After a splendid matinee performance of Pantoland at the London Palladium, we booked “Mowgli Street Food”:https://www.mowglistreetfood.com/ in Charlotte Street, a 10-minute walk away. The restaurant had only been open for a month and is the latest addition to the Indian Street food chain owned by Nisha Katona. It’s also the first in London.
As we were a little early for our 5.15pm booking, it was still quiet and we were shown to a table in the window, which instead of having chairs had a swing on either side hung from the ceiling. However, it was a little out of the main area and so we thought we’d give it a go.
The girl who greeted us was extremely enthusiastic and after checking we’d not been before, ran us through the “menu”:https://cdn.mowglistreetfood.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Mowgli-Food-Menu-3.pdf suggesting two dishes each from the sections headed ‘Street Chat’ and ‘Street Meats’, followed by a curry each and shared bread or rice.
The “wine list”:https://cdn.mowglistreetfood.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Mowgli-Drinks-Menu-2.pdf was simple with the white offerings divided into good, better and best. We went for a Riesling at £30 as I remembered it went well with Indian food.
When the guy came to take the order, we couldn’t remember whether it was two each or two per person, but he confessed it was his first day and didn’t know. The greeter was summonsed and not only confirmed it was two each, suggested her personal favourites which co-incidentally chimed with our thoughts. So we ordered: yoghurt chat bombs, Himalayan cheese toast, gunpowder chicken and having been told the treacle tamarind fries were on the sweet side, opted for fenugreek kissed fries.
Whilst the heartthrob Donny Osmond may have been the star at the panto, the chat bombs were the star of the meal, with the waiter advising us to put the small round puffs filled with yoghurt, chickpeas and spices into our mouth whole as they were slightly messy. As they looked a bit bigger than one bite, my friend tried to bite it in two, only to realise it was better to stuff the whole lot in. There were five and I had the honour of eating the final one – left as it looked a little bigger than the rest. Needless to say it ‘exploded’ and my fingers and napkin were totally covered in yoghurt. If you’re going with a group, they’re definitely an ice breaker. I’d had preferred the cheese toast a little spicier, but I do like things hot, with the fries being the Indian equivalent to Spanish patatas bravas.
Having been told that the food came out as and when, we found that just after all the four plates were served, a tiffin tin was brought to the table with the two curries we’d ordered. Not only was there no where on the table for it which was already overcrowded, but we didn’t want them getting cold and so we sent them back until we asked for them.
I chose the Mowgli house keema (spiced minced lamb with peas) whilst my friend had mother butter chicken (tender pieces of chicken in a lovely rich tomato and yoghurt sauce). To accompany the dishes we shared a portion of rice and Mowgli slaw. Everything was superb and absolutely wonderful. However, we were pretty stuffed and on a future visit, I’d choose a little less and perhaps order as I went along to avoid food overload on the table.
Prices were surprisingly reasonable and with a tip and wine, our bill came to £87.
The swing seats turned out to be surprisingly comfortable, and we rather enjoyed being able to sway from side to side, although I did have to be careful getting off it at the end of the meal.
This is a relatively small restaurant and I’d definitely recommend booking as lots of people were being turned away.