There’s very little “street food” eaten on the streets these days, although Mowgli gets closer than most with one whole side of its dining area opening onto the busiest corner of Goosegate.
Exciting meat and vegan menus promise all-time street food favourite bhel puri – India’s “ultimate comfort food” – and small dishes served in Instagram-pleasing tiffin boxes.
Lovers of tamarind sauce and potatoes, a feature of many dishes, are in for a treat; they did an excellent job of bulking up a disappointing portion of just two nicely spiced but clumsily salted lamb chops (£8.95). Ouch. Temple dahl (£3.95) and Aunty Geeta’s prawn curry (£6.95) showed some comfort, but provided little in terms of flavour.
Lovely bhel puri aside (crunchy puffed rice balls, with peanuts and sweet and sour dressing, £4.50), other dishes fell short of expectations raised by their website’s proclamation of “the smash-and-grab zing of healthy, light, virtuosic herbs and spices.”
The restaurant’s rope-swing chairs may be a shrewd method of distracting diners from flinching at their bill before handing over payment. Lunch for two, comprising three dishes each recommended by our server, with rice and puri (soft, fried flatbreads) and no booze whatsoever, clocked in at a fairly-whopping £40, including a modest tip. That’s a lot for lunch in Nottingham when competitors serving better quality small-plates from all over the world are not in short supply, and excellent, traditional Indian food is abundant at more reasonable prices.
Mowgli is a fun place to eat with decent house cocktails, in the heart of Nottingham’s most buzzing city centre destination. The food is fine, but a restaurant preparing parts of some dishes off-site, while also proclaiming that they’re “all about how Indians eat at home and on the streets” seems a little disingenuous. Alex Traska
1 Stoney Street, NG1 1LG. 0115 941 3939