3 days ago
Thursday, 15 April 2010
Take note, a mooli is “not a f**king burrito.” This is written in large letters on the wall of this bright, friendly fast-ish food spot in Soho. I wonder if they’re having some issues getting the message out about exactly what they’re offering.
So a mooli isn’t a burrito, nor is it a variety of Asian radish, rather a kind of Indian wrap: a wholewheat roti generously filled with good things. Street food gussied up. There are two vegetarian choices on offer (as well as pork, beef, chicken and a much lauded goat mooli): an asparagus mooli and a paneer mooli. I went for the former which was good value I thought at £3.50 for the larger size. They also do mini moolis, but by defining the larger size as the standard I felt inclined to go for the full on, grown up mooli – I was also getting lunch at 3.45pm, so there was no way I was going for anything mini.
There was more potato than asparagus in evidence but the potato was pleasantly spiced with cumin and the asparagus gave it a nice crunch, though it didn’t add that much in terms of flavour. The tangy tamarind and yoghurt dressing held everything together and the roti was pleasantly moist without ever getting soggy, despite the fact I kept putting it down for long stretches to read my book.
The woman who served me was friendly and chatty and managed to mention their £5 lunch deal (roti plus a small pack of poppadoms plus a drink) without it feeling like blatant up-selling. It was good enough for me to return the following week and try their paneer mooli (£3.75, pictured above). This consisted of spiced, scrambled Indian cheese with the crunch element provided by lettuce and carrot. The winner in terms of flavour, it was really tasty, but it was also somewhat soggier and threatened to collapse before I was finished. I could have done with a greater crunch to squish ratio.
I also tried the mango lassi (£2) which was creamy yet light and refreshing, not too sweet. The Serbs have a thing about drinking yoghurt which, despite my parentage, I've never really shared. This however I could get on board with. The moolis were filling without being heavy and made an interesting alternative lunch option. I'm glad I chose to eat in though, I’m not sure I’d have been happy eating the paneer mooli at my desk – too much spillage potential.
Mooli's, 50 Frith Street, Soho, London, W1D 4SQ 0207 494 9057