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NYC-based Malai ice cream company to open first DC location just in time for summer

Updated: May 16

A Brooklyn-based ice cream company is bringing South Asian-inspired flavors to the DMV with its first D.C. location. Malai will open a location at 1407 T Street, NW on Saturday, May 18 at noon. The ice cream shop will offer customers $3 scoops on their opening day, and the first 50 customers will receive a free tote bag.

The ice cream shop was founded by Food Network’s Chopped Sweets winner Pooja Bavishi in 2015. She was inspired to create Malai after discovering that the same spices she remembered from her childhood - including ginger, rose petals, saffron, and cardamom - could be used to create unique ice cream flavors.

“I founded Malai because desserts bring people joy, and I wanted to be in the business of delivering happiness,” Bavishi said in a news release.

Malai’s new location will feature 12 ice cream flavors and two soft-serve flavors that will be rotated regularly. All flavors are eggless and handcrafted. The shop will also sell pints of ice cream and other frozen desserts.

To celebrate the opening of its D.C. location, Malai will serve a new flavor: Cherry Black Cardamom. Other flavors will include Apricot Mace, Masala Chai, Cardamom Pistachio Crumble, and the dairy-free, vegan Passionfruit Cilantro Sorbet.

“Our D.C. scoop shop marks our inaugural step outside of NYC - so we knew we had to open with a delicious flavor,” Bavishi said. “Inspired by the official fruit of Washington D.C. (the cherry!), this flavor is our declaration to the city: We’re here, and we’ve arrived with a bang. Let’s celebrate.”

Malai’s summer hours are Sunday through Thursday from noon to 10 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from noon to 11 p.m.


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