This article is essential reading for anyone who has NOT had the Hot Chocolate Fudge (HCF) at Nirula’s, an essential experience that civilised folks in the NCR have been partaking in for decades. Sadaf Hussain writes in the Indian Express that “When I first arrived in Delhi in 2011, Nirula’s seemed to me like any other ice cream parlour. I became a convert to the cult of Nirula’s only after accompanying a friend to an outlet in Vasant Kunj, and tasted the Hot Chocolate Fudge (popularly known as HCF). The sticky sauce spilling all over my shirt told my friend that I approved of her choice, and my soul thanked her. If you think there is no such thing as perfection, try HCF, with extra toasted nuts, and then we’ll talk.”
Beyond the sublime perfection of the HCF, Nirula’s has a important in the NCR’s culinary coming-of-age: “Nirula’s was the first to do many things. It transformed the eating-out culture of Delhi, but its story does not begin in 1977 when the city’s first fast food restaurant opened. Rajiv Chowk today is full of eateries, but the Connaught Place (as it was called then) of 1934 was different for the family of Deepak Nirula, whom we lost on October 5. Deepak Nirula became a pioneer in the fast food industry, and was instrumental in popularising dishes from around the world in India. He established the country’s first fast food chain, and it was thanks to him that Indians were exposed to a wide range of ice cream flavours….
Affection for the brand runs deep in Delhi. While reliving memories of Nirula’s, former journalist Ashok Mathur, a fifth-generation Old Delhi resident described the restaurant to me as “an emotion”, not only because it served dishes that people like him would never have been able to sample otherwise, but also because it put aspirational foods like burger, pizza, or ice cream within reach of the middle class.”
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