Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

Does Mowgli, Bury St Edmunds, live up to the hype?

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I never made it to the Bristol branch of Mowgli before we moved to Suffolk. Excitingly, though, two opened in the local area in November 2023: one in Chelmsford, where my mum lives, and one in Bury St Edmunds, where we live.

Still took me a while to visit, though. But as of this week I can finally say I’ve ticked the Mowgli experience off my list.

The BSE branch is in the former Bill’s on Abbeygate Street. From the outside of the stunning white building you can catch a glimpse of twinkling lights inside, enticing you in.

 

 

It really is beautiful inside, too. You’ll find Mowgli’s famous swing seats by the front windows. There are fairy lights everywhere to set the mood. The dining area is vast and full of greenery: it’s a place that feels relaxed yet special at the same time.

 

 

Keen to try as much of Mowgli’s Indian street food offering as we could, we went for the sharing menu. Priced at £25 per head (with a minimum of two people sharing), it promised a wealth of dishes – the only thing we needed to do was decide on our drinks…

 

 

With a cocktail menu that looks this good, I wasn’t going to let the fact that it was Monday lunchtime put me off. It was the Chai Rum Sling (£8.95) that caught my eye. Served as a long drink, the spices of the chai-infused white rum worked perfectly with the apricot liqueur, apple, mint, lime and sugar, creating a refreshing cocktail that whetted my appetite for the flavours of the food to come.

That’s a mango lassi (£4.25) in front of it – I figured its cooling properties would be handy to refresh my mouth between dishes…

 

 

First to arrive was the yoghurt chat bombs – what a way to start. I honestly could have eaten these all afternoon, and urge you to order them if you visit Mowgli! They’re designed to be eaten in one bite: thin, crispy bread shells filled with chickpeas, spiced yoghurt, tamarind and coriander that explode in your mouth when you bite into them. The burst of flavour was incredible, rich and cooling with an array of textures in that single bite. Delicious.

 

 

The Himalayan cheese toast seemed a bit of an odd addition to the menu. According to Mowgli founder Nisha Katona, though, it’s a dish that’s a big hit amongst the Indian diaspora.

This one’s essentially a pimped up version of the British favourite. There are three key ingredients that make the difference: red onion, coriander, and chilli. Paired with the sharp Cheddar it was beautiful – and I loved the idea of the mixed pickle on the side with its incredible sourness and chilli heat. I’m tempted to replicate this dish at home for lunch…

 

 

The fenugreek kissed fries were beautiful. We loved the texture of the turmeric-spiked fried potatoes, and the sweetness of the sauce on top. There was a great kick to them which built up the more we ate, too…

 

 

And then, the office worker’s tiffin. Described as “food roulette” on the Mowgli menu, we were presented with four dishes chosen by the kitchen team, served with buttery, flaky roti breads to mop up every last morsel.

Our stand-out dish was the Mother Butter Chicken with its tender spiced meat and its rich, silky smooth sauce. I’ve since found the recipe online so I’ll definitely be trying to replicate it at home.

The Agra Ginger Chicken, with its tomato base, was beautifully warming – added to by the zingy strips of ginger on top. I enjoyed the Temple Dal too – I couldn’t taste much of the promised lemon (maybe overpowered by the chilli from other dishes) but it had a lovely mellow flavour. This was all served with plenty of fluffy plain rice.

 

 

And so, waistbands straining, it was onto dessert. First up, the Mowgli Chocolate Brownie: a rich, dense slab of the stuff, served warm and topped with ice cream. After such a hearty meal, fully enjoying such richness was a challenge but it was too good to pass up.

The mango sorbet was an absolute delight. Smooth, creamy and refreshing, I can’t think of a better way to have ended the meal. It did seem a little unusual to be served one large cone between the two of us, though – surely two smaller cones would have been better…?

 

 

We left Mowgli feeling more than satisfied – and completely stuffed. The set menu was a great way to get a good taste for what the place is all about. And those yoghurt bombs…well, I may just need to pop in on my own to enjoy a full tray of them soon…

 

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