if you are ever in Kolkata, go sample this out-of the-box ice-cream. I know I'm going back for more.

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