Mowgli’s (Cardiff) – Review

Situated at the top of bustling Crwys Road, this award winning Indian restaurant serves fantastic food, with friendly service. A must try for curry lovers.

★★★★★

They say you can tell a lot about the quality and reputation of a restaurant by how busy it is, so my partner and I were delighted when we entered the unassuming looking Mowgli’s on a midweek evening in January to find the place almost completely full. After waiting a few minutes for a table we were seated and given menus, and were immediately stunned by the sheer amount of choice of delicious looking dishes. Separated into Mowgli’s own specials, and “old favourites” (korma, madras, vindaloo, masala etc.), the worst part of the experience was having to narrow down what each of us wanted. Having ordered some freshly cooked popadoms and dips to munch on while we chose, we eventually decided on a curry dish each with a bhaji, rice and naan as sides. I opted for the Beef Achari Madras, cooked hot (not extra hot, I wasn’t feeling quite that brave/foolhardy), while my partner opted for one of the “old favourites” – chicken bhuna.

Despite being busy the service of the food was quick, and it wasn’t long before our dishes arrived. It was obvious right away that this food wasn’t your typical curry-house affair. The dishes were big, but looked freshly cooked and weren’t swimming in grease. My Beef Achari Madras was filled with big hunks of slowly cooked beef. To say the meat was tender was an understatement – the meat fell apart easily on my plate, and the flavours had infused all the way through. Despite being spicy, the heat wasn’t dominating or overwhelming, and you could taste the individual flavours of kaffir pickle, curry leaves and cumin. My partner’s chicken bhuna was also full of flavour, with the chunks chicken juicy and the vegetables still holding their texture well. The pilau rice had been infused well with cardamom and cloves, and the naan was light and fluffy. Finally the onion bhaji’s (so often served dripping in oil or overly fried in Indian restaurants) were fresh and light, crumbling away perfectly and lightly spiced.

The service offered by the staff was also excellent – attentive without being overbearing and incredibly efficient, you felt like your every need was taken care of with ease. Little things, like being offered a hot wet towel both before and after the meal, or lighting a little tealight as you were seated were little touches but which made the experience feel personal. As is so often the case with Indian we ordered too much, and the staff asked if we wanted the rest boxed up to takeaway with us. Being offered, rather than having to ask for this, should be the standard response in any restaurant. Yet so many places either neglect this, or only do it grudgingly.

When looking for places to eat in the area we decided on Mowgli’s due to their many awards, including winning the South Wales Echo Best Indian Restaurant 2015, Best Restaurant South East Wales in the Asian Food Awards, and (arguably just as good a measure of quality from punters themselves) their Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence. Having eaten there ourselves, we absolutely believe they deserved those awards. Fantastically flavoured food, excellent service, and a great environment all at very reasonable prices combine to make Mowgli’s an essential place for lovers of Indian food.

To see the full menu and to find out more about Mowgli’s, click here

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