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 http://samilm.blogspot.in/2009/06/legends-of-fall-nirulas-and-wengers.html.
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.