Photo by Ben Norum
As new restaurants go, Mooli’s isn’t brand or spanking anymore but it’s been on our radar for a while now and is seriously worthy of some attention. Founded by Sam and Mathew, who both grew up in India before moving to London, Mooli’s came about as a result of their desire for the fresh, healthy Indian food-to-go, which was plentiful in Delhi, Bangalore, Kerala and Hyderbad but surprisingly lacking in London.
Clearly the innovative kinds, Sam and Mathew decided to create and name their very own product - the Mooli. Apparently a noun meaning: “warm flavoursome fillings, zesty salads, vibrant chutneys & crunchy salad, all rolled in a fresh homemade roti”, we’re not sure what the Oxford English Dictionary would make of it but they’ve become a favourite filler when we head to Soho. Handy that the most “expensive” comes in at £3.95, too.
There are six Mooli varieties available including the newest and bravest goat Mooli. Their simple names such as “beef”, “chicken” and “paneer” fit the sleek style of the venue but belie a whole load of flavour. Whatever the variety, freshness is key with pan-roasted spices and aromatic herbs tingling on the tongue - along with some chilli from time to time. Our favourite changes, but leans towards the beef, which is inspired by the Keralan dish Olathiya Erachi with peppery spices, crunchy coconut and meltingly tender beef all wrapped-up with some cucumber raita to calm things down a little.
With fillings like that, it would be easy to forget the roti itself, but these are the lynchpin of the whole operation. The search for a machine which could roll out these roti as quickly as necessary without the addition of any E-number nasties took Sam and Mathew around the world - exploits which can be read about on their hilarious blog, where there’s also a video of so-named Moolita in action. Check out their active Facebook and Twitter feeds for a bit of fun too, but be sure to head down to 50 Frith Street, W1D 4SQ for the full Mooli’s experience including our favourite the chilli & pomegranate mojito ...