Monday, 18 January 2010

Mooli's, Soho



It's become a bit of a trend of late to take a popular snack food from a foreign country and flog it to central London punters at a 500% mark-up. That may sound like a rather cynical line to open on but I can't help noticing how many of the God-knows-how-many bloody burrito vans declare their product to be as authentic as authentic can be, then keep a straight face when charging £6 each for them (with 50p extra for guacamole). I know there are London real estate prices and the minimum wage to take into account, but honestly, £6 is too much to pay for a bit of broiler chicken wrapped in bread and salad. And don't even get me started on banh mi.


Anyway, deep breath. Mooli's, newly opened on Frith Street in Soho, serves what can best be described as an Indian meal in a wrap, containing staple meats such as pork, chicken and beef (and more recently goat) with Indian spices and vegetables all encased in a fresh roti. Given that it is a) brand-new and b) slightly exotic, the food blogs and foodie Twitterers have whipped themselves up into a virtual maelstrom of hype, and although I do try and keep an open mind on going anywhere new, it's fair to say my hopes were high.


Fortunately, it was nice - very nice in fact. I went for the goat option, and inside the perfectly moist roti was a healthy serving of goat alongside various chunks of roasted and fresh veg and a healthy but not overpowering kick of chilli. I particularly liked the tiny cubes of raw onion and the odd lump of velvety goat fat hiding within the richly flavoured and intelligently spiced shredded meat. I was also given a neat little parcel of baked popadums which made a perfectly good side, but although the spicy tomato and the mint yoghurt dips were very nice I really wasn't keen on the green chilli - very bland and flat, it was like eating wet grass.


So definitely not a wasted journey to Soho. I'm certain Mooli's will do very well given that they - for the moment at least - have a unique and genuinely tasty product, and I don't doubt the effort that owners Sam and Mathew have gone to to reproduce the street food of India under London's cold grey skies. I was slightly confused as to why my goat wrap cost a full £5 when the other meat options ranged from a more more acceptable £3.50 - £4, goat being what I thought was one of the cheaper meats you can buy. But it was very good, and while the novelty factor is still in play I'm pretty sure I'll be back. In fact the only major issue I have with Mooli's is that bloody apostrophe. Is Mooli a person and this is his restaurant? Is it short for "Mooli is"? Have a look at their website and see if you can work it out. Beggared if I know.

7/10

Mooli's on Urbanspoon

13 comments:

catty said...

I gotta say, despite many people whipping themselves into a frenzied excitement about Mooli's (I don't get the apostrophe either), I wasn't all that keen on it. But then again I'm always a bit slow with trendy things :) Anyway you've made it sound reasonably appealing so I may have to visit one day soon!

Lizzie said...

I rather like the burritos and the banh mi, but I agree - £6 for a burrito? With extra for guac? That I have to eat on the trot? Hmmm.

It is a bit odd that they charge extra for goat. It is a cheap meat and it's not like it's uncommon, at least to us South East London dwellers. I may be cynical, but are they charging extra for the novelty factor?

Sharmila said...

I liked Mooli's. I had the potato one and it was very tasty, and reminded me of chaat type snacks, which can never be a bad thing.

Kavey said...

At last I finally have a CLUE what Lambshank has been enthusing about (amongst others, but the most noticably) for last short while!

:)

Helen said...

I don't know. This time last year people were moaning they couldn't get a banh mi in London and now they are moaning because there are too many ;)

fingersandtoes said...

Looks yummy - the other day in Sri Lanka I went to a place that does 36 different fillings in roti, there needs to be a place like that here!!

mathew said...

Yes, we are liberal with our use of apostrophes.

But if you really must know, without the apostrophe, most Londoners dont pronounce our name correctly.

Chris said...

catty: Try the goat! It's the best one by all accounts (though I wouldn't know)

lizzie: Turns out they have to buy the goat retail - but thanks to the power of Twitter me and Helen have hooked them up with a wholesaler so maybe the prices are about to come down

mathew: I can understand, but why not just call the place Mooli?

Anonymous said...

No, I think the apostrophe should definitely go at the end: it's Moolis' – ie the place of many moolis.

Anyway, thanks for the good post, and it's made me want to try and track this place down next time I'm over in London.

foodbymark said...

So this is what Mooli is. Must give it a go.

Ali said...

I thought it was AMAZING

Krista said...

Can I just say how awesome it is that you and Helen have hooked them up with a goat wholesaler? Go bloggers! Go Twitter!

Had a Mooli's (don't get the ' eitehr) the other weekend--goat--and it was delicious. I like 'em.

COME · CON · ELLA said...

this is very late and may be you have discovered what a mooli is by now. but in case you haven't in the sub-continent mooli is a kind of a radish. it's long and white and is often eaten cut up and sprinkled with some chili and salt. also, stuffed fried breads (paratha's) are made from it. http://comeconella.blogspot.com/2010/02/trying-moolita.html