Mowgli first caught my eye back in late 2017 when I saw the extravagant exterior being installed at Birmingham’s Grand Central station, deep inky walls and swinging chairs got me with an easy aesthetic win. From then its foodie allure remained a rumour only sparked again when my housemate filled me in on all its street food glory.
Walking through the doors is a trip into a secluded heaven, full of rich and aromatic smells just asking to be tasted. So, I’m not ashamed to tell you that after my first visit I went straight back the very next night. If you’re judging now, come back to me once you’ve tried it yourself. The menu is that good.
For my first trip I conquered the insane Holy Chow, a vegan showstopper that has you hitting that #whatveganseat tag on Instagram. The Holy Chow combines chickpeas, potatoes, ginger and mango with a seriously spicy kick, all thrown together in a hollowed-out loaf. Okay, so this one’s a recommended two people sharer but if you’re dedicated to the challenge, and believe me I was, you can definitely have this for one and the taste sensation is a payoff. On the next evenings return, although tempted by the grasp of the Holy Chow, I decided the menu was too good not to try out the other dishes. Opting to start with a weird but wonderful Bhel Puri consisting of puff rice, peanuts and a dreamy sweet and sour dressing, I followed this up with a simple Picnic Potato curry and sides of rice and puri. The Picnic Potato curry was tossed with Bengali five spice, an enchanting mix of spices that include fenugreek, cumin and fennel.
I really can’t sing Mowgli’s praises enough, with an expansive Vegan, Vegetarian and Gluten Free menu it’s the perfect joint for almost every dietary requirement (except of course if you’re not an Indian cuisine fan). With prices as low as £3.95 and the most expensive dish at £9 it’s the perfect lunch and dinner spot. Next time I go I’m opting for the roulette tiffin box, which at £14 is sold as ‘4 tiers of veg & carb jeopardy’ as chosen by the chef.
Honestly, hold back your reservations about its Grand Central location, far removed from Birmingham’s very own Balti Triangle, reigning home of Indian cuisine. Although never replacing the authenticity of Birmingham’s best Indian restaurants, once you walk through the doors of Mowgli, you’ll forget the commuter bustle and experience the unique tastes of Indian street food.
Oh Mowgli, I’ll be dreaming of our next encounter constantly.