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Mowgli Manchester
Address16, 37 Corn Exchange, Manchester M4 3TR
Phone0161 832 0566
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Mowgli Corn Exchange Reviews
Restaurants Of Manchester (Sunday 23rd June 2019)
Mowgli Corn Exchange  Manchester Review

Key: 5 stars = World Class!   4 stars = FANTASTIC   3 stars = GOOD   2 stars = OK   1 star = Poor

Decor & Ambience World Class
Rope backed booths, modern Edison-bulb illumination, with a dark and moody feel, showing industrial touches here and there.  A super modern look, akin to the current wave of uber-trendy curry houses (and everything else) which have been sweeping the nation since around 2014.  They are far from curry houses in truth, and fit more into the Indian 'restaurant' bag.  All in all, a smart place to be.
The rope backs were a bit style over substance.  Leaning backwards onto a total stranger isn’t my bag, as communal as Indian dining is inherently supposed to be.  And Edison bulbs are a bit 2015 now really.  They are everywhere.
Mowgli Corn Exchange  Manchester Review
Chat Bombs (£4.95)
Price World Class
On the face of things, prices are decent.  £8 for a curry main course sounds like good value, as does £2.50 for rice, and £3 for 2 Puri, etc.  We spent about £55 for 2 people, with 3 soft drinks between us. Not too bad at all in terms of spend per person for a weekend lunch.
In truth, the prices are a bit steep for the portion sizes, which are on the small side.  A curry here isn’t what you'd usually expect in terms of size, and they are definitely tapas like in stature.  3 dishes per person is needed for sure, and had we been there for dinner instead of a quick lunch, another circa £20 on food would have been needed, plus another tenner if we’d hit the booze.
Mowgli Corn Exchange  Manchester Review
Gunpowder Chicken (£6.50) & Mowgli Sticky Wings (£7.25)
Service World Class
Friendly, warm, quick, and generally positive, with us being looked after well for most of our stay. For a quick and casual meal, you couldn’t really moan about service levels in general.
Our first drinks order was wrong. No biggie, and it was quickly rectified.  Crucially, our server couldn’t pass on any wisdom of dishes which we asked for advice on, as she was vegetarian.  She took great delight in telling us much too.  Now I'm neither vegetarian or vegan. But I can still tell you to a detailed level what a jackfruit Korma tastes like.  I'm not a massive fan or either jackfruit or Korma sauce. But as a server, I'd be sure to know my menu inside out, regardless of whether I could personally eat most it or not.  And unless they are like minded, customers don’t care about your dietary preferences.
Mowgli Corn Exchange  Manchester Review
Mother Butter Chicken (£7.95) & Puri (£3)
Food & Drink World Class
Street food is the name of the game here. Sure, most Indian and Far Eastern food originates from Street Food, as sit-down eating in a proper restaurant is generally for the wealthy in most of said lands. In that part of the world however, it's not street food, nor is it a food trend; it's just food, and is how most people eat on a day to day basis.  Some of the most memorable meals that I've eaten in Asia were served at the roadside, from a 'kitchen' powered by a V8 engine, off a paper plate or nothing at all, with hygiene standards so poor that they'd be shut down in a matter of days if they ever operated in this country.  That’s street food at its purest and most unique.  A multi-sensory overload, and I adore it.  In this country though, when you see 'Street Food', it's usually served in a shiny restaurant, and isn’t street food at all; its restaurant food, and super stringent food regs prevent us from delivering anything anywhere near the authentic, even from Market stalls etc.  Western restaurant ‘Street’ Food needs to go away. 

Authenticity corrections aside; we started with Chat Bombs (£4.95), which as named were an explosion of flavour and texture.  Puffed rice with gram strands, filled with chickpea, spice and yoghurt.  Seriously tasty, and have to be downed in one go.  The best dish of the meal by some way.  Gunpowder Chicken (£6.50), was an Indian spin on popcorn chicken; nuggets of chicken covered in spiced gram flour batter.  Simple, but a real crowd-pleaser of a dish.  Mowgli Sticky Wings (£7.25) were a decent size portion, and were fun to eat what with getting your fingers mucky in the process. They looked striking on their hammered metal plate.  Perfectly cooked within their (again) chickpea batter, with a garnish of sesame seeds adding to the presentation further.  Goan Fish Curry (£8.25) was spicy and aromatic via those dried, smokey Kashmiri chillis, and looked pretty as a picture in its little tiffin.  Mother Butter Chicken (£7.95), an Indian classic, was also served in a cute tiffin, which I think acted as portion control as much as a presentation boost.  Rice (£2.50) and Puri (£3) were both fine, with no hipster twists, just as it says on the tin.
But……  The wings, whilst looking great and in a good portion size, lacked seasoning and punch, ultimately feeling a touch flat.  The fish curry was massively acidic, and Chef had clearly gone to town on the vinegar element. The delicate fish, which was also quite soggy, was sadly destroyed by the sauce.  Our server had done well to be a vege in this case.  The Butter Chicken was sadly also quite flat, runny, and marginally bland. A far cry from the rich and indulgent classic which is indeed the predecessor of our beloved and unquestionably British, Chicken Tikka Masala. 
Mowgli Corn Exchange  Manchester Review
Goan Fish Curry (£8.25) & Rice (£2.50)
Overall World Class

And so, the Mowgli movement has been great to see generally.  From launch in Liverpool, in yes, 2014, with a rapid expansion to all over the NW and now far beyond.  She's a lovely lady, and Nisha Katona's curry baby has spread its wings, plus you can see why people love it really.  It's riddled with USPs, had some truly authentic nods, they have a strong brand with good ethical practice, and it's just a fun place to enjoy a curry with a bit of a twist, offering a few items which you just won't see on most British curry house menus.  
However, for us, if you strip back the nice décor and presentation, looking purely at what's on the plate, then it's pretty average in quality and value, and they are definitely charging what they can whilst the sun shines. If I could charge £8 for half a portion of curry, just because it's served in a tiffin with nice crockery, I definitely would too. Full power to them. 

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