Our bodies are like a laboratory. Everyday, we undertake quite a few food and drinks experiments on it. While some turn out to be beneficial, others harm our body and before you know it, we’re queuing up to meet the family doctor one more time. As is usual whenever you meet him, the good doctor advises you to eat fruits and consume fruit juices.
But here’s some good news. You don’t always need to be sick to enjoy fruit juices. In fact, today we’re about to explore an experimental juice centre located in Mumbai. At King’s Circle near Maheshwari Garden, Yashwant Dongre sold fruits for many years before his son Vilas decided to do something else. He opened a juice centre in the same place in 1996 with about five chairs catering to customers who came seeking the juice centre’s 50-odd varieties. Fast forward two decades later and today the juice centre has 100 chairs for customers who come to taste the 1200-odd varieties of juices on offer. That’s right – 1200 different types of juices.
If you thought these juices were created randomly then think again. In fact before making any juice, a lot of thought goes into the season, taste, colour and health benefits of the juice before introducing it to customers. Vilas has a special team that works relentlessly which includes a doctor too. Since Vilas’ father is in the business of selling fruits, only the finest quality of fruits are used to make juices.
The centre uses its own lab-made syrup in its juices instead of relying on factory-made ones. No preservatives are used in this syrup and it is added only in juices that cannot be served fresh. The ice used in the juices is also the good-quality cube ones instead of the usual ice slabs – its unhygienic cousin – which gives the juices here a better taste.
Usually a mixer’s blade made of aluminum is used at juice houses but due to repeated usage and friction the aluminum particles may get mixed with the juices and cause harm to the human body. Thus, to avoid any problems a customized mixer jar with copper base is used.
Strawberry is an all-time favorite fruit across all age groups and that makes it an important part of this health juice centre. Accordingly, more than hundred varieties made of strawberry are available here all round the year. There are two menus here: one consists of the juices available during all twelve months of the year and the second one is seasonal which changes every month since people prefer the juices of fruits like mango, custard apple, lychee only during certain periods of the year.
Experiments at the juice centre began in 1999. Vilas made a ginger lemon milkshake for the first time that turned out to be a huge success. Nowadays, along with fruit juices there are vegetable juices too. And while you can get good old rose milkshake here, the juice centre is the only place in the city where you can get a juice made of jasmine flowers and the night blooming jasmine. The smell and taste of these flowers can be enjoyed in every sip of the juices and is definitely something to be tried.
A juice called Boom that contains a mix of mosambi, lemon and khus is also a bestseller although it’d be a shame to give away the exact speciality of the juice. Normally Kala Khatta comes in sherbet form but here it’s available in a juice form. This one is not made using water, which is why it is a little thicker and different in taste.
A milkshake called Strawberry Blaster that is to be eaten with a spoon is another drink we recommend. It has an ingredient that is a powder that breaks when it comes in contact with any form of liquid so along with the taste it stands true to the word blaster. Other interesting varieties of milkshakes here include chewing gum, pan masala, cinnamon, chikki, jackfruit, basil, sandalwood, coconut and Australian prune. What we’re really looking forward to though, is their cheese milkshake!
The price range for most juices is between INR 70 to INR 150. Regular customers don’t really bother about the prices and are usually more curious about the new varieties of juices being introduced. The kitchen here is open so you can easily see how your juice is being prepared and the ingredients added to it. Every juice is served in glasses of different shapes and sizes.
If you’ve thought of how you’re stuck with drinking the same old juice flavours, then we recommend you to get to Health Juice Centre and open your world to a whole new world of juices that you never thought existed.
Address: Shop No. 3 & 4, Kings Circle, Near Maheshwari Udyan, Matunga East, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400019
Timings: The store is open on all days between 11 AM to 1 AM
Contact: +91 9146477777
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Priyanko Sarkar is the Founder Editor of Gurgl.in. He has been a writer for over 15 years and this site is his attempt to document India's growing beverage sector with impactful and interesting stories. His favourite drink is Vietnamese Coffee and his favourite spirit is Turkish Raki.