Wednesday, 28 November 2012
Mughli, Wilmslow Rd, Manchester
I've not had a very positive view of the Curry Mile lately. Once the place what a Vindaloo Queen's dreams were made of, it's become infested with cockroaches and even worse, rip-off merchants. The recession seems to have brought make or break to the Mile, with restaurants either going bust, putting their prices up and skimping on quality or opening new, smaller, non-curry eateries. After being treated rudely in Kebabish, being ripped off in Shahenshah and my old favourite Lal Haweli now a Turkish eaterie, I jumped at the chance to visit Mughli when my workmate who lives near the Mile invited me for curry one evening. I had previously been apprehensive about trying Mughli as it is strikingly modern, somewhat trendy, a characteristic I don't normally associate with a traditional curry house, but a change is as good as a rest.
Early evening, Mughli was heaving while most of the Mile stood empty, Shahenshah's staff desperately touting for business outside with empty promises of free drinks. Mughli didn't need any gimmicks. We managed to get a table, albeit a rubbish one next to the cooking area which was boiling hot and noisy. Serves us right for not booking, I suppose. Despite being uncomfortably hot, it was a great view of the cooking area and the smells were out of this world! The USP of the restaurant is its clay pit, where all the carnivorous treats are rustled up. The restaurant is decorated in orange tones, making you feel like you are literally in a clay pit. No twangy music, no booths and not a chintzy carpet in sight, you could almost be in a trendy nightclub.
The staff were like 4 of the seven dwarves- happy, grumpy, dopey and bashful- but to be fair, they were rushed off their feet. There was no personal touch to the service, making it a bit Pizza Express-esque; I like to have a chat to the staff about my food but it felt a bit difficult in here.
The prices are a bit dearer than average for Indian food in the area, but the quality was amazing. There was no need for starters, the popadoms were plentiful with a bountiful chutney tray, presentation immaculate.
I went for a vegetable Madras, garlic Naan and pilau rice, no change there. The Naan was presented in an unusual, eyecatching way, quartered and skewered on a stand- a brilliant way of sharing when you're a bit funny about where other people's hands have been that you're dining with! As you can see from the pic, the rice was served in a cute little bucket as well- top marks for presentation and usage of interesting tableware. The curry was amazing- a punchy, spicy fusion of chillies and vegetables, the veg fresh and not out of a frozen bag like its Curry Mile neighbours. Portion size was generous as well- there was no room for dessert!
For a modern Indian, Mughli has really impressed me. Plus points include the food quality, efficient service and great atmosphere. Minus points nothing serious, just that the A/C needed to be turned up and the staff need to personalise their service a bit more. Worth a visit if you're ever in the area.