Saturday, 26 May 2012

Mowgli's, Cardiff Indian Restaurant Review

Yesterday afternoon I was in an excellent mood. The sun was shining. I’d stood metres away from the best Olympic torch relay I’ve ever seen.  And, I was eagerly anticipating my birthday curry at Mowgli’s on Crwys road.

After a couple of refreshingly watery bottles of Coors Light in the Crwys, my hankering for poppadoms and chutney was growing out of control.

Mowgli’s, winner of the South Wales Echo 2012 Indian restaurant of the year, is a high street curry house with knobs on. In places this equates to interesting dishes which extend beyond the usual tikka massalas and bhajis. However, at times the bells and whistles, in the form of crazy QVC vegetable garnishes and a cornucopia of flamboyant crockery, detract from, rather than enhance, the enjoyment of Mowgli’s.

Poppadoms were crisp, chutneys were reassuringly garish and a bottle of Cobra was ice cold.

To start Mrs G and I shared a sharing platter of Chef’s special starters (any 3 for £13.95). Lamb chops were tender and well spiced but light on meat. Murgh Kadmanda was enjoyable in a guilty pleasure sort of way. The combination of spiced chicken, spinach, mushrooms and melted cheese was a little reminiscent of a tandoori chicken pizza topping. Finally crab cakes had a good hit of crab, coconut and chilli but were a little heavy on potato and had a curious chip shop style breadcrumb coating. I sampled someone else’s ostrich tikka. It was exceptionally tender but the metallic aftertaste was a little overwhelming.

Left to right: :Lamb chops, crab cakes, murgh kadmanda
For main I ordered the Chicken Sagor Ana (£8.95). Essentially a mixed kebab in a bhuna sauce it ticked all the right boxes; plenty of tender, charred meat and a complex tasting sauce seasoned with cinnamon and curry leaf. Mrs G’s Mowgli grill platter (£11.95), of which I ate most as she’d filled up on dry roasted peanuts in the pub, was also a very enjoyable meat feast.

Mowgli grill platter
 Rhys the bottomless pit opted for the lamb shank (£12.95). He rated it as a 7 out of 10. A generous amount of meat was tender but not falling off the bone. It lived up to the medium/hot chilli billing. 

Lamb shank
Side dishes, rice and naans were of a high standard. My plain naan (£2.25) was fluffy and elastic whilst a dish of smoked aubergine (£2.95) was grease free with just the right intensity of smoking.

Smoked aubergine
I’ll happily add Mowgli’s to my arsenal of high street curry houses. Prices are reasonable, especially with one of their ubiquitous 20% off discount vouchers and service was very efficient even on a packed out Friday night. Fripperies aside, Mowgli’s serves up a very good high street curry.

The details:
Address - Mowgli's, 151 Crwys Road, Cardiff, CF24 4NH
Telephone - 029 2034 3705

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