Every time I go to a restaurant, I have an overwhelming tendency to want to order everything on the menu that sounds appealing to me. I wish I could just order a side portion of everything that looks delicious so I don’t end up ordering 4 main courses and struggle to even finish half of them. As expected, I love tapas and the ease of ordering multiple dishes and having a few spoonfuls of each thing. I was researching restaurants to eat out at in Manchester and came across Mowgli Street Food, an Indian Inspired restaurant that serves dishes in tiffin tins. I knew I had to go check them out! I’ve always loved the Indian cuisine and the flavour combinations that come along with their food. What makes it even better, is that they offer a vegan menu!
“Mowgli is all about how Indians eat at home and on their streets. She was born to feed the raw need Indians have for tiffins full of fresh bright intense flavour. Mowgli is not about the intimate, hushed dining experience. It is about the smash and grab zing of healthy, light, virtuosic herbs and spices.”
I visited the Mowgli Street Food restaurant located in Manchester’s corn exchange and I’ve recently found out that they have branches across the country- including another restaurant in Manchester, two in Liverpool (where it was originally founded), Birmingham, Nottingham, and Oxford. The first thing I noticed as soon as I walked in was how gorgeous their branding and interior design was. I don’t think I’ve been anywhere that looks quite like it before, which made the experience feel unique.
Their vegan menu has an option titled ‘vegan tiffin boxes for one,’ which is basically a 4 tiered tiffin box with different dishes. This option is described as a “veg & carb jeopardy chosen by mother.” I also ordered some Roti breads to use “like a spoon” for the contents of my tiffin tins, these are basically wrap style breads that you can dip in your sauce and scoop some food into. My tiffin stack consisted of some basmati rice, infused with black cardamon and 3 different main options: Tea Steeped Chickpeas, Temple Dahl, and Picnic Potato Curry. I was really impressed with all the flavours- I thought the Dhaal was going to be a clear winner because I love lentils, but It’s safe to say that I’d rate all 3 options a 9/10!
You’d think a collection of 4 different options would be enough to satisfy my taste buds, but the ‘street chat’ section of their vegan menu, which I interpreted as their starters looked too appealing to ignore. For the starters, I chose the Yoghurt Chat Bombs and the Bhel Puri option. The Yoghurt bombs were described as crisp bread puffs filled with chickpeas spiced soya yoghurt, tamarind & coriander, which sounds absolutely amazing- you just know you’ll get a burst of yoghurt with every bite of these. As for the Bhel Puri, the menu describes it as ‘Bombay’s best loved street food,’ the dish consists of puffed rice with crisp gram threes, peanuts & tantalising spiced sweet & sour dressing.
Their ‘Street Chat’ section also included a few options with fries and even a chip butty that sounds amazing but I don’t think I was feeling it on the day. I don’t actually think I’ve ever had fries as part of an Indian meal before, so I’m definitely keen to go back and give them a try.
I absolutely love yoghurt- whether it’s soya yoghurt or coconut yoghurt, I think it makes meals so much more refreshing and flavoursome, so I was so excited for the Yoghurt Chat Bombs and they definitely lived up to my expectations. The outer crust was really thin and then as soon as you bit into them, they had a burst of flavour in your mouth! As for the Bhel Puri, I’ve tried something similar before at Bundobust and this one tasted just as good. Adding puffed rice to a meal completely changes the texture of the food and it tastes so nice when you get hit with those tangy spoonfuls every now and then.
As for drinks, I ordered their Chai Rum Sling cocktail (Chai infused white rum with apricot liquor, apple, mint, lime & sugar) and it was so refreshing and tasty. I would’ve definitely ordered a couple more of these if at a bar, but I was being sensible and wanted to actually enjoy my food and properly taste all the different flavour infusions that were served. They also had a vegan dessert option, sorbet, which can be quite refreshing after eating a warm, flavour filled meal, but I was so stuffed by this point I couldn’t even think about dessert.
I really want to go back and try even more things from their menu and order their amazing Street Chat sides again! If you happen to go to Mowgli and enjoy their food as much as I did, feel free to tag me in any photos on instagram @nutritionalnatasa because I love seeing what other people order.