Bury St Edmunds' hottest new restaurant opened their doors to the public on Friday. Reece Hanson and his wife Rachael went along to see if Mowgli is as good as they remember.

The year was 2019. The city: Liverpool. I was visiting my then-girlfriend (now wife) for the final time before she moved to Suffolk and we began living together.

It was an exciting time as we celebrated and put off packing for another night, and special occasions definitely deserve special food.

Throughout her time in Liverpool, she’d heard many waxing lyrical about one restaurant in particular: An Indian street food place with an established, but growing, reputation which was slowly spreading across the country.

By the time we left Mowgli’s first restaurant, we couldn’t believe it had taken us so long to give it a try.

Fast forward four years and Mowgli’s rise has continued. They now boast almost two dozen sites around England, with Bury St Edmunds their latest addition to the roster. 

As soon as they were taking bookings, we nabbed our table for opening night on Friday.

East Anglian Daily Times: Mowgli in Bury St EdmundsMowgli in Bury St Edmunds (Image: Reece Hanson)

With lofty expectations, would Mowgli hit the heights? 

As excited as we were, we tried to temper our expectations, I promise. This was their opening night after all, and it’s easy to imagine day one of a launch is harder and more stressful in a restaurant than in almost any other business environment.

That said, we couldn’t tell whether we were customer number one or one million.

East Anglian Daily Times: Inside Mowgli's Bury St Edmunds branchInside Mowgli's Bury St Edmunds branch (Image: Reece Hanson)

Inside, Mowgli's iconic design was evident throughout. The restaurant was bathed in fairy lights adorning poles, railings and, of course, the Mowgli trees. 

We were sitting at a table, but I can't lie, the immature child inside me was jealous of those sitting in booths, where seats were replaced with elegant swings. 

We were seated near the front of the restaurant, and it isn't until you head for the toilets when you realise just how vast the restaurant is. 

The few tables which were empty that we could see were quickly filled up and there was a steady stream of hungry diners throughout the evening ready to fill seats still warm from the previous occupants.

When the menu arrived, it was like we were reunited with an old friend, for right at the top were the Yoghurt Chat Bombs. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Mowgli's Yoghurt Chat BombsMowgli's Yoghurt Chat Bombs (Image: Reece Hanson)

If there was one lasting memory from the Liverpool visit, it had to be the dish dubbed "the heart of Mowgli".

There's no other way to eat them but to put the whole thing in your mouth, and as soon as you break the crisp bread puff casing, your mouth is filled with creamy spiced yoghurt. 

There's a sweetness from the single pomegranate seed, adding a vibrant dash of red to the dish, while the puffed rice adds the perfect crunch.

They were everything we remembered and more, and are without a shadow of a doubt a must try for any visit.

The second dish we tried also came from the Street Chat portion of the menu, although the Mowgli Chip Butty was far from the classic bread and potato offering. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Mowgli's Chip ButtyMowgli's Chip Butty (Image: Reece Hanson)

With fenugreek kissed turmeric fries, chilli pickle, red onion, coriander, green chilli and Mowgli's own tomato relish held together in a Roti wrap, the spicing was perfectly balanced in every bite. 

What could have been quite a dense dish was somehow light, and came with small cubes of 'fries' to the side of the dish too, which we kept nibbling at throughout the rest of the meal.

East Anglian Daily Times: Mowgli's Gunpowder ChickenMowgli's Gunpowder Chicken (Image: Reece Hanson)

Another dish we were desperate to try again was the Gunpowder Chicken - succulent strips fried in a chickpea batter.

It was another which left us scratching our heads wondering how they'd got such a crunch without the chicken being dry and overcooked.


The latter two dishes were my main picks from the menu, although my wife was having a harder time trying to decide, and that's perfectly understandable. So many dishes sounded incredible from across the board, whether it was street meats, vegetarian or the house kitchen curries.

Thankfully, when you can't decide, you can decide not to.

Mowgli offer tiffin boxes 'for one', although we very much shared everything, where you get four tiers of dishes from the menu chosen by the chef.

You can pick from the Office Worker's Tiffin, as we did, or the meat-free Indian School Tiffin.

East Anglian Daily Times: The Office Worker's Tiffin at MowgliThe Office Worker's Tiffin at Mowgli (Image: Reece Hanson)

Now, if you do have a table for two, things can get quite tight when everything arrives, but it was certainly a feast for the eyes.

The first of the tiffin we tried was the Agra Ginger Chicken.

Again, perfectly cooked chicken bites topped with strips of ginger. For me, these packed the biggest flavour punch of the night and I couldn't get enough.

East Anglian Daily Times: The Office Worker's Tiffin at MowgliThe Office Worker's Tiffin at Mowgli (Image: Reece Hanson)

We were also treated the to House Lamb Curry, a recipe passed down to Mowgli founder Nisha Katona by her father. 

The menu describes it as a "deep, rich, home cooked gem", and it delivered on all fronts. It was easily the richest, and possibly sweetest, dish of the night - borderline too much on both fronts for our taste but we couldn't fault the cooking of the lamb. It fell apart with the softest touch and melted in your mouth. 

The tiffin was balanced perfectly as a whole with the Temple Dahl - a red lentil dish simmered with toasted cumin, coriander and lemon. For as much as the lamb was rich, the creamy dahl offered a welcome respite.

East Anglian Daily Times: The Temple Dahl and Basmati Rice at MowgliThe Temple Dahl and Basmati Rice at Mowgli (Image: Reece Hanson)

It was one of several vegetarian or vegan dishes on the menu, which includes a vegan version of the Yoghurt Chat Bombs, and a Vegan School Tiffin. 

The final tiffin in our set was the Mowgli basmati rice, steamed with black cardamom and cumin. There's not much you can say about rice when it's spot on, and this was. Every grain was perfectly cooked.

We'd ordered a second portion and got through both between us, as well as a final order of Roti bread to mop up any of the leftover sauces.

East Anglian Daily Times: Roti bread at MowgliRoti bread at Mowgli (Image: Reece Hanson)

My biggest disappointment from the night, however, was that my eyes were bigger than my belly. 

We made a significant dent in all the dishes, finishing most, but dessert sadly proved a bridge too far. We couldn't bring ourselves to try, no matter how tempted I was by the Gulab Jamun - a "syrupy brown nutty milk doughball" which the menu says is like the Indian equivalent of a traditional sticky toffee pudding.

East Anglian Daily Times: Reece Hanson and his wife visited Mowgli's Bury St Edmunds branch on opening nightReece Hanson and his wife visited Mowgli's Bury St Edmunds branch on opening night (Image: Reece Hanson)

When we first heard the news that Mowgli would be filling the site formerly occupied by Bills, we couldn’t believe the town had secured such a coup, but perhaps that’s unfair. 

It is a source of pride for many foodies that Bury is home to some amazing independent restaurants, and we’ve often talked about how it is the food capital of Suffolk.

It seems people further afield are taking note too. 

Mowgli is a chain that doesn't feel like a chain. There's passion and skill behind every dish and it will surely quickly become a popular new addition to the town's wealth of exceptional restaurants.

Our order:

Yoghurt Chat Bomb: £6

Mowgli Chip Butty: £7.50

Gunpowder Chicken: £7.95

Basmati Rice: £3.95

Office Worker Tiffin: £20

Roti: £4 for two


Lucky Saint: £4.80

250ml Pinot Grigio: £8.95

There is also a £1 charity donation added to each bill, with proceeds supporting house charities through the Mowgli Trust.

Our food reviews are always independent. They are the opinion of the reviewer based on their experience of the venue when they visited. The establishment is not aware of our visit, is not informed we intend to write a review and bills are paid by the reviewer.

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