Mowgli Street Food: We try it out as booking officially opens ahead of new restaurant opening in Preston in July

Bookings have now opened for Mowgli Street Food in Preston– a hugely anticipated addition to the city’s booming restaurant scene.

By Nicola Adam
Tuesday, 28th June 2022, 1:11 pm
Mowgli Street Food, Cheshire Oaks
Mowgli Street Food, Cheshire Oaks

But what can you expect when doors swing open on July 11? We tested out the concept at an existing branch at Cheshire Oaks outlet village.

But first up, what is Mowgli?

Mowgli is a highly successful Indian street food chain, the brain child of Lancashire entrepreneur Nisha Katona, and it will open in Preston on July 11.

Monkey Wrap, at Mowgli Street Food, Cheshire Oaks

The Preston branch will be located in the former French Connection unit of Preston's Miller Arcade in the city centre, on the corner of Church Street and Birley Street. Booking is now open via the website.

Nisha, who was born in Ormskirk and had been a barrister for 20 years, launched the first Mowgli Street Food in 2014 in Liverpool.

Mowgli Manchester followed less than a year later, and there are now 17 restaurants across the UK, with Preston being their next big expansion.

What’s it like?

Gunpowder chicken, Mowgli Cheshire Oaks

The aroma of spices, garlic and comfort is enticing the moment you walk through the door.

Add in twinkling lights wound into glass bottled, huge windows and mirrors, tables with swing seats and occasional glimpses of a steaming open kitchen and you know you are in for not just a stunning meal - but an experience.

The Preston decor will not be identical but all branches aim for the same casual, but special, vibe. Sharing progress of the renovation work on the site, the Mowgli Instagram account captioned a picture of a tiger etched door, saying “Preston Mowgli has a face!”

What’s the atmosphere like?

Buzzy yet relaxed. At The Cheshire Oaks restaurant we spotted couples, parents with small babies and one particularly well behaved dog - this is a snob free restaurant.

What about the food?

Dishes are small - tapas style - but maybe a little more generous. Food is simply cooked to order and delivered to your table when it is ready so dishes appear gradually and at intervals. The menu is wide and varied and allergens for every dish are spelled out on the rear of the menu.

How much should you order?

Our server recommended three dishes each. We ( two adult women) ordered five dishes plus side orders of Mowgli basmati steamed rice and Roti bread (traditional ghee-brushed flat bread) and it was plenty. We were too full for dessert.

What’s on the menu?

The menu is divided in Street Chat, Street Meats, The Hindu kitchen, Tiffin boxes for one, the House Kitchen and Curry Companions ( your rice, roti breads and greens).

We ordered the delicious Monkey Wrap ( an open roti wrap with Tandoori chicken) and Gunpowder Chicken – chicken poppers with ginger, garam masala, fired in a chickpea batter. These two dishes arrived first. After an interval we were served our Tea-steeped chickpeas (simmered in a Darjeeling spiced tomato and spinach sauce) plus Agra Ginger chicken and Mother butter chicken with our sides. It was as delicious as it sounds.

How expensive is it?

Our meal totalled £57.37 for two – which included a 10% optional service charge and £1 charity donation. Individual dishes range from around £5 to £7.50.