Mowgli Street Food - Manchester
t’s a funky, laid back, and informal way of dining where you can eat as much or as little as you fancy. The staff are great, and the food is some of the best Indian food I’ve had.
I first became aware of Mowgli Street Food when the founder, Nisha Katona, was on Sunday Brunch as a guest chef. I was blown away by her enthusiasm for food. I knew I wanted to try one of the dishes made by the “Curry Evangelist” at one of her Mowgli Street Food restaurants. Sadly, for me, these are all ‘ooop North’ so, when myself and Miss A had a trip to Manchester planned, Mowgli was an immediate booking!
Mowgli Street Food in Manchester is within the Corn Exchange, surrounded by a bevvy of other restaurants. It was a very busy evening as Take That were in town, and all the establishments were packed with ‘Ladies of a certain age’. We’d planned our evening with this in mind and booked a table, on arrival we were led swiftly to our table upstairs.
The restaurant was a hive of activity, packed tables with plenty of staff buzzing around serving customers. The decor in Mowgli Street Food uses lots of wood, ropes, and scaffolding poles. This combined with exposed brickwork, fairy lights, and retro lighting creates a warm, rustic feeling. There are tables and booths of all sizes to cater for an intimate dinner to big groups.
The waitress explained the ordering / serving process worked. If you’re ordering from Indian Street Market menu, it’s essentially best described as ‘Indian Tapas’. You get smaller portions of food, delivered to your table as it’s ready. Each dish ranges in price from around £4.50-£8. There’s a wide selection, suitable for carnivores, vegetarians and vegans with good gluten free choice too! We chose three items from the ‘Street Chat’ section, two from the ‘Hindu Kitchen’, a portion of rice to share and a dessert each.
You can order more if you want, however our selection was plenty!
Food and Drink
The dishes are all served in a variety of Street Food containers, you just grab what you want and serve it onto your plate. It’s a fun and informal style of dining. We didn’t have to drive home so we grabbed a couple of cocktails from the drinks menu. I opted for the Smoked Cardamom Old Fashioned and Miss A had a Chai Rum Sling – a smidge under £8 a pop, they were worth EVERY penny.
After wetting our whistle, the food starting arriving – so, lets take a look at each item as it arrived..
Yoghurt Chat Bombs
The heart of Mowgli. Crisp bread puffs filled with chickpeas, spiced yoghurt, tamarind & coriander.
Wow! What a start! These little bombs of deliciousness simply explode in your mouth, filling it with a rush of flavours. There’s a lot to love about them, I could have stuffed all five in my face.
Himalayan Cheese Toast
Coriander, red onion & green chilli dressing, sharp cheddar & served with Indian pickle.
I can’t tell you how much I love cheese toast, it’s my lunch of choice – ALWAYS. I wasn’t sure how much you could improve on an old classic. However the red onion and green chilli dressing, combined with the mouth itching cheddar take the Himalayan Cheese Toast to a different level. Amazing!
Mowgli Chip Butty
A flavour grenade! Roti wrap, fenugreek kissed turmeric fries, chilli pickle, red onion, coriander, green chilli & Mowgli tomato relish
It wouldn’t be the north without a chip butty! The Mogwli twist is genius! The little turmeric fries are tasty as hell. This isn’t a bland butty, it’s packed with flavour, the Roti makes a perfect vessel for the chips too. You’ll never look at a chip butty in the same way again.
Tea Steeped Chickpeas and Picnic Potato Curry
Chickpeas simmered in a rich Darjeeling spiced tomato & spinach sauce
How Indians tang their potatoes. Tossed in fenugreek, tomato & the haunting Bengali Five Spice.
I do a lot of cooking with Chickpeas, and I drink an obscene amount of tea. The two combine for a warming, flavoursome dish. Cooked to perfection, and so very moreish – I loved the Tea Steeped Chickpeas. The Potato Curry wasn’t a disappointment either, the Bengali Five Spice lift the humble potato into a new dimension of flavour. The Indians know their food!
It’s a sign of a good meal when you’re sad when it’s over. Thankfully it wasn’t quite over – next up was dessert – I went for…
The ultimate Indian dessert. Syrupped milk dough balls served warm with ice cream.
Even such a simple dish of dough balls and ice cream was as beautifully presented as the other dishes. The dough balls were wonderfully light and fluffy and weren’t remotely stodgy – it was a wonderful way to round off a fantastic meal.
The service from all the staff was warm and friendly. They were just the right amount of ‘hands off’. I hate being fussed over and interrupted while I’m enjoying a meal out by over-the-top staff. However, I don’t like to feel abandoned and gesturing for service. It’s a hard line to balance, however the staff at Mowgli Street Food had it just right.
There was also a table nearby who didn’t really ‘get’ how the food was served. The concept of it coming out when ready, and no real ‘courses’ baffled them. The waitress took it all in her stride and calmly dealt with them professionally. I’m still not sure they quite understood how it worked, but this was because they were clearly idiots.
I can’t complain with any of the facilities. There’s good access for disabled guests. The toilets were well looked after, although several folk seemed to have trouble finding them. I’m unsure why, there was a sign at the top of the stairs pointing diners in the right direction.
It’s pretty clear – I had a bloody good time dining at Mowgli Street Food. I would guess even the most fussy eater could find something delicious here. It’s a funky, laid back, and informal way of dining where you can eat as much or as little as you fancy. The staff are great, and the food is some of the best Indian food I’ve had. I can’t recommend Mowgli Street Food enough – my only complaint – I’ve got to drive 200 miles for it, however, it was TOTALLY worth it.