However, many of the groups I follow on Facebook and Twitter are asked, on a fairly regular basis, to recommend a curry house and one restaurant has featured more times than I can remember.
You’re right, it’s Mughli and it’s been on my list of places to try for a while now. I finally got the opportunity last weekend.
The restaurant was busy and bustling, even on the first weekend of the year. It doesn’t look like your typical curry mile curry house, well, what I remember them to look like anyway. It has a modern feel, enhanced by it’s own brand of humour.
The restaurant was off to a flying start when I saw the exciting looking cocktail menu. I chose a simple Bombay Bellini; sweet pomegranate juice topped up with Prosecco. I might just have to visit before 7.00 pm next time, when cocktails are just £5.00, to take full advantage of the menu.
On closer inspection the decor is a little shabby but I hardly noticed, such was the distraction provided by the chefs preparing skewers of delicious looking marinated meats for the grill and making the naan breads fresh in the tandoor.
Given the number of positive reviews, and my aim to eat my way through BuzzFeed’s 21 Things Everyone Needs to Eat in Manchester, I wanted to try as many things from the menu as possible.
Mughli’s website reveals that “Mughlai cuisine originates from the the imperial kitchens of the Mughal Empire and is often associated with the distinctive aroma and taste of ground and whole spices.” It certainly makes it sound promising.
We ordered poppadoms to munch on while we chose our food and the pickle tray included a delicious coriander based dip, as well as minty yoghurt and mango chutney. A place that is generous with coriander is always going to score highly in my book.
From the first glance I could see that the menu offered something out of the ordinary. Being a party of three we followed the ‘rules’ and obligingly chose a starter each to share.
As such, we ended up with the following dishes:
Lamb Kati Rolls, which are “spiced minced lamb basted in a sweet chilli sauce, wrapped in a roti strip and finished on the char-grill”. After watching these being prepared I was pleased that they tasted as good as they looked.
Spinach and Onion Bhajias. These were slightly more spicy than your typical onion bhaji and served with a cooling dip.
Papri Chaat. “Seasoned pastry wafers with chaat and a spiced tomato and onion salsa, all topped with a creamy sweet yoghurt, tangy chutneys and pomegranate seeds.” This dish looked the least appetising but it was deliciously cooling, complementing the others well.
I was so full after our starters, and the excesses of Christmas, that I almost wished I’d ordered a few more nibbly bits and called it a day. But, by that point, our order for the main course had already been placed.
We had Lamb Karahi, “Pakistan’s most popular late night meal consisting of reduced tomatoes, onions, garlic, chilli and coriander”. As I have previously mentioned, I love anything with coriander so this was a winner with me even though it wasn’t my order.
Laziz, which is a “flavoured dish with tender chicken in a traditional malai sauce, gently spiced with ginger, white pepper and creamy yoghurt”. As stated on the menu, this was a milder dish, where the focus was on the flavour not the heat, providing a little relief from our spicier choices.
Saagwala. This is a “punjabi classic with chicken in a spinach based sauce and green herbs”. The dish had a mild, slightly buttery taste to it at first, and then the spices hit your tongue. This was my choice, mainly because it had been recommended on the BuzzFeed list, but it also sounded good.
We also ordered Pulao rice and naan breads to share. I particularly liked the Peter’s Bread with garlic flakes, chilli and coriander.
Happily we were able to take the leftovers home in a doggy bag; I hate seeing good food go to waste, and it was good food.
Overall I would recommend Mughli. The waiting system is a little chaotic as each member of staff has an allocated role, leaving no room for initiative if the drinks waiter comes over at the point you want to order your food. However, they were all very attentive so we didn’t wait long to place our order, or for our food to be prepared, even though the restaurant was very busy. I guess it works for them.
I’m not sure I would have chosen the Saagwala as my must eat dish but I think it would be hard for anyone who loves curry to pick just one. There was so much I didn’t manage to try, including the Biryani, which sounds amazing.
I know I will be heading back to Mughli, probably the very next time I fancy a curry.
Mughli: 30 Wilmslow Road, Rusholme, Manchester, M14 5TQ. Tel: 0161 248 0900
When you’ve made your reservation they will ask you to confirm by text message. I haven’t figured out what happens if you don’t!
Love curry? Check out my guide to the best Indian Restaurants in Manchester.