Three things for Nirula's
Yeh daulat bhi lelo, yeh shoharat bhi lelo
Bhale cheen lo, mujhse meri jawani
Magar mujhko lautado bachpan ka saawan
Woh kagaz ki kashti, woh nutty-buddy
Woh lime-ice, woh non-veg thali.
(Take my wealth, take away my fame
Even, snatch away, my youth from me.
But do return to me - the rains from my childhood
That paper boat, that nutty-buddy
that lime-ice, that non-veg thali)
A pre-emptive poem (with due apologies to Jagjit Singh), in case the new owners decide to change the menu. Instead, if they want to revive the taste of lime ice, I am all for it.
Friends have always raved about the hot chocolate fudge, the flagship dish of Nirula's. For me, it doesn't really work. The chocolate sauce is an overkill as it coats everything instead of finding their own niches, the nuts can't hold their own and the ice-cream is too unidimensional. Plus, ever since they started serving it in plastic or paper glasses, the dish has lost its visual appeal. There was something about the glass mugs which made me look at it as I had my lime-ice.
Lime ice on the other hand, till it became soda with ice cream flakes, was this simple yet classic mixture of lime syrup, soda and ice cream. It was some parts regular vanila ice-cream, some part a frothy mixture of ice-cream, syrup and soda and some parts intense lime flavour. Many surprises within the reassuringly small taste range. Plus, it was intensely cold, not like the quickly lukewarm hot chocolate fudge.
Do notice the it 'was'. Now, in order to increase the margins on the soda, Nirula's has increased the soda and unfortunately reduced the ice cream scoops and far more tragically, cut down on lime syrup. If you order one of these sodas today, you will find a taste robbed clean by a strong astringent. I hope new management brings in the old lime-ice.
The second thing I would urge the new management to do is retain the nutty-buddy as-is. I haven't met such a creation anywhere in the world and amongst all the ice-cream I have eaten, this has been the third favourite option. It's hard on outside, it's creamy inside. That's pretty consistent with many good things in life. For more, you would need to eat it. Hopefully, I will get the same consistency when I go there next.
For more, Rashmi Bansal has a post on Nirula's.
As one kid puts it,"Nirula is the place where you go when you can't agree on where to go...". Another was more blunt and said,"It's the place where fat Punjabi aunties in polyster suits go to pig out". But of course, that would describe just about any fast food restaurant in Delhi!
The third thing I must urge the new management to do is prohibit polyester suits. Firstly, they don't breathe well in Delhi summers. Secondly, often the colours clash with the 21 flavours of ice-cream. Can be avoided.