KOCHI: The rain is gentle but persistent. I crane my neck out of the auto hoping not to have missed the shop on a narrow road drenched in damp shades of brown and grey. But it is hard to overlook the blotch of lush green emitting from what is almost a wall of avocados in all shapes and sizes that fortify the entrance. Rinoos Cool Bar sounds like a ritzy juice point but the outlet at Cheriyapalam, Fort Kochi is an unassuming shop serving arguably the best avocado shake in the city, that too at an unbeatable price of just `50.
I walk in to be greeted by more avocados stacked in crates. “These are about to be picked up and delivered to restaurants,” says Noushad C A who runs Rinoos along with his brothers. The 19-year-old establishment which started as a small wholesale avocado dealership now supplies this indigenous Mexican fruit to prime hotels, restaurants and juice parlours across the city.
“Our avocado sales cross 100 kg daily. We source them from farms in Wayanad, Ooty and Kodaikanal from March to December and during January and February we import unripe fruit from Myanmar. We are the only dealers with stock all year round,” says Noushad.
The juice bar started a little over a year ago but it is already an institution in Fort Kochi. “We receive around 400 orders for avocado shake every day, on weekends it goes up to 600. People come all the way from Aluva at night as the shop is open until 2 am,” says Zafar who has been working at Rinoos for a year.
I scan the menu hung on the wall but I am confused when I don’t find what I thought was the place’s USP. “We call it butter shake,” says Noushad pointing me to the first item listed with ‘avocado’ within parenthesis. “The texture of a perfectly ripe avocado is just like butter which is why we decided to call the shake so,” he informs.
The weather outside is not really ideal for anything cold but I am piqued to try one. Noushad asks me to take a seat and gets to work. He slices an avocado into half and scoops out the buttery pulp with a spoon. He drops that into a blender along with generous helping of sugar before digging out a packet of completely frozen milk from the freezer and whacking it hard with a wooden stump to break into chunks. “This is the secret to our thick shakes, we add pieces of frozen milk.
We don't add ice cubes because that would thin down the consistency,” screams Noushad from amidst the deafening noise of the mixer. In no time, I am served a tall glass full of a powder green drink. The consistency is so thick that I struggle to slurp it from the straw. What I gulped down a couple of attempts later was a creamy concoction of milky goodness which is just the right amount of sweet, just short of delectable gourmet icecream.