Monday, 1 July 2013

Pinkberry India Launch: My Sneak Preview Experience Yesterday, in Chennai

Pinkberry India, the handcrafted yogurt bar, launch tomorrow (July 2, 2013) and I was delighted to receive an invite and participate in the Chennai 'Sneak Preview' yesterday.  

They promise original tart frozen yogurt with fanatical commitment to freshness. Should I say fitness as well, because they proudly inform us their range comes with just 1.5% fat content.

Located in the upper ground floor, Phoenix Market City Mall, Chennai, the outlet is decked up in very welcoming (what I call) 'citrus green' :)

I loved the name board written in 'Tamil' as well:

The interiors are very inviting, thanks much to the mellow citrus green.  Take a look:

First things first: I personally think we are well primed and actually hungry for gourmet yogurt.  

Pinkberry India predominantly offers 6 flavors of tart frozen yogurt under the 'Pinkberry Frozen' range:

1.  Original - tart + sweet (yeah, their equivalent of 'classic')
2.  Chocolate - rich + indulgent
3.  Pomegranate - bold + intense
4.  Mango - fruity + sweet
5.  Salted Caramel - salty + sweet (this is super star material - read on)
6.  Green Apple - crisp + tart (a much celebrated flavor)

In addition to Frozen Yogurt ('Pinkberry Frozen'), their staple offerings include:

1.  'Pinkberry Fresh' - Fresh Yogurt
2.  'Pinkberry Lassi' - Fresh Yogurt Lassi
3.  'Pinkberry Shakes' - Frozen Shakes

Being a 'sneak preview' only 'Pinkberry Frozen' was up for preview yesterday.  But, I noticed with delight that their 'Pinkberry Fresh' range has 'dhokla', 'khatta meetha' listed amongst the combo options along with a 'create your own' option.

At the heart of every offering is fantastic choice of toppings - the range is not just fantastic but wide:

1.  Fresh Fruit Toppings:

  1. Cherry Tomato
  2. Cucumber
  3. Grapes
  4. Mango
  5. Sweet Lime
  6. Chikoo
  7. Kiwi
  8. Cilantro / Basil (yes, herbs as well - adds great flavor & decorative flair)
  9. Pineapple
  10. Pomegranate
Its important to take note their fresh fruit toppings are cut fresh everyday and are 'seasonal' - which means, you either find these plus more fruits or replaced by other 'in season' fruits.

2.  Dry Fruit Toppings:

  1. Dates
  2. Coconut
  3. Dark Chocolate Chips
  4. Poppi Chikki
  5. Brownie Bites
  6. Red Velvet Bites
  7. Khatta Meetha [yeah, what we call 'namkeen' or savoury]
  8. Almonds
  9. Honey Almond Granola
  10. Chocolate Covered Candies
  11. Organic Fruity Bears
  12. Nutella

3.  Generic Toppings:
  1. Honey
  2. Caramel
  3. Sea / Rock Salt (I am told this accentuates the 'salty caramel' flavored frozen yogurt as well as shake).  
Serving Size:

Small - 3 Ounce
Medium - 5 Ounce
Large - 8 Ounce

Take away - 25 Ounce [I was surprised to see 'Take away' because natural ice creams and gelato prove to be very difficult to take away - I actually know a couple very good places that refuse take away; but, I was assured they pack with an extra large bag of ice and therefore the take away can travel up to 1 hour before being refrigerated].

Here is where their 'perfect swirl' comes out of:

I eagerly browsed through and being the born pinkaholic I am, chose 'pomegranate frozen yogurt' to start with:

Choosing the toppings is great fun.  So, heard their view as well (as to what makes best pairing) and settled for kiwi, pineapple and chocolate chips :)

True to its billing, was bold as well as intense with the basic pomegranate flavor coming through strongly.  I loved it.  The freshly cut kiwis lent it much enigma :)

For a rather slow and mild eater, I usually have much greater and more voracious appetite for desserts.  So, managed as many as 4 of their flavors yesterday - and came through very light.  Didn't feel stuffed or heavy at all.  No adverse effects as to cold, cough either :)

What I did next was the best part of the evening.  Chose 'Salted Caramel' flavor.

Paired it with brownie bites, red velvet bites and just a mild hint of chocolate chips.

My verdict: this is their superstar offering.  Must try.  I strongly recommend it.

A nice 'salted peanut' flavor, it lingers on and the bits and bites make for great chew.

In the meantime, noticed their tissue napkins are from recycled material.  Much appreciate that.  

So, went around the place, struck up some conversation and came back for, ah, something fruity now, so, Mango flavor!

This received super fresh helpings of pomegranate, grapes and a hint of kiwi toppings.  Very fruity.

Next in line came the 'Chocolate' flavor:

Have no logic for this, but wanted sweet lime and banana toppings and they obliged :) Its good fun experimenting with the toppings, trying to understand, appreciate and fuse the flavors.  

The chocolate flavor is, as can be expected, yummy.  Its luxurious to have someone peel, cut and serve sweet lime that way :)

So, here is my unbiased ranking (they don't even know i m coming up with this, though they were pleasantly surprised with my detailed photographic tour and eager queries, so told them will blog about it):

1.  Salted Caramel (do not miss)
2.  Pomegranate
3.  Chocolate
4.  Mango

Now, I missed the much celebrated 'Green Apple' flavor, so please do try it and for all we know, it might make it to the top 2 ranks :)

After receiving such good service, its time to introduce the team; a very motivated, cheerful team [they have a clasp-handshake culture and every team member would deal with me - advising, answering, providing - only after a clasp-handshake].  

As always, the ladies first:

That's Karsyn on the left and Mussarat on the right.  Mussarat Kang is Director of Operations, Pinkberry in Mumbai.  Both of them gave me great company, nuggets of information and cheerful banter all through.

Now, for THE team picture:

In the picture: Justin, Rojesh, Karsyn, Sathya (he is their very active and affable manager), Sivalingam and Buvi.

Pricing (in Rs.):

Frozen Yogurt:

In Store:

Serving Size             Without Topping                 With Topping

Small                       Rs. 75/-                             Rs. 100/-

Medium                    Rs. 105/-                           Rs. 150/-

Large                       Rs. 145/-                           Rs. 195/-

Take away:

Yogurt                     Rs. 380                              Rs. 75 additional

Frozen Shakes: 

Rs. 175/- each in 3 varieties:

Chocolate Banana
Salted Caramel (yeah, the superstar)

Pinkberry Lassi:

Rs.120/- in the following flavors:

Chikoo Dates

Fresh Yogurt:

Rs.120/- with the following combo options:

Dhokla (I am delighted by their 'Indian' touch; yes, i am a major Dhokla lover)
Khatta Meetha (very crunchy Indian savoury or namkeen)
Tomato Basil (sounds very interesting)
Mango Kiwi
Chikoo Dates Granola
Spicy Cucumber
'Create Your Own'

So, that is my fabulous sneak preview experience.

Concluding comments:

Must try.  As such, all the more so in Chennai, there are very few (if none) brands offering healthy gourmet yogurt options.  So, this is all the more welcome. Wishing this all success and a long association.  

If one were to rank 'pricing', it is expensive - but, so is, every other scoop of ice cream we devour.  So, may be its time to redistribute and partake something much lighter (literally, with 1.5% fat) and healthier :)

Try it out and let me know ..

Note: All photographs, views and content are my copyright.  Could you please be good and ask for permission before reproducing (trust me, I love that kinda thing and will be happy to share with due credits).

Now, we await the launch tomorrow .. more power to you Pinkberry India :)

Reach Pinkberry India:

On Twitter

On their website

On Facebook

Cheers :)