Although roti is one of my favourite things to eat in the whole world (it’s definitely in the top five and may be in the top three), somehow I didn’t know about Mooli’s until friend J showed me the menu online.
“This is right up my alley,” I thought. A streamlined concept – street food, specifically roti wraps – served six ways, with six proteins, open for lunch. Period. Two days later I was standing before the counter, clutching my fists, wracked with indecision. BEEF, PORK, CHICKPEA OR GOAT? Or, for that matter, why not PANEER OR CHICKEN? They all sounded delicious.
Clever friend T speedily plumped for the goat. “What should I have?” I asked the friendly girl at the register, who surely is tired of this question. “Do you like spicy?” she asked. Yes. I like spicy. “Get the pork,” she said. The pork – described as Goan pork with pomegranate salsa – it was. For a couple extra quid I added the “wholesome dhal” and a mango lassi, and T and I sat down to devour our food.
Everything was prepared thoughtfully and with heart. The pork was tender, slow-cooked shredded shoulder. The sweet-tangy crunchy salsa added both brightness and a layer of heat. I thought it could have been more spicy, but I am freakishly addicted to spice.
T’s goat was amazing. Its description on the menu – “Punjabi goat, cumin potatoes, and salsa” – almost seemed like deliberate understatement. I was simply unprepared for the wallop of intense rich flavour in that roti wrap. “Here,” T urged. “Have a bite with the potato.” She was lucky I didn’t snatch the wrap off her tray and run off with it. The dhal was also tasty: dense, nutty, and yet delicate and balanced.
I was there at lunchtime, and Mooli’s was bustling but strangely quiet. Everyone was too busy gobbling their wraps to talk.
The folks at Mooli know what they’re doing. I can’t wait to eat my way through the rest of the menu.
50 Frith Street, W1 DSQ
Price per person: £8.50 for a pork roti, dhal, and lassi eaten in.
The verdict: I’d eat here again