Thursday, November 14, 2013

November 14, Nirula's Revisited

November  14, Nirula’s Revisited

It is Children’s day , I had to write about my childhood fantasy revisited  Nirula’s. After a sales call the salesman gets hungry, while going in for the meeting, I spotted a Nirula’s off Aruna Asaf Ali Marg a place near Bawa potteries. It also has the Ananda hospitality office near it (near Vasant kunj). Please read my previous post on the history of Nirulas and my journey through Adolescence, Youth, Family, please read here

I walk in, the place is run down , faded paint, bright colors now pale, cakes like they are made of wax. Two three property dealer types eating a thali of sort. This is definitely not the Nirula’s of my salad days. I walk up bravely like in Oliver Twist, (asking for porridge from the orphanage janitor), here the man behind the cash till. I ask for a Bigboy Burger, I notice you have to pay extra for a hash brown. I offer Rs 135/- for a burger and hash brown. Compare it to the Rs 5.50 for a Bigboy burger exactly 30 years ago. Its now 24.5 times more. I would reckon that would be the  inflation that we have lived through from college to now.

I sit gingerly without touching the veneered table, staying away from the cloudy plastic glasses. I wait and wait and wait. I walk up to the counter and the cook on the grill says  I will make it well.

I am definitely circumspect….. I don’t know what to expect. Nirula’s. The Legend has changed… owned by Nirulas, then a Malaysian fund and Samir Kuckreja and now the Chadhas of Kabila Travels. Long journey. Equally long as my burger wait. Despite, my instructions usually its dry cardboard tasting burger.

Well the burger arrives wrapped in butter paper, I open it, expecting the worst . I bite into it, heaven, its tasty, juicy, slurpy, and heavenly. I devour it as no one is watching and enjoy. Surprise, surprise it has delivered on the core proposition the food. The mustard is good the burger is really nice. I complement the cook, Gulab, 21 years with Nirulas at at the Connaught Place mother ship outlet till they shut it down and its now a Haldirams. Thanks Gulab and thanks Nirula’s. As I said, don’t care my burger comes from a Punjabi, Malaysian, or  a Sikh ownership. All I like is the burger has to be right and right it was.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Perils of a Punter (breakfast at Jatland ... oops Heartland)

Like there are rewards in finding new and interesting places to eat. The perils or risks involved are tremendous too. This morning, i decided to drop my daughter to school and attend the PTM in the same trip. As a result, i was done at 8.30 am and our office does not crank start before 9.30 am. 

Armed with a newspaper in my hand headed to the nearest market at Green park. I had spotted an Adyar Anand Bhawan  many moons ago. Images of a clean restaurant with Suprabhatam playing in the background, well bathed and hair oiled in white lungis and shirts waiters greeting with warm smiles, hot idlis and fragrant coffee goaded me in that direction.

8.50 am and the shutters are tightly shut with a guy sitting on a stool and absorbing the lazy morning sun, tells me, it opens at 9. I always wonder other than a few, all South Indian restaurants do not open before 9 shed the early Madras Cafe habits in Dravid-land and adapted to the lazy Rajdhani and Jatland of Delhi. Though EverGreen Sweets was live and kicking> I was determined to lose myself in the lanes of Guindy, along the slow flowing Adyar river in Chennai in heartland Green Park.

I go in, a shady place with Uttranchal waiters who haven't bathed in a week, floors being swept of last nights droppings, curtains pulled to avoid the sun. i ask for Idly, sambhar will take five minutes. I settle for Upma, served in a neon yellow thali, go through it somehow terrible tasting chutneys. Ask for, Vada, not ready. Settle for a Masala Dosa. I understand the first Dosa on a Tawa is terrible, i do try and make my point. They bring be a white Dosa (far from brown ) on a even bigger neon yellow Thali. I hate it. I complain. They don’t care a shit. How does a North Indian understand Dosas.

Little do they know this north Indian spent better half of his life in Visakhapatnam and Coimbatore and speaks chaste Telugu and Tamil. They look at my half eaten Dosa in disdain and bring me a full bill. I try to complain and then let it be. 

This is my format of a complain. please avoid the place, at least in the morning if you are from the Southern, northern and any geographical state of india or the world. Namaskar

Friday, April 5, 2013

Shame at Starbucks

Coming up....... the disaster at Starbucks at Select Citty Walk New Delhi....... Watch this space.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Great Maratha......... Maratha Darshan

What moves a person so much to devote time and effort to write about a dish or an eating place it has to be outstanding. I continue with my Southern sojourn with Maratha Darshan. A few posts ago I had written that my colleagues at Bangalore threw a challenge, the first salvo was with Namma  Mane (Kundapur Cuisine). The second salvo was fired with Maratha Darashan.

Now, Darshini is a vegetarian eating place in Bangalore. There are more than a few thousand in Bangalore. Bangalore has a great eating out culture for breakfast, lunch and  tiiffin. There are stand and eat Darshini, sit and eat Darshini and many more.

We are here talking about Maratha Darshan in Bangalore and why not 5 districts of Karnataka share their border with Maharashtra from the costal west to North. Why not a shared cuisine. Actually Karnataka is generous, the people respond or try to in the language you speak to them. Large hearted to embrace and introduce cuisine albeit, neighbors……. We ll know the number of Andhra style restaurants and eateries. For many years, I kept searching for original Kannadiga food now I am wiser.

Maratha Darshan is eatery, where the food is spicier version of perhaps the South Karnataka cuisine, however speaking to Naveen the son of the proprietor Shanthraj Lad. The story is his mother is from Madikeri in Coorg and father a Maratha settled in Mysore. Hence I was confused with flavors, part Vidharba- Kundapur-Coorg. A melee of flavors each of them, more delightful than the other.

Their signature dishes are Mutton Chops masala, Natti Chicken (country chicken), Meat Balls (Keema) in gravy. Their repertoire is large, we stuck to Kaleji (Liver fry, more offal), mutton chops and elegant chappatis. Flavors nice, crowded at lunch time, people standing and peering into your plates, waiting for you to finish and swoop in for the kill. There is plenty of fvoful curries with rice and Mudde ( Ragi balls)

They now have a branch at Malleswaram, however the parents started out on selling on a footpath, then on to a auto (three wheeler) and now two branches packed to the gills. Long journey, from their humble beginnings in 1992.

The food is outstanding and highly recommended. Abhijeet, Rabansh Sunanth and Satya Colleagues at Bangalore you win the round two as well.