Wednesday 17 March 2010

Mooli's: Soho, London

I have made my thoughts on the burrito clear. Bah, humbug. I have, despondently, hung up my sombrero. But the time has come to cast my greedy eye over the latest London street food craze - the "mooli" of Mooli's.

A mooli was a giant Japanese radish. Now, on the streets of Soho at least, it is an Indian roti wrap housing a range of meats or vegetables with Indian spices, salad and chutneys. Mooli's sells 6 different types of moolis (the wrap type, not the radish type) - chicken, asparagus, paneer, beef, pork and now goat. I slowly but surely got myself on the case.

I was the first in the door one mid week lunchtime (lunch before 12pm, anyone?), and was greeted by the genuine happy and helpful friendliness for which Mooli's is already developing quite the reputation. The man, who I later found out to be Sam, guided me through a few moments of scatty indecision (beef or pork, beef or pork?) by suggesting I kick off my Mooli experience with the beef variety. Done.

While the beef mooli is normally £3.95, I upsized to the mooli madness meal (my term, in case of doubt) for £5 - mooli, lassi and a bag of roasted poppadoms with a tub of spicy tomato sauce.

The roti is doughey and warm, while the Keralan beef is braised with a subtle hit of southern Indian (Malabar) spices and coconut, and topped with green salad and a cucumber raita (seasoned yoghurt sauce). The beef is lovely - tasty and tender. Although the spices are demure and some might prefer them spiced up somewhat, they add a definite flavour. The meat is, however, a tad scanty and I almost had to go back for a second.

The Goan pork mooli is, apparently, a spicier option and I certainly enjoyed my beef mooli enough to be looking forward to a return visit to try this one out.

The roasted poppadoms were fine - neither here nor there for me - but the lassi was excellent - big on mango fruitiness, tangy, thick and creamy, just as a lassi should be.

I returned again this week to take away a goat mooli, which I ate sitting in the Springtime sunshine at Soho Square, dodging randomly falling bird poo and stray drug addicts in the process. The goat mooli was much bigger and meatier than its little beef brother. At £5, it costs a bit more, but dealt a swift knock out blow to any hunger pangs.

Big chunks of tender goat meat (again, braised over several hours) were at times overflowing among the mix of roast vegetables and tasty spices. There may have been one too many chunks of potato and bits of chopped red onion, but all in all the goat mooli is a fine addition to your eating-on-the-hoof options in Soho. It's a full Indian meal, cooked nicely, wrapped up in a warm roti blanket. I like it.

The Mooli's fit out is bright and basic - it's more a fast food joint than anything else, but food is made fresh and, it seems, with pride. If it comes down to a burrito or a mooli, make mine a mooli. Over and out.

Mooli's, 50 Frith Street, Soho, London, W1D 4
Mooli's on Urbanspoon


  1. I agree, a bit too much potato in the goat mooli but very friendly people and can't think of a better fast food lunch in the area. And a treat to be able to eat goat

  2. I have a deep addiction to moolis and have been going at least once a week for 3 or 4 weeks. I love their pork one - it's quite sweet with pomegranate seeds, but really spicy and lovely.

    Also, if they have their brown dhal on, get it - I have 9am cravings for it, and it's really comforting.

  3. Hi Patrick - Yes, bring on more goat, I say.

    Hi Lizzie - Moolis for breakfast sounds great, particularly as a hangover cure.

  4. I'm a fan of the goat mooli and an even bigger fan of the fact that they make mini moolis!!! :)

  5. Hi Catty - Great idea - a grazing plate of mini Mooli's!

  6. Well, I checked the weather, grabbed my A to Z, a compass and a change of clothes and headed all the way into the Big Smoke of Soho to try out the Mooli. However, things started to go wrong as I found myself instead in the children's section of H&M (so many cute clothes so cheap! Who knew?!) and by the time I emerged again, laden down, I was starving. So when I turned onto Great Malbourough St and saw Leon it was like I had trodden in glue - I couldnt get myself past it. So, surrounded by 21 year olds in skinny jeans, I had a large plate of sweet potato falaffel, brown rice and coleslaw, with an orange & carrot juice, for £8.40. Should I have shlepped on to Frith St for the Mooli despite my ravenousness or would Leon do at a pinch? Greedy Diva please advise.

  7. Anonymous - Very entertaining. I quite like this agony aunt status you have thrust upon me. I can't comment on Leon as have only been once ages ago (vaguely recall a salad and mung beans). I am one to travel the distance for a worthy bite, but being laden down and starving does change the equation, particularly if there was rainfall involved. The Mooli is a good option if it's handy and/or you are not about to eat your own limbs en route. On balance, you should have gone half way - for a toastie at Fernandez (try the mortadella & aioli panini). Problem solved.

  8. God I just wish they would open a branch out East. I could kill (and eat) a goat mooli thing tonight.

    That is it. I am finally going to go and try it this weekend.

  9. Tom - Yep, it would be a great late night feast! I hope you enjoy it this weekend.

  10. i woke up last night thinking we needed to create a grazing plate of mooli's. unpackaged and canape style with a dollop of chutney on top of each.

  11. Mathew - Uh, YES please.

  12. I only discovered this place a couple of weeks ago - had the chicken mooli and like you ate it in sunny Soho Sqaure. All in all a lovely experience! May head back today for the goat version...

  13. LondonRob - Mmm... goat mooli.


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