Tuesday, 16 February 2016


When I finally got round to visiting Mowgli Street Food in Liverpool last year I was incredibly delighted that I enjoyed it as much as I expected too what with all the positive comments I'd heard about it from my friends and family. Because of this, I didn't think twice when there was a possibility of visiting their new opening in Manchester over this Valentines weekend to see if they could carry over the good work to a second city. So off we went on an extremely cold Friday in February to the newly revamped Corn Exchange in Manchester's bustling city centre. 

It's great to finally be able to see  the redevelopment of this neglected area of the city and the results are impressive. As you walk through the large gates into the foyer area you are met with the entrance of an array of places to eat but it was Mowgli that managed to entice us over with memories of our fabulous meals in Liverpool .It was early when we arrived so I think we were lucky enough to get free reign of any of the tables before the after work rush as it began to fill up quite quickly after we sat down which was good to see. 

The dining area downstairs is quite small, spilling out into the courtyard area but this does make for a more intimate dining experience especially when sat on one of the small roped booths opposite the bar as we were. Our host and all the staff we encountered were friendly and ready to offer assistance with the menu but as  Mowgli veterans we knew the score and so were ready to order.

If you are new to Mowgli however and are struggling to decide from the multitude of delicious sounding dishes on the menu I do advise you go for the tiffin selection offers. For a reduced price you are given a pot luck of dishes, either with meat or wholly vegetarian. For the price on offer this is exceptional value and it also takes away the agonizing decision of having to decide what to order and places it in the hands of the chefs. Just advise the team if there is anything you don't particularly like and you'll be presented with a surprise menagerie of Indian street food treats to sample. 

As seasoned veterans however, we got stuck straight in. My dining buddy chose the house lamb curry to start with. As you'll see I ordered a plethora of food so didn't have room to give it a taste but she commented about how delicious it was particularly the sweetness that the plums and anise add to the flavor. Visually it looked stunning too with those little purple jewels on top sparkling in the lights on top of the chunky pieces of lamb which have been simmered in bone marrow. I'm not really a fan of lamb but looking at this tiffin of goodness is definitely be tempted to try it next time.

For my  tiffin I chose the paneer curry. Paneer can be a fickle fellow but the chunks of cheese in this curry were super soft and literally melted in my mouth. The curry is subtle so spice haters needn't worry about it blowing there heads off. In fact I wished I'd ordered some roti to go with it as I would of quite happily sat and mopped up every last drop. The curry is peppered with fresh peas and green spinach and garnished with fresh herbs to create a truly vibrant meat free feast. Mowgli proudly promote their wide range of veggie dishes and so they should when they are this good.

The next three dishes we both went for (well, we couldn't possible share them could we!) First is the gunpowder chicken. Think popcorn chicken which has had a magic eastern wand wafted over it. The chicken inside the crispy crispy chickpea batter was moist and perfectly cooked. That mixture of the crispy outside and soft insides make for a textural triumph and when it is coupled with classic Indian flavors like garlic, ginger and garam masala you have something that you wouldn't find in any dodgy takeaway at 3am in the morning. If someone could bring me some of these next time I have a hangover I would be cured in a second!

Next up we went for an old favorite, the Himalayan cheese on toast. Now when I had this in Liverpool I remembered the topping being a lot more cheesier than it was this time around and I missed that slightly. That being said this is still something well above a cheese on toast you would get in a cafe or make yourself at home. The cheese dressing on the thick slabs of toast is topped with chili and coriander has a slight kick to eat which is perfectly cleansed by the sharp lime pickle served on the side (the pickle is not for the faint hearted, it really does have a tang!).

The highlight of the meal was the Bombay chip butty. I say Bombay chip butty but what I mean is a standard chip butty if it took steroids and went on a plane to India and rolled around it a vat of warm curry spices. It's a proper comfort food dish. Fenugreek kissed potato cubes spill out from inside the packed roti. Super fluffy like the clouds in heaven, I could of sat and at a massive bowl of those on their own, especially if I had a big bowl of the delicious Mowgli tomato relish on the side to dip them into. They should bottle that relish, it's amazing. If you visit Mowgli, make this your first choice!

 After all that amazingness there was no time for dessert so it was time to waddle on out. It is a first for me to write about the same restaurant for a second time but I felt like I needed to get the word out to all of Manchester that Mowgli has arrived. If you love Indian food and want to taste it in a modern and fresh new way then you won't get much better than this. I'm happy to say that I was there at the first restaurant in Liverpool but even happier to say that the magic has definitely been transferred to Manchester. Let's hope that they continue to flourish so that they can keep growing and spread their love further afield so that more and more people can sample the sparkle of Mowgli for years to come.

Want some more info about Mowgli Manchester or Liverpool then head over to their website pronto!

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