Mowgli Street Food has just opened up in Hockley on the corner of Stoney Street and Goose Gate, just where they cross over into Broad Street.
The storyline is that they ‘serve the kind of food Indians eat at home and on the streets’ which sounds like a nice tagline
This is the latest in the line of Mowgli Street Food restaurants opened up by Nisha Katona, the other spots being in Liverpool, Manchester, Oxford, and Birmingham.
The buzz I had from people who had eaten at the other spots in Manchester and Liverpool was that the food was really good, very tasty, and very fresh
Ever since it was mentioned that a Mowgli was opening in Nottingham there has been a bit of an undercurrent of hype going around with people bandying about the terms ‘Indian tapas’ and ‘Indian Street Food’ as the latest of the food trends coming to the city. I like this sort of food so I was curious
To be honest though, forget the hype, and forget that there was talk of there being ‘swings’ to sit on (there are),
I just had to make the effort to come down on opening day to see what it was all about 🙂
You know me, I only really care about the food, so if its good and if I want to eat it again, I will find it and write about it.
They were offering ‘Tiffin boxes for one‘ described as being “Food roulette, Total Pot Luck” and I quite liked the sound of that.
We wanted to try more stuff though, and the server assured us that when someone orders a tiffin and you are sharing and want other dishes they take care not to duplicate dishes. Good customer service.
Excellent! that was going to be one “Office Workers Tiffin’ for me then, and a selection of other stuff that we also fancied too 🙂
The menu has sections called ‘Street Chat’ and ‘Street Meats’ which seemed to be the small plates and dishes that sounded like street food and then there were also two other sections ‘The Hindu Kitchen’ vegetarian and ‘The House Kitchen’ which was mostly meat and fish dishes.
As we pondered our choices it was tough as to be honest there was a lot that we really wanted, but with the thoughts of the magic Tiffin selection which we were guessing what might turn up on the table we also ordered the Himalayan Cheese Toast, The Temple Dahl, and the Angry Bird.
Just to get started with, ahem
Lets take a look at what we ate 🙂
Himalayan Cheese Toast
The Himalayan Cheese on Toast from the ‘Street Chat’ section of the menu for £4.95 was really very good indeed! I had picked this out from the menu even before we arrived as something that I really had to try. I Iove cheese on toast anyway so I just had to see how Mowgli ‘pimped it up’.
It is basically a big gooey mess of molten cheese, packed with sharp cheddar tang, mixed with fresh coriander, a hit of red chilli and of course all topping a lovely bit of toastie bread.
The menu described this as ‘Himalayan Cheese Toast – Coriander, red onion & green chilli dressing, sharp cheddar & served with Indian Pickle‘ so basically what I said 🙂
What they don’t say is that the big dollop of red and orange pickle on the plate is a little bit of dynamite. If you just treat it gently and spread a little bit on the bit of toast you are sticking in your mouth it will be fine, but if you put a big spoonful straight into your mouth you may be in for a surprise, just like the unsuspecting lady on the table next to us who was spluttering for a moment when she did just that.. oops!
For certain I am going to order this again and I will probably have an attempt to make something similar at home as well (note to self – you have the book so it’s not that hard to figure it all out)
The Angry Bird
The Angry Bird was described on the menu as “Succulent Chicken thighs marinated and roasted in Tandoor spices, yoghurt, ginger and garlic‘ for £6.95 and it was also a very decent dish. The chicken was indeed moist and juicy and the kicker was the roasted skin that was coated in all that crisped up marinade.
I could have easily eaten a plate of just the crispy skin. This came served with ‘popped mustard slaw’ which was plentiful and we were still eating that up long after we had decimated the chicken.
I was especially loving the plump raisins or maybe they were sultanas that lurked in amongst the red cabbage adding some pops of juicy sweetness.
You can order the slaw on its own for £1.95 and I would recommend doing that, get the ‘House red cabbage coleslaw with a popped mustard seed dressing’
The Temple Dahl
We also chose the Temple Dahl from the Hindu Kitchen section of the menu. The menu describes this as “The ultimate Indian home comfort food. Red lentil simmered with toasted cumin, coriander and lemon“.
It had surprised me when it arrived at how it was more yellow that I had expected but that was probably just the turmeric though. This dish is a little watery, which I liked, and there is a little bit of a kick of spice at the end of each mouthful and nice little sourness from the lemon juice.
I like the garnish of coriander and chopped chilli too which added a bit more freshness and a bit more spicy crunch if you got a slice of the red stuff.
This was most like dishes that I had eaten in the streets of India, where we would often get a bowl of yellow dahl and a bowl of dahl Makhini from a roadside stall which we spooned up with bits of roti.
I would have said that I would order this everytime as it is a very easy dish to compliment anything else that you might order, but there was another dahl that we got with our Tiffin box which might be a serious competitor, read about that in a minute down the page.
Price wise this Temple Dahl was pretty good value too from the menu at £3.95 and if you got a couple of roti you might not want much more that this for a quick and gentle snack.
Lets check out the tiffin for one
House Lamb Curry
The first dish in our ‘tiffin’ was the “House Lamb Curry” the menu described this as ‘Falling apart and long simmered with anise, plums, chickpeas, this is my Dad’s recipe. A deep rich home kitchen gem“. If you ordered this on it’s own it was £6.75 and probably good value and a good choice.
The lamb was well cooked without being too crumbly and there was a fair portion of meat in there. The thick brown gravy was really nice in this curry and lots of deep spice flavour came through.
I read in the Mowgli Cookbook that apparently the dish contains ginger, garlic, onion, turmeric, chilli, tomato, star anis, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves as well as the lamb, chickpeas, and the plums.
It was all very well balanced and I didn’t feel that anything was really overpowering the dish. If anything the star anise and the cinnamon came through in a slight pungent way and the very soft plums added some deep sweetness when you got a bit in your spoonful and I think that was my favourite part of this dish as it was so unexpected.
Green Ginger and Rhubarb Dahl
The second pot from the ‘tiffin’ was this rather excellent “Green Ginger and Rhubarb Dahl” which the menu described as “Tangy and Sweet green mung bean lentils simmered with cumin ginger and rhubarb”
I know “Rhubarb”! that was just what I was thinking. If I am honest reading the menu I would not have ordered this dish, but now that I have eaten it I am so glad that the chef added it to our ‘pot luck‘ selection as it was a really unexpected and quite delicious little pot of dahl.
It was not tangy and sweet in a tart or overtly sugary way, nope it was more gentle than that, a bit like getting a really well blended cocktail where you are not sure where each flavour starts or ends but you know that it just tastes real good.
I would also order this again and for £4.50 why not?
Mother Butter Chicken
The third pot in the Tiffin tower was a dish of “Mother Butter Chicken” which they describe as “…Butter Chicken is the real, Mother’s kitchen, deal…”, “Tandoori chicken pieces simmered in a rich, sweet, spiced tomato & yoghurt sauce finished with a gloss of butter”.
The best bit of this dish is probably the flavour of the sauce, you did get a fair bit of chicken breast but that was long gone well before the end and we were left staring at a bowl of creamy sauce. Not complaining I just like a drier dish and I might have liked this with the dark meat on the bone instead. I had it like that in India and I quite liked it that way even it is a bit more fussy to eat, it does taste better I think.
I did quite like this dish but of the three in the Tiffin it was my least favourite. I think that is just my taste as I am not as keen on the sweeter creamier sauces. having said that it is far better that the generic efforts at many places. I can see why a lot of people rave about this dish though, it is pretty good.
All in all the food at Mowgli Street Food was very good, There were no real mishits or clunkers and I can honestly say that I would order everyone of the six dishes that we ate again. I really liked the idea of the pot luck Tiffin box especially as it threw out two dishes that I had not considered ordering and that now I would.
I will have to come back as there is still more stuff that I have to try. If I am on my own I am planning to order the Bunny Chow and I do probably need to order the Himalayan Toast again, ooh ooh and I wanted the Mowgli Chip Butty too and the Treacle Tamarind Fries that I saw someone else having.
Oh gosh I really do want it all 🙂
I forgot to say that the ladies at the next table offered us one of their Chat Bombs which we accepted even though we were totally stuffed.
A flavour explosion was what was promised as I shoved the whole thing in my mouth. It was, one bite and a burst of fresh spiced yoghurt gushed forth with a bite of chickpea and fresh coriander. yeh might get those as well next time!
Mowgli Street Food in Nottingham is located at 1 Stoney Street in Hockley.
For the moment it is right by the Hoodwinked Robin number 11 ‘Stage Flight’