MOWGLI Street Food restaurant at Cheshire Oaks has been on my radar for some time.

So, a hectic afternoon with her two-year-old at Blue Planet, my friend and I headed to the shopping park.

Our original intent was to try the Veganuary menu at Ed's Easy Diner (there was still a day or two of January left).

However, the twinkly lights and swing seats of Mowgli soon caught the attention.

And seeing Mowgli had a vegan menu sealed the deal.

Full disclosure, I am not a vegan. However, when I'm with friends who are I become temporarily plant-powered.

Up until that day, my experience of vegan food had been mixed.

Banana blossom fish and chips at Chester Zoo is an experience I never want to repeat.

But, that said, the best two meals out I've had this year have both been vegan.


Mowgli Street Food at Cheshire Oaks.

Mowgli Street Food at Cheshire Oaks.


The vegan options at Mowgli are not just token items at the bottom of the menu.

There is a whole vegan menu of authentic Indian street food.

These dishes are a 4,595 miles away from chunks of meat in brightly coloured sauces of cream and butter - not that I don't enjoy that sort of thing now and again.

But, as Mowgli's website tells us, this restaurant is all about how Indians eat at home and on their streets. These dishes are light, tasty, and more often than not vegan.

To clarify, Mowgli is not a vegan restaurant and has a full menu with dishes using meat and dairy. But for our visit and the purposes of this review we ordered exclusively from the vegan menu.

And, browsing said menu, I was struck by how nothing is trying to be something else - specifically meat.

No facon, ficken, or whatever they call fake duck, in sight. And there is certainly no sense of anything lacking or less than.

The dishes on this menu celebrate vegetables, herbs and spices as the stars of the show rather than a support act to chicken or beef.

The dishes at Mowgli arrive when they are ready, and we were advised by our server to order three or four dishes each.

We decided to order six items between the two of us - the two-year-old had crashed after several high-energy laps of the shark tunnel - and let the fates decide whether they would be starters, mains or sides.

But the portions are perhaps more generous that Mowgli believes; certainly more than you would expect from most Tapas restaurants.

Even when the sleepy two-year-old woke up from her dreams of sharks and moving walkways to have a good go on the remaining Treacle Tamarind Fries, there were still plenty left.

The dishes we ordered - Vegan Yoghurt Chat Bombs, Bhel Puri, Treacle Tamarind Fries, Temple Dahl, Picnic Potato Curry, and Roti breads - were a feat of sensations, tastes and textures.

Opening with a little theatre, the chat bombs were one of the highlights. We were advised to eat them in one mouthful so we were rewarded with a creamy, spicy explosion after breaking through the crispbread shell.

The Bhel Puri was an umami delight, with crunchy, nutty textures from the puffed rice and peanuts.

There were enough taste notes for several symphonies: sweet, sour, mellow, tangy, creamy, acidic, heat and some I don't even know the name for.

Despite ordering several dishes, we only tried about a quarter of the vegan menu. Delights like the Holy Chow Vegan Showstopper, Green Ginger & Rhubarb Dahl, and Calcutta Tangled Greens have been saved for our future visits.


Nisha Katona MBE

Nisha Katona MBE


Mowgli Street Food is recognised as one of the nation’s fastest growing companies, according to The Sunday Times Fast Track 100, and its founder Nisha Katona was made an MBE in the 2019 New Year Honours list for services in the Food Industry.

The Wirral-based chef, writer and presenter is one of the most sought after voices on food in the UK.

She is also one of the new judges on the BBC's current series of The Great British Menu.