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Try diverse frozen Greek yoghurt flavours from this Bandra based cloud kitchen

Before ramen, pasta and sushi became buzzwords for Mumbai’s foodies, there was a generation that grew up on rolls, pattice, kheema pao and the odd burger. When Nicolo Morea popped up with his unique Crepe Station on Bandra’s Carter Road in 2003, it was among the city’s early forays to experimental European street food before the café culture took over.

“The idea was to create something new that did not exist in the market here — crepes. We decided to keep it tidy, people-friendly and let the food speak for itself,” says the 47-year old Morea. The food spoke well, and led to a successful chain of outlets across the city.

The many flavours of the frozen Greek yoghurts

Now, the restaurateur who also set up The Elbow Room in Khar, is busy with his latest focus — frozen Greek yoghurt. This variation is an addition to his Greek yoghurts, Gutsy, that launched in 2023. “There are a few frozen yoghurt options but most of them are in softie forms. We wanted to create something that you could receive at home while watching television or catching up with friends,” he shares.

Created in collaboration with co-founders, Adhuna Bhabani and Digambar Mayekar, these frozen desserts come in multiple flavours. Morea insists Greek yoghurt is different to the Indian dahi. “We strain out most of the whey water in dahi. This gives you a thicker, more concentrated level of protein, probiotics and antioxidants,” he says. The frozen yoghurt has a 60 to 40 per cent ratio of yoghurt to cream, he adds.

Adhuna Bhabani and Digambar Mayekar

This focus on health, and the use of minimal ingredients for effect is a product of Morea’s training at Les Roches International School of Hotel Management in Switzerland. After his culinary education, Morea also spent over a decade travelling and working in Europe. “That was the turning point. This was in 1990; when I went to Les Roches, I saw how food can amazingly be paired in its simplicity; and how you can use fewer items to create something special,” he says. One of his early memories of street food was wandering through post-Cold War Berlin, and discovering the diversity of sausages.

Interestingly, he wasn’t inclined towards cooking while he was growing up. Yet, with Italian heritage on his father’s side, and Indian cooking on his mother’s, food was bound to have a strong influence. His return to India coincided with a changing world. “A lot of people returned after studying and working abroad. Their experiences of eating at cafes shaped the way we look at food,” he points out.

Black sesame and (Left) The mango passionfruit frozen yoghurt was a popular pick. Pics/Devanshi Doshi

So, what does he make of the city’s food habits today? “This is what Mumbai is about, with its diversity of Indian cuisine. Having said that, there are a lot of non-Indian cafés serving diverse fare. It is not just that the front of the house looks superb. Now, you have young innovative players putting in work and ideas into their creations. It is a very competitive market,” Morea observes.

While the foodie in him rejoices, he also has an eye on health. “If we can bring about a little change to desserts with our range, using no preservatives, I will be happy. Yoghurt is great for the gut, and a great gut equals better mental health,” he concludes.

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TASTE TEST: Healthy and light

We decided to try the frozen treat as part of our post-lunch meal on a work day. The delivery is efficient, but a little delayed owing to rains. As we opened the packaging, we liked that the bottles were neatly labelled. Compact and sealed, they manage to retain the frozen yoghurts in condition till consumption.

Acai berry and miso caramel

We pick from four flavours — Acai berry, black sesame, mango passionfruit and miso caramel. While they are well-packed, the absence of any added preservatives comes with a short shelf life. We notice this as the yoghurts begin to liquefy soon after the seals are opened. The texture is much like a froyo, without the frothy, creamy layer.

This does not affect the taste. While the acai berry has the familiar sweetness, it is the miso caramel with its lingering after-taste that stands out. A choice for the outlier is black sesame. If you prefer a subtle yet distinct flavour, this one leaves a mark. The mango passionfruit is, understandably, a popular choice among the team with its explosion of tang and sweetness. It could easily become a house party favourite.

The frozen yoghurts are easy on the palate and the stomach. There is no heaviness of a post-dessert binge, which bodes well for sweet-toothed souls like this writer. 

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