31 December 2009

Tony Montana gets interviewed for a position at Mooli's

happy new year

have a really good one. :D

if you're around Soho, we're open till very late so come say hi and get your last mooli of 2009 or your first mooli of 2010. we're also going to throw in some champagne on the house.

S&M

30 December 2009

you got to be on top of everything...

that's what Christian (who started Hummus Bros) told me earlier this year. i also remember seeing a video of Simon Woodroffe (the founder of Yo Sushi! who we've also met a couple of times) where he said the key was to always keep doing things quickly so that your lists never went out of control.

we've been open more than a month and i've only now realised how important it is to be on top of everything. being efficient, organising stuff like a demon, checking supplier prices, making lists, rotas, keeping track of VAT receipts, replying to mails, excel, acting on things quickly, setting up things, opening the mail (!?) - that's the name of the game, or at least part of it. who would have thought. i guess we did some of this in our previous jobs but i find this much harder. especially as we need to make sure that our customers get the best possible service with their amazing mooli's.

we all have our strengths and weaknesses. we also have patterns which are hard to break. i recently read Victoria Coren's new book "For Richer, For Poorer: A Love Affair with Poker" - one of the chapters is called 4am. i read that and laughed out loud. how many times have poker players played way too long into the night? so this rather uninspiring blog post is about breaking a pattern of being (slightly) disorganised and inefficient.

as newspapers, websites, magazines, and even food bloggers prepare their lists for 2009, my early new years resolution is to be super organised, efficient and fast. both at mooli's and at home.

28 December 2009

Inspiring things

During the break I have come across little inspiring things I thought I would share.

1. http://www.pizzaturnaround.com/

There is a funny Dudley Moore movie, Crazy People, in which he plays an ad exec who has a nervous breakdown. The ads he makes during this breakdown are brutally honest and are mistakenly printed to great success. While not in that league, Domino pizza's decision to share the very negative criticism they have received about their cardboard crust and tasteless sauce is a brave one. The link takes you to their campaign to respond to these criticisms publicly by changing their pizzas. Brave or stupid?

2. http://www.rasikarestaurant.com/

When one thinks of really cool, well designed websites, the sites of indian restaurants do not spring to mind. BUt the website of this DC restaurant, popular with Rahm Emanuel no less, is, I think, beautifully designed and warms the heart (if that kind of thing does it for you). All the information is on a big page (like a menu perhaps), with a camera like device which takes you to the selected spot. Play with it and admire.

3. http://www.weinsteinco.com/#/film/a_single_man

Forget A Serious Man and any other movie of 2009, go watch A Single Man. Yes Tom Ford can direct, write and produce a movie as well as being a much lauded designer. Colin Firth's George gives a beautifully restrained performance of a man coping with his loneliness after the death of his lover (played by the very good Matthew Goode). A beautiful love story. And the clothes, car and props are fantastic. I want those glasses.

24 December 2009

It is not just fusion, stupid

I do hope one day that S and M (and perhaps R) can transfer their passion to the printed page in the form of a cookbook. Their much commented upon passion and enthusiasm would be brilliantly showcased if they were to share with everyone the many recipes friends and family have enjoyed over the years. So it would not be a Mooli's receipe book, but a book of recipes by the Mooli's founders.

The great thing about any such book would be its wonderful reflection of the varied interests, identities and influences that animate the work of S and M and many others who are interested in cooking and look upwards for inspiration. The book would not be Indian as such (or from any region from India), and would not fall in one of the traditional categories. Unfortunately it may be called Fusion, but that word has awful connotations of people bringing cuisines together for the sake of it, rather than just reflecting what they love, admire and have been brought up with. Perhaps one can defy even the fusion lable by the sheer number national cuisines that influence S and M and all of us when we cook.

So, bring on the kimchi and.....?

19 December 2009

Noses and Some Ideas for the New Year

Ladies and gentleman, your correspondent has made a breakthrough on matters of charming the opposite sex and at the same time selecting the most compatible companion, long or short haul. It is simply this: at the first opportunity during a party, dinner or simply coffee, you must seek to touch the said opposite sex on the nose. It must be a quick flick. Lingering too long may be interpreted in the wrong way (although once I had a major breakthrough on this front. But that was a unique case of a young lady who had a rather complicated upbringing that made her partial to nose touching: her mother was one of the leading nose ring persons of her generation; and her father was a nose surgeon).

I digress from the main message of this post: some ideas to consider for the new year.


Being free in different ways

The success of the mooli give-away to different constituencies is nothing short of genius. More than just a simple give-away its more creative delivery is "at one" with what mooli's should be about. I wonder whether there should be some alternative give-aways, perhaps in the evening. And taking it out to night club queues, announcing it before hand of course.

It's all about apps baby

We are in a world where apps are big. It makes sense given the technology that is part of our lives and the expectations we have of it. Mooli's is very much a modern brand in the way it has embraced fully the different e-mediums out there. There should be a specific useful mooli's app or something like it. But it should not be just for the sake of it - that would not be the mooli's way. My suggestion would be an app/tracker type thing that keeps you updated on mooli give-aways for example.

Don't forget what you remembered to leave out

I have discussed this principle before. Miles davis had it right and S&M have reaped great benefit from their sensitivity to not only what is visible and tasteable (as it were) but also what is not there. This must not be forgotten. Every addtion must be angonised over, because even it appears to make a profit there is the larger brand issue. Mooli's are not macDs, Burker King or even Pret.

Breakfast mooli repackaged

Saying the above, I still believe in the breakfast mooli idea. I understand that the morning is not an option, but who said a breakfast mooli can't be eaten at night time. I didn't. I think it would work.

The wall! The wall!

Another brilliant idea was the holding sign on the wall for new artists. But this must be filled soon otherwise it begins to look like a gimic, out of which no one benefits. There is plenty within the Japanese aesthetics tradition that chimes with India, and that can be an inspiration for an image. The propective artist would do well to take this as a starting point:http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/japanese-aesthetics/ (showing how Japanese art is characterised by certain features including: mono no aware (the pathos of things), wabi (subdued, austere beauty), sabi (rustic patina), yûgen (mysterious profundity).

Happy new year to everyone. Here is to 2010, the year when moolita gained a sibling.

15 December 2009

tell your closest friends about mooli's.....

Dear friends,
We are now well into our sixth week @ Mooli's. Raju and his team have done a fantastic job of knocking out consistenly great mooli's and this has helped us to develop a really loyal customer base.

But it would be great if we could introduce more people to the mooli revolution going on at 50 Frith Street.......below is a little blurb about Mooli's.

Please do help us spread the word by email, facebook, twitter....go crazy!

Mooli Madly Deeply

S&M

Mooli's
Mooli's is the latest edition to the thriving Soho food scene. Located on the trendy Frith Street, Mooli’s brings a new concept in dining, serving fresh and zingy authentic Indian street food with a new spin (and it’s exceptional value for money).

Perfect for on-the-go or dine-in, Mooli’s is set to change the way you think about Indian cuisine. With a chic interior design, delicious mooli’s*, freshly made Mango Lassis (with a hint of ginger), creamy kulfis and Lychee Mojito’s (divinely refreshing), it’s the new hippest place in Soho to kick back and soak up your surroundings

*What is a mooli?
Mooli’s are warm flavoursome fillings, zesty salsas, vibrant chutneys & crunchy salads all rolled in a fresh homemade roti. The wholesome fillings have been created by former Benares Chef, Raju Rawat, and are made using dry roasted spices and carefully sourced ingredients; they include Keralan Beef, Goan Pork, Chicken & Apple, Asparagus & Cumin Potatoes and Scrambled Paneer.

A video of Mooli's in action
http://moolis.blogspot.com/2009/12/moolis-in-action.html

Some rave reviews
http://www.wallpaper.com/lifestyle/moolis-london/4120
http://www.viewlondon.co.uk/restaurants/moolis-review-61751.html
http://www.qype.co.uk/place/1064776-Moolis-London
http://www.coolography.co.uk/2009/12/moolis/Wesbitewww.moolis.com

Website
www.moolis.com

13 December 2009

need a little patience, yeah

it's a quiet Sunday night at Mooli's after a busy Friday and Saturday night. times like this make us nervous. while we're really happy with how things have gone in the first month (especially the number of regulars we have), the rent in Soho is high and we have bills to pay. we'll have to do higher numbers in the new year.

a gentleman walks in and asks for 2 mini mooli's and a limonata. in 45 minutes it will be closing time. Abdullah Ibrahim's jazz continues to play...


a lot of people have asked us about our expansion plans. Dos Hermanos writes: It is obviously a place, which has been created with the words “Roll Out” stamped all over it. we didn't think it was that obvious but we are pretty honest about our plans: we want many many mooli's (maybe even one in tokyo!) and we want every mooli's to make fresh bread and to serve good, super tasty mooli's. but that is not on our minds now. it's about making Mooli's at 50 Frith Street work. it's only been 5 weeks and we know we have to be patient. like in war, poker or even life, it's bloody important. sometimes its hard to wait though....

suddenly, 5 students come in. beers & beef mooli's. they were here yesterday and loved it so much, they are back. Cheers! they say happily.

we're getting used to this- people come back to Mooli's a LOT.

we'll be patient. and we'll be OK.

09 December 2009

A few more reviews of Mooli's......

QYPE

...........fresh Indian fillings and vibrant salads are served in generous measure in rolled Indian breads. The whole package is filling but deceptively light. You know how some spicy meals leave you bloated and feeling like you're moving through treacle? A Mooli lunch will leave you energised and nourished. Mind you, that could just be the unapologetic spicing: this probably isn't a place for the sensitive of tastebud. But if you like heat and big flavours, you'll find this properly portable, properly zingy Indian food very much up your small connective passage.

The lunch deal - a sandwich, lovely roasted poppadums and some eye-popping chutney, a drink (and the mango lassi with ginger is superb)- is a fiver. It's about the best way of spending a small blue one in the area.


View London

You might think a mooli is a large, white radish but now there’s a new definition of the word. According to two young entrepreneurs, it means warm, flavoursome fillings, zesty salsa, vibrant chutneys and crunchy salad, all rolled in a fresh, homemade roti. That’s a pretty fair description of what they’re turning out on the site of defunct Soho Italian cafe Piada, and it could just be a tweak on fast food that’s destined to go big.

*************

Excellent wraps. Not 'authentic' Indian street food but yummy fusion. The pork mooli is crave worthy, the paneer in the paneer mooli is like a paneer bhaaji and excellent. My favourite was the asparagus mooli even though normally I don't like asparagus!

Wallpaper

The recent opening of Mooli's in London's Soho burgh, though, has us especially humming with pleasure. Putting a new spin on a cuisine that’s normally (if stereotypically) associated with ghee-laden curries and heavy breads, this street food-inspired eatery dishes out tasty roti rolls with wonderful fillings.

Dos Hermanos

.....The lassi was excellent stuff, creamy, thick and delicious tasting fresh and full of fruit. The foil twist containing the Mooli was of impressive proportions and opened to release a pleasing whiff of spices. The warm roti needed more colour for eye appeal, but was well made, light enough not to sit like stone in your stomach later, but doughy enough to soak up the juices from the filling.

The Mooli was a bit sparsely populated by the main ingredient, but what chicken there was, was moist and its spicing subtle. Perhaps a little too subtle and the killer was lost beneath the filler of a slightly incongruous salad containing lettuce and apple. Fortunately, they also offer complimentary tubs of sauces to spice up your meal and mine was much improved by the removal of some of the excess lettuce and apple (lettuce and apple, really?) and the liberal addition of a fiery chill coriander chutney.

Editors Note : Dude, go for the beef or pork mooli next time !

......Mooli offers a fresh and welcome addition to an already crowded market. They’ll do very well.

03 December 2009

28 November 2009

Moolita is making fresh bread at 50 Frith Street

taken minutes ago...



mooli's are good for you.

27 November 2009

Dennis

This is Dennis. He thumps me on my shoulder every morning as he drops off our post (mostly invoices and bills !). He has a million dollar smile and a heart of gold. He brightens up my mornings even more than my daily piccolo fix at the Milk Bar.




I have so much to say about some of the incredible people we've had the pleasure of meeting ever since we opened doors @ Frith Street....but I need to get some sleep.

PS: Today was really good. Seeing a customer return for the third time in 24 hrs was heart warming.

19 November 2009

CRAZY Mooli’s deal for students

We’re offering all students a crazy deal after 4pm, eight days a week: any mooli AND beer for just £5.00. Mathew prefers the Kingfisher, I like the Asahi. Either way, just show us your student ID. We're going to run the deal all through November.



www.moolis.com
50 Frith Street, Soho

Opening hours

Sunday – Wednesday 12pm – 10.30pm
Thursday – Saturday 12pm – 11.30pm

18 November 2009

shiny happy people



our free mooli lunch was a big hit (thanks to all those who re-tweeted us all day!). we were totally swamped but kept the line moving. our star rollers marius and royce rolled faster than ever, vio at the till couldn't stop smiling, raju made sure that moolita kept making fresh perfect rotis, mathew and i went up and down the line giving free mango lassi (with ginger) and papad bite tasters.

but what made the day for us was the outpouring of support on twitter, email and people even coming back in person to thank us. here are just a few of those tweets and emails:

girlnextshore @moolis Thank you for my super scrumptious lunch today. Big big big fan, see more of you & your lovely staff!!! =)

Barnster RT @moolis: @londoneating thanks for the re-tweets. lots and lots of happy people with free mooli's. :D amazing moolis we loved them!!

Arigato23 @moolis thank you for my free lunch! i love my pork mooli will definately be back again to enjoy your moooooooooolliiis!

PeterHoffer Peter ♥ @moolis Yumyum!

absolutehype Have to say, I was very impressed by my free lunch @Moolis, can definitely see myself visiting again - http://bit.ly/43OIWN

Lee: I must say that it is the best thing I have tasted in a long time! The food is authentic and I wanted it to last forever. The chutney reminds me of my grandmother’s chutney, to which nothing has ever come close to up to now. I am coming back when the free rush is over. I would choose this over a prêt wrap any day! Thank you for bringing something different to Soho!

we're a bit tired but very happy. thank you all. and goodnight.

Mojito Sunday @ Moolis

.......... in the midst of all the excitement about the free mooli @ lunch tomorrow, I've had time to reflect on one of the most fun afternoons of the last week. Mojito Sunday.

Jonathan Shaw, ordered 4 Guava Mojitos @ 12:25 on Sunday afternoon. Completely unprepared I racked my brains to remember Sam's carefully crafted Mojito recipe and cobbled them together. I think they went down pretty well as we had sold another 25 Mojitos (we also do Lychee and Orange Mojitos) over the next couple of hours. Classic Rock anthems banging on in the background.

So Sunday afternoons are officially Mojito Sundays @ Mooli's. Yes, we'll keep on rockin' in the free world.


PS: a special thanks to Maria and Costas from the Arts Theatre Club downstairs for the cocktail making lessons and helping us source crushed ice !

17 November 2009

FREE MOOLI!

18 Nov ' 09. Free Mooli for anyone who walks through our doors @ 50 Frith Street between 12 noon and 2 pm. Tell your closest friends.

15 November 2009

this one is for our first week regulars

it feels surreal - we've been planning this for so long and now it is real. very real.

every day, Moolita and R2D2 make batches of fresh wholemeal rotis/chapatis. No E22, no preservatives period. just fresh bread. that's why our mooli's are so light - of course, the salsas, apple, mixed salad all play their part but without fresh bread, a mooli wouldn't be a mooli. it also explains why on a Saturday morning after eating mooli's all week, both Mathew and i wanted to eat a mooli rather than go to PRET. i remember Phil saying 'mooli's are finding it difficult not to eat all the stock themselves.'

sometime last week, seeing the rotis puffing up at 50 Frith Street made me think of the people and the places which got us here. Dodie Miller (Cool Chile Company, Taqueria) who first gave us the idea (through Lupita RIP), inspired us and showed us it could be done. Richard Gonzalez (BE&SCO) who went out of his way to make me chapatis in San Antonio, Texas and help us develop our recipe. the countless artists who make roomali rotis in Delhi and Lucknow every day. Swami ji at the BAPS temple in Neasden who was kind enough to let us see Moolita's sister. Jack Sharkey at Vision Kitchens who managed to find R2D2 for us. And, of course, Raju our head chef and mooli master who makes amazing roomali rotis himself and who reassured Mathew and me that we could do it (he now says that R2D2 and Moolita would give any Michelin starred chef a real run for his or her money).

we've had an incredible first week. there have been many highlights but the most amazing thing for us has been how quickly the locals have adopted us. and how often they are coming back for mooli's (and yes, mooli's are liberal with their use of apostrophes). a big thank you to all of you. we are really touched. amidst firefighting (building issues, credit card machines, broadband, the beef didn't come today! etc.) and accounting, it is good to be reminded what mooli's is about. good food.

so this one is for all our regulars (i'm sorry if i forgot any names or people - this week has been a whirlwind): our neighbour from Tapestry who has eaten 3 chicken mooli's, the Jersey boys who come every single day before the show starts, the vegetarian motorcycle courier guys (thank you Alan!), Andy who came in Thursday 5pm, Thursday 9.30pm and Friday 2.30pm, David from Bincho Yakitori who loves the paneer mooli, the hairdressers from Fordham Soho on Greek Street, the guys from Karaoke Box and many others whose conversation we have enjoyed and whose faces we remember.

12 November 2009

First Reviews

I am not sure how many eateries can boast reviews within a few days of opening, without the assitance of a well-connected PR agent. Well here are 6 on Qype, reflecting the views of the consumers that count. They vindicate a number of decisions made by S&M on: fresh bread, design, kulfi, lassi, explaining the apostrophe and papads.

"The most important thing to note is that this place has cheep and filling down pat!
I had a beef filled roti and it was succulent and fresh and served fast. I can see the new owners are finding their feet, but are more enthusiastic and open to customer feedback than I've seen in a while, which will only work in their favour.
Definitely worth a visit- you'll only pay a fiver for a drink (I recommend the fresh lemonade) a mooli, and poppadoms. That's the whole deal for very little money, can't go wrong."

"Funky little joint just joined the Soho scrum and there's something decidedly likeable about it - whether it's the minimal, fresh decor, the clean fast-food-but-sort-of-fresh-and-more-home-made-looking wrapped up wraps or the eager friendliness of the owners - it's just a fun place to pop in. They had a meal deal for £5 (yess, a new addition to my credit crunch lunch guide - http://www.qype.co.uk/lists/405106-The-credit-crunch-lunch "

"Although i'm quite partial to the odd ruby murray or 5, i'm always on the look out for more authentic Indian food. With Mooli's opening on Frith St i now have somewhere other than Govinda's to go to for Indian in Soho. As Rob said these guys are really passionate about what they are doing, and it shows in their food and attention to detail. The wraps are really tasty, without being so heavy that you'll fall asleep at your desk, and kulfi are delicious - worth making the trip alone!"

"Great new Soho lunch spot serving up a version of 'Indian street food' which translates as roti wraps with fillings like chicken coriander and mint, asparagus potato and cumin, paneer and tomato chutney, beef and coconut, and (my choice) pork with pomegranate salsa.

Lighter than a burrito, these wraps really hit the spot, and it means you still have room for a 'kulfi' the conical ice cream dessert. I was given the pistachio version on the house (opening week offer) and it was really really good, even on a wet autumn afternoon. They'd be doubly good on a hot summer's day.

Quick tip: it's worth paying a little bit extra for the chutneys and poppadoms to go with your lunch, they are really good. The green, spicy chutney is really moreish.

Having had a quick conversation with the guys who own the place, they're really friendly, eager for feedback, and obviously very passionate about what they're doing.

I can see this becoming a regular lunch spot over the next few months."

"Great little spot for a bite to eat! i had a fantastic spicy pork wrap which was to die for freshly made bread with some good fresh veg and some lovely pork followed up by some home made mango yogurt just what the doctor ordered! prices are fair and the service is genuine. give it try!!!!!"

"Just tucking into my first ever Mooli. Spicy shredded beef with fresh salad wrapped in a fresh roti. At £3.95 not cheap, but better value than the Pret a Manger wraps. Love it.

Today was their opening day, so there was a free taster of very tasty lassi as we walked in, then exceptionally fast service. The moolis are served via a rack like you get in Muccy d's. As it was their first day we also got a free drink (I took a full sized mango lassi - Yum) and a very tasty brownie.

Definitely go again to try a different flavour. An indian workmate who came with me had the asparagus. He has roti wraps at home frequently and said that it was good.

Con: the ungrammatical apostrophe in the name.

Pro: Very fast and friendly service, tasty food."

09 November 2009

we're open for business

walk right in....

i'm typing this late on sunday night. today, we were getting ready for monday and even had a sign saying opening 09 november but a few people dropped in anyway and bought quite a few mooli's. we made them some lychee mojitos on the house which went down quite well. they really loved their mooli's, ordered a few more and saw moolita and R2D2. Terrell (hope i got your name right) and i discussed In & Out burger at some length. Juan Paulo from Grenada popped by from Ronnie Scott's and wished us luck.

tomorrow, at 12pm on Monday 09 November 2009, we open our doors @50 frith street to the public. mathew, raju and i are excited. we like to think we're all cool customers but we're a bit nervous. if you're in London, drop by and buy your first proper mooli. tell your friends too. :D

08 November 2009

...as I walk through the valley

I wont pretend like I am not nervous. As I brace myself for the most insane few weeks and months, everyday I will try and remember to do three things that I learned from yoga.

1. Keep my feet firmly planted on the ground, physically and mentally. It is incredible the strength you can give yourself from firmly planting yourself on terra firma.

2. Keep my mind calm.

3. Draw your stomach in and keep your core engaged and strong.


.............and of course enjoy the joyride :-).

Bring it on baby!

05 November 2009

04 November 2009

Our menu


02 November 2009

remember two things

it is beyond hectic now. there are unexpected things which pop up every day @50 Frith Street. BT cancels broadband, the wrong coloured chairs are delivered, a bureaucratic issue with the alcohol license, the drain is blocked, is the roof leaking??? ...but we're solving these problems, making quick decisions and getting ready for the 9th.

just a few days ago, i recieved a lovely message on facebook from my uncle BC's close friend Mark who lives in California (he who was the first person to tell us that mirrors are essential for a smallish space). i'm taking the liberty of posting it on the blog (without asking him).

I'm so looking forward to your adventures on Frith St. Your uncle and aunt have been keeping us posted (so to speak). Sure wish we could attend your opening celebrations. But we'll be there in spirit for sure! No matter what, and I mean no matter what!, remember two things: 1) to have fun; 2) to breathe. Very little else matters.

All the best my friend,
Mark (and Jo sends her love)
If we've been silent, its because we've been beavering away @ 50 Frith St.

We've had a number of people drop in randomly and chat and check out Moolita. If you are in the area, pop in and say hi we might have some bread, moolis, wine or cocktails for you to sample....

Right now the place looks sleek and minimalist. Like an art gallery. With a stainless steel food pass. Tomorrow we get our Jamaica bar stools and Eames chairs. How exciting.

28 October 2009

Mooli's stories

We all have one, at least. With the opening date nearing we are all even thinking about it right now or relaying it to friends over dinner or coffee somewhere in NYC, India, Switzerland, Sweden, Paris, Germany or another time-zone. It is your own mooli story: the time you were there when the apple was added, the decision on postcards made, the name change, the near-investment, the near-partnership, perhaps even the envy, and what it has stirred in you whether short term (what you will cook that day) or more long term (for your own future).

When two people decide to take a step aside from the usual path and realise their dream on the scale that they are about to (this is not an opening in Redbridge, but Soho), it is difficult not to be touched and, as I said, stirred. The objective achievement can be celebrated later, let us now focus on our very own mooli story.

For me there are many to choose from, but perhaps the few that stick in the mind (for now at least) is the the day it became clear that Sam was ready to channel his energy and drive into realising his dream of opening the kind of indian on-the-go concept he had been dreaming about. My realisation came when I visited him at his Baker street flat. There, with the lovely Fran, Sam unveiled his initial vision, Tikkas. The name may have been ditched but the discussions that day made it clear that he was abolsutely determined to do this.

Another story arises from the initial design meetings, where we discussed the identity of mooli's. I remember quite well that I opted for a design which was wild to say the least and totally out of keeping with what now seems right. It was more skateboard shop than old delhi meets tokyo. I must thank Sam's cousin for pointing this our forcefully and reminding me that I would have caused the death of mooli's before it even began.

The next story is really of Mathew's introduction. Until that point the menu had been focused on tikkas and the more conventional fare, which would have been great, but in retrospect it did not quite reflect the originality and freshness of what Sam wanted to bring in his initial vision. Neither did it reflect Mathew's vision, and with his involvement the menu took a different direction, one which we will soon be enjoying and which truly reflects the ideal of both men. It just seems so right that we can safely forget the tikkas etc of before. It also reflects the great partnership they both have.

Both of them have co-authored the story in a way which makes it compelling and bloody tasty. Roll on 9 November 2009.

26 October 2009

if you believe, they put a man on the moon

another bread post and this one is a really happy one.

on her debut, on a late Sunday evening amidst lots of sawdust, Moolita (with some help from Raju) made the best rotis ever. Raju made around 30 dough balls (each weighing exactly 70 grams - the dough ball machine which looks like an over-sized R2D2 will be tested from Tuesday) and Moolita just churned 30 10" thin rotis out... perfectly. it was incredible really. Mathew took lots of pictures (i was careful not to sniff the bread this time) and videos. Christian from Hummus Bros stopped by.

i cycled home around 9.30pm (via Waterloo Bridge), cooked some saag paneer and ate that with Moolita rotis which Raju had so kindly packed for us. and wow. it was SO yummy. best decision we ever made... to be unreasonable. No E22, E*^^, just fresh homemade rotis.

24 October 2009

collateral



20 October 2009

Mooli's: Good for lunch


and also good for tea, drinks and dinner.


18 October 2009

A Sandy Epistle

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Dear Diary

I have been a bad correspondent, I know. The burden of expressing my thoughts has weighed on me heavily. I shall now download freely, as there are a few things to convey.

Dubai continues to intrigue me. Today I chanced upon a restaurant that serves japanese and italian food. There were so many things to celebrate about it. The phillipino chefs may have been playing the role of authentic Japanese chefs, but in terms of their creativity they were anything but copycats. They along with the rather charming waitress spent some time talking with me, no doubt attracted by my singular presence and joie de vivre. The waitress, who was of Arabic (rather than usual indian) descent, rather confirmed my suspicion that only the veil prevents your correspondent from conquering the salons of the Middle East.

I then ended up having some so-called fat free frozen yoghurt and began to reflect upon the related notion of "Mooli's are delhi meets tokyo". What does this mean? All those in the immediate orbit of S&M appear to understand this mantra, and they are so confident of its meaning that it has become a pithy description of who they are. Yet I wonder if it is so clear given the fact that Japanese cuisine is not really reflected in the food. It can only mean the things that claim the hearts of the mooli's founders. The Japanese claim must, presumably, refer to all the things usually associated with (how we perceive) Japan, probably more specifically Tokyo: simplicity, quirkiness, inventiveness, symmetry and an obsession in big things and small. It is not just an aesthetic but (almost) a way of life. These are all alluring qualities, alluring certainly to our friends.

My mooli's friends have of late regularly mentioned their disdain for glow in the dark tikkas and other foods/items usually identified with the average "indian restaurant". They are right to distinguish themselves and be driven to save the term "indian food" from some of its more unsavoury associations. But I hope that we do not in the process forget the great contribution the restaurants did make; without their work the market mooli's is entering would be very different. And the contribution of these old establishments can only be understood when one appreciates that in so many ways England is the unlikeliest of places to fall in love with the rich, spicy almost heady mix that is indian food. Yet the fact that it did is something to celebrate.

I must now leave and download in a different way. I shall return.

it's finally happening

I don't remember the exact day when Mooli's (at the time it was Aloo's!) was thought up. It was sometime in the winter of 2003 in cold Oxford.

Mooli's Ltd. was formed in July 2008 with one director (who was also the company secretary). We've come a long way since then. Mathew is the best business partner I could imagine, we have a really talented and committed chef in Raju, some great investors and let's not forget Moolita.

In that post about Mooli's Ltd., Mathew commented and said 'i'm mooli madly deeply about different coloured chairs around a table!' End of this month, those chairs will be around the tables. I spoke to anon nyc last night - and he said it was going to be unreal coming to London and buying a mooli. It's all finally happening. Two weeks from now the soft launch will begin and hopefully we launch properly around 6 November.

The blog has been great for Mathew, TAB and me. It's been fun and it's given us focus. Thank you all for reading this blog, leaving comments and lending your support.

We'll see you soon at Mooli's @50 Frith Street.

17 October 2009

Sniffing bread


.......at times like these i have second thoughts about my business partner....

16 October 2009

14 October 2009

11 October 2009

free mooli

when we launch, every day at 12pm sharp we will announce on our blog (obviously), website, facebook and twitter who qualifies for a free mooli. like our blog, it'll be pretty random (from wearing yellow to being bald to wearing baseball caps!). this was Fran's idea and we love it. so there. at mooli's, there IS such a thing as a free lunch. :D

AND you can earn/win a mooli too in the afternoon (and have a lovely hot chai) if you pop by 50 Frith Street. but before i tell you how, i feel like rambling (it's been a long day and a ramble is in order).

i've completely stopped playing poker now and it's strange. just a few months ago, i was in Las Vegas playing the World Series of Poker.



not playing poker is a bit like how i felt when i stopped playing much chess years ago. but chess might be coming back, sort of. i was going through some old photos and found some of me playing chess in Washington Square Park (NYC) and Harvard Square (Boston). it's a pity that London doesn't have anything similar.



both times, i broke even (they usually play for $2-$5 per blitz game) though i was playing a bit relaxed against the old chess master. which reminds me of an interesting story. Jonathan Rowson (the author of many an insightful comment on our blog including my favourite - 'screw being reasonable' or something to that effect) who is a strong Grand Master, 3 time British Chess Champion, author of tons of books etc. was studying at Harvard and one day while he was passing through Harvard Square, he was asked to play a game by a seasoned regular (guys who sit there playing all day - that's how they make their living). Jonathan declined but was asked again so he thought what the hell, i'll play one game. he won quite easily. as is often the case, the seasoned regular asks for a re-match. at this point, Jonathan feels a bit guilty (being a GM and all that) and tells him who he is. the seasoned regular says 'yes, but this is my job. lets play again'. this time its a real tough fight but Jonathan wins. you got to respect that guy though.

which brings me back to winning your mooli. most afternoons, you can come by and play yours truly for a game of blitz chess (3 minutes each) and if you beat me, you win a mooli of your choice. you can only win one mooli a week though - we need this restriction otherwise Jonathan might be there pretty often (he likes the Asparagus and Potato Mooli a lot).

08 October 2009

Are we Indian?

As we firm up our viral marketing campaign, one that is set to take Soho by storm, we’ve been forced to answer one recurring question. Just how Indian are we?

Sam and I are both Indian, Raju our head Chef is Indian. Our beef is Keralan. Our pork is Goan. Our chicken can be found on kitchen tables in most (non-veg) North Indian households in India. Our paneer has a distinctive achari and panch phoran flavour. And our potatoes are cooked in geera and is served with raita and tamarind chutney. Sounds pretty Indian to me.

And yet, we shy away from any overt “Indian” associations in any of our branding, our communications, our decor. Mooli’s is a pretty Indian name, but only to Indians.

Is Mooli’s ashamed to be Indian ?

ABSOLUTELY NOT. We are proud of our incredibly diverse and exciting culinary heritage. If I was to choose my last meal it would probably be appam and Malabar chicken stew.

But we wash our hands of the cuisine that many mis-informed Londoners commonly identify as being “Indian”. The sludge that is served up by some of the curry houses of Brick Lane. That is not Indian, and if it is perceived to be, then we don’t want to be a part of it.

Mooli’s are not glow in the dark tikka masala.

Mooli’s don’t use ghee or cashew nut pastes in any of our dishes.

Mooli’s are all about dry roasting our spices.

And we’ve gone beyond the traditional. While our beef is a distillation of different recipes from 5 Keralan families, we’ve been bold enough to serve it alongside a cucumber raita, a tomato salsa and mixed leaf lettuce. On the plantations of Kottayam, the tatta kadda’s of Cochin and even in the Chandy household, only whisky is considered good enough to be served with Keralan beef (or olathi erachi as it known).

Mooli’s serves a pomegranate salsa with our pork; We’ve added the crunch of apple to our chicken. And elevated the simple geera aloo with the addition of crisp asparagus.


Many years ago, bucket loads of cream, coconut and sugar was added to classic Indian dishes to make them more palatable to local tastes in Britain. Similarly, some might unfairly accuse us of selling out. I think we’ve just taken our favourite Indian flavours and added a dash of zing & zest to them.

I hope you will agree. Only weeks to ago.

03 October 2009

mooli's are pt 2

mooli's are nothing to do with moolis.
mooli's are all about moolis if it makes money.
mooli's are not in essex. yet.
mooli's are all about small caps.
mooli's are alpacino in scarface.
mooli's are partly funded by auctioning a space-moon vintage rolex.
mooli's aren't going to lick your arse to get your custom.
mooli's are all about testing their food in the sunday upmarket.
mooli's are an iphone that has sex with you and makes you food.
mooli's are all about single-handedly reviving the pomegranate market.
mooli's are not about to go all poofy and speak to you in childish patronising tones.
mooli's are sometimes going to try things which don't come off. So what.
mooli's are not going to have a hole in the floor toilet.
mooli's are definitely planning to take over the world.
mooli's are david bowie in the 70s.
mooli's are amitabh bachchan in sharaabi (especially in that concert scene with jaya prada).
mooli's are in love with the bank of baroda.
mooli's are about the give the world blueberry kulfi.
mooli's are indebted to mummys and daadees.
mooli's are so glad they were not called tikkas.
mooli's are paying rent to the greek orthodox church of cyprus
mooli's are loving the handmade t-shirt chandy is wearing in legalweek.

30 September 2009

Mama mooli

The arrival of Moolita @ London Heathrow has been overshadowed slightly.

My mom has just landed as well. She is an outstanding cook, especially her Keralan beef, Goan pork and Chicken (e)stew. Some of you reading will know from Benson Town sessions and are probably nodding your heads in agreement.

Many of our dishes have their origins in her recipes (although we have exercised considerable creative licence).

Will we pass the test ????????

24 September 2009

Blueberry kulfis @ Mooli's

Thrilling news. I might be jumping the gun here, but we might have managed to source blueberry kulfis to sell @ Mooli's. This will be in addition to the usual mango, pistachio and malai flavours. We've talked about using a non-Indian but delicious and exotic flavour in our kulfi's for months and now it looks like it might happen.



Gostoso.

21 September 2009

The chutneys have it

Our mooli's are being photographed tomorrow by Mowie at Shilpa's place !

I spent the afternoon with Raju preparing for the shoot. We've made a really beautiful array of chutneys (beetroot, carrot, tamarind, coriander, mango, tomato, cucumber raita). The colours are all natural but just out of this world. And I re-discovered an old favourite - gunpowder.

We aren't just about tender braised meats, fresh homemade roti's and zesty salsas. The chutneys have it. I ate roti with just chutneys for dinner (but all seven of them). TAB you were right.

20 September 2009

Stories from the Toilet Pt 2

Some would say it is an obsession, I just like to call it a fascination in something we all do and love doing and are very relaxed while doing it. Yes poo. I have mentioned its crucial role in the pre-mooli's launch. Now I want to take up the subject in relation to the toilets in mooli's. There will be two toilets in the first mooli's store. How should they look? Convention of course dictates a plain, no frills toilet which is easy to clean and does not reflect badly on the premises and its food. There are two problems with convention.

First, toilets are havens and should look the part. As a 16 year old I thought up my my first path-breaking piece (The causes of the First World War (for a GCSE essay)) in my toilet. I am not alone. Gandhi, Nelson, J Priestley, Kant, Wittgenstein and Teddy Pendergrass. All of them, yes all of them, had their big ideas while sitting on the loo.* So it only makes sense that the mooli's toilet should be more than just comfortable; they need to be a destination in themselves as it were.

Secondly, the convention prevents mooli's only chance to pay some respect or homage to an indian institution which may go out of fashion. The hole in the floor. Why not have one of the toilets as a good ol' fashioned hole in floor of the kind that still exists right across india and pakistan? I can just imagine the headlines or write-ups in the magazine: "if the sumptuous fillings don't knock you out, then visit the loos where you will find London's only hole in the floor toilet. Homage indeed".

*unverified but its believeability must make it true or true enough for it to be a persuasive example

19 September 2009

It is Sunday again...


...the Keralan beef returns @ the Sunday Upmarket along with our new hit - Cumin potatoes & Asparagus with a tamarind chutney. As usual, you can go green with a really fresh and fiery green chutney. Raju and I are cooking together so this time the chutney will be even better.

We're in Ely's Yard which is the outdoor section of the market - opposite the Rootmaster Bus, at the corner of the yard close to the Big Chill bar.




Some colourful pictures from the market last week:

15 September 2009

we got the keys!

9.35am, Tuesday, 15th September, 2009... Mathew opening the doors of Mooli's new home: 50 Frith Street, Soho.



There was no coconut smashed on the floor but exciting nevertheless. Mathew brought coffees and we got to work immediately! What's Nick writing there?



A chuckle while another photograph is taken and we are back to discussing our favourite subject in relation to the build: loos (more on that later, perhaps by TAB).

13 September 2009

On Yoga and Desserts

I. Bikram Yoga

At last I can now sit at a dinner table and inspire a moment of intrigue:

Anybody (pref girl): Wow, your job as a lawyer sounds cool, firefighting battles across the globe. How do you relax and keep yourself fit?

Me: Yes, but please don't forget that it is lonely being a leading international lawyer and author of path breaking articles on C18 English legal procedure in the court of common pleas. That aside I like to relax through Bikram Yoga. It really helps me realign my chakras.

....


I completed my first Bikram yoga class (or hot yoga as some call it because it takes place in a heated room). It was nearly like all the stereotypes I had in my mind before entering the class. Almost everyone was lithe, beautiful, including the oldies who all looked like they survived on seeds and had never had ice cream in the hundred years they had lived. The elegance of their contortions were there for all to see since all the men took the 90 minute class without a t-shirt and almost-there shorts (women had sports bras). I knew this was the usual way but I hardly wanted to stun them with the full glory of my body. The instructor, who shouted at me throughout the class every time any pose was out of kilter, at one point said "Tariq [she had memorised the names of the newbys) the temperature is very hot so feel free to take your shirt off; don't be shy, all the other men have; and after all we are all friends". Momentarily- just momentarily- I had visions that this was the cue for a mass orgy that I had imagined such things could be (when I was 10).

Overall the class was great, despite the feeling that I was way out of my depth. I shall return. I want to be like them.


II. Sweet Mooli

This rather neatly brings me to some mooli business. Recently, we were asked for some suggestions on what desserts mooli's could serve. I saw somewhere that the classic indian sweets were suggested. I am not sure that mooli's necessarily has to have indian sweets. The beauty of the mooli's brand is that it is beyond classic categories/labels - it is indian going on japanese, italian, mongolian or anything its founders love. So with that in mind here are two suggestions, inspired by paris but with a mooli twist.


(a) Choco Mooli- a warm chapatti filled with the nutella spread. This apes the nutella crepe, but may even be tastier, because the dryer almost salty chappati (I think) may be even more complimentary with the nutella. I think this could be a hit.

(b) Semi- Frozen macaroons- Not only are they so tasty but they are an aesthetic dream-perfectly shaped little round desserts in bright colours. The twist is to have them semi-frozen so they retain the usual taste with coconut tones, but also give the sensation of ice cream without the mess. I tasted this recently at a dinner party, where the host had forgotten to defrost the deserts for the time recommended. The host's mistake was a hit with the guests.

09 September 2009

09/09/09

today, Nick (one of our fantastic architects - more on him and Kevin in another post), Mathew and I were sitting in Cafe Macondo in Angel and after our now usual ramblings on furniture, we started to talk about builders and costs so I took my MUJI notebook out. i was writing the date when Nick said, today is 09/09/09. there was a real sense of Déjà vu.

my mind was really all over the place. Mathew and i had just sampled 3 single origin coffees and the monmouth espresso blend at the monmouth roastery (our experience deserves a whole new post which i think mathew should write - he was like a kid in Willy Wonka's chocolate factory looking at the dark roasted beans being cooled in this huge mechanised pot). so the moment passed until I saw emails from Badri and Sachin in my inbox later this evening. and then it all came flooding back.

Law School Tutorials (LST) was conceived exactly 10 years ago to the day in Bangalore in an auto. there were four of us in that auto (Badri, Sachin, Dev and I) and by the time we had finished dinner at Casa Picola, we just knew that as a business idea, this was as good as it gets. how could it not work? the next 3 years were exciting. mamta joined us, dev left (but we saw him enough in the hostel :)) we worked hard, worked with very little (and around college) and somehow created a business. there are so many memories (carrying truck loads of printed materials, Badri watching Sachin and me fix a flat on the old 800 - in fact taking pictures of us, waiting for our website to be hit after our TIMES OF INDIA ad). i foolishly sold my stake too early but it was one hell of a ride. sachin took the business to another level after 2002 and now LST is in 60 cities across India (as i told Sachin a few years ago when he generously gave me an ipod, where the fuck is my car??)

a year trekking and traveling, 2+ years of mucking around in Oxford, 2 years at BCG, a year of poker/getting things ready for Mooli's and now finally, it's happening again.

mathew and i are working hard but there is a real buzz. i think we are both nervous but excited and confident at the same time. and sometimes, i think to myself just as i did in 09/09/09 how could it not work?

we've got a vision and we can't wait to get there but know each step is going to be tricky. if for some reason, it doesn't work we'll probably put up our hands and tell you that we didn't execute well enough. that's the name of the game now.

ps- the food at Cafe Macondo was outstanding. Mathew, especially was in love with his Chipotle Chicken.

07 September 2009

Ice Cold Beer

I met a friend over the w/e. His family runs a Mexican restaurant in NY and he mentioned that they have phenomenal beer sales, aided by the fact that the beer is served very cold. Just above freezing. Apparently New Yorkers love their beer ice cold.


Will this fly in London, given our cold weather and the fact that many people seem to like warm beers? We'd love to hear from you.

03 September 2009

Alien chappati !

We got much better as the evening progressed, but our first roti's turned out quite scary looking !



An improvement ...........



And this is how it should be done......

29 August 2009

Mooli aesthetics: "I always listen to what I can leave out"

On a recent extended visit to London, S&M invited me into their daily lives and it was, I can confirm, what we all feared: that yes, all our professional pursuits are unlikely to compare to the exhilarating life of an entrepreneur almost moments away from seeing their ideas being realised. From Mr Yau's love of the beef to the long meeting and discussions on design, I enjoyed it all. The design and its evolution was very interesting, not least because, guided by S&M, I was able to see, feel, eat and capture what the current competition and the fast food market is about. How much should we speak? Should we plaster pictures everywhere? Is our design too simple? Is tab really sexy? To what extent should we sacrifice our design/aesthetic ideal for commercial reasons, if at all? These are difficult questions, because the impulse is to shout and scream about all the wonderful things in the store and so many brands seem to achieve success by constantly speaking to their consumers.


It struck me that against this strong impulse, which will pull again and again pre and post mooli's launch, it is important to have a counter-impulse, one which increasingly seems to represent the S&M vision: there is no need to scream or place pictures everywhere. We will let the customers do the screaming; our story will be there if they wish to look - it will be conveyed but not in a jarring way.

Perhaps the best description of this kind of impulse is be found in the words uttered by Miles Davis, which pithily also sums up his greatness: "I always listen to what I can leave out". Taking the conventional fast-food concept as a base, this is what S&M are doing.

27 August 2009

fuck monday is a bank holiday!

... that's what popped into my head today. its all happening and we are so excited we just want to get on with things. staying on top of everything is a challenge but good fun too. google calendar/tasks/docs. muji notebooks (i'm on number 6). reminding each other. and soon the iphone.

i know what TAB is saying (with sarcasm dripping like chutney) to himself when he reads this post. 'yeah sam that's really interesting'.

24 August 2009

22 August 2009

We are probably going to have to change our name

..... if we ever go to the US or Italy.

20 August 2009

18 August 2009

Salads @ the Upmarket


Our salads were really well received. One of our customers described them as - "delicious salads, with a real zing". We couldnt have described them better (we had tried all morning).

And they were pretty.





We sold out quite early, so I caught sunset and a few quiet moments on the Heath afterwards. Just me and my bike.



but the beef is my favourite

For some reason, tonight I feel like writing in normal case. It is 12.47 and I am listening to Sigur Ros again. TAB is staying the night here - we experimented with dinner today (a gazpacho with an apple & coriander sorbet and an Italian pan seared tuna being the highlights) which was fun.

I almost wrote this post at about 3.30 on Saturday night after cooking 5 kgs of beef in our newly acquired Presto pressure cooker (more on that later) but for a change better sense prevailed and I caught 5 hours of sleep before we sold salads at Sunday Upmarket.

On Friday, Jonny kindly organised a tasting with Alan Yau. We made all 5 mooli's with our proper fresh bread (made beautifully by Raju - soon they will be made by moolita - she is on her way from San Antonio, Texas). It was a big day for us and as Mathew said, a day we are likely to remember. The order was - potato & asparagus with tamarind chutney, keralan beef mooli with our fresh salsa, paneer with Raju's secret tomato chutney, chicken and peppers with our coriander & apple chutney and finally Mathew's seriously fiery Goan pork with pickled cucumbers. Alan genuinely seemed to enjoy the food. At one stage (I think after he had either the paneer or chicken), he said 'the chutney with the potato was amazing... but the beef is my favourite'. He then went on to talk about the beef and while he was talking I was telling myself remember this Sam but of course I forgot the exact words. It was something along the lines of... the attention to detail is incredible and the flavours are delicately balanced, the salsa goes really well with the beef (that was Mathew's idea). After tasting the pork which he also liked he asked us how we get the meat so tender. Slow cooking. And here's how we do it:

Our brand new 23 litre Presto Pressure Cooker which my dad carried from California! It even has a proper dial and all. Dodie Miller and her head chef at Taqueria (best Mexican food in town) know how to slow cook meats and they've tried all the pressure cookers out there (including Hawkins!) and are convinced that Presto make the best ones. We simulate around 7 hours of slow cooking. A few months ago I wrote a post titled 'Being Heston Blumenthal'. We've come a long way since then and the attention to detail has become a religion. The red chilies are always dry roasted - and we know the exact number (from a particular brand) which we use for different quantities. The ginger is weighed. It's what my friend James calls 'spreadsheet cooking'. Under the influence of a neuroscientist girlfriend and the demands of a fast-casual restaurant, I've reined in the cooking by andaz style. Watching Heston Blumenthal on the telly showed me that coming up with the detail still needs passion and creativity. And that science can be good.



Today, at a tasting at Linklaters, Mathew said it's kind of nice that most people have their own favourite mooli - it is a sign they really like it. I oscillate between the pork and the beef though suddenly the potato & asparagus with tamarind chutney is in the running too. For some weird reason, I wonder which one Usain Bolt would pick. He clearly likes nuggets. Check out this nice interview on Top Gear.

16 August 2009

Our first Ad!





We are very lucky to have secured the services of one of our favourite indian composers, Mukesh Kanapathapillairajni III.  

14 August 2009

I wanna be like you

We've written before about a restaurateur that we are BIG fans of. In 2 hours and 15 minutes we are doing a tasting for him and are also hoping to learn the secret of this man's red fire.

How exciting ! Wish us luck.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9cWkUhZ8n4

13 August 2009

We're Back



We're back this Sunday (16 August) @ the Sunday Upmarket - the market 'for fashion and flavouristas'.

We're in Ely's Yard which is the outdoor section of the market - opposite the Rootmaster Bus, at the corner of the yard close to the Big Chill bar.





We're selling the Keralan Beef salad and the Paneer salad. The lovely flavours of the beef and paneer are enhanced by the freshly tossed endives, vine tomatoes, cucumber, pomergranate seeds, grated carrot and pine nuts (with a squeeze of fresh lime). They will be delicious, Ottolenghi-esque we hope.

11 August 2009

बे गुड

We’ve reached a stage where most major hurdles have been crossed and opening our doors sometime in October has started to look very real‍. Sam and I keep saying to ourselves that we’ve been extremely fortunate to get to this position given the current economic climate. Luck aside, Mooli’s has had an incredible amount of selfless help from well wishers and we have been especially touched by some incredible acts of kindness from virtual strangers. I feel compelled to thank at least some of them.

I met Springbok Jon Shaw for the first time over a delicious lamb tagine at Cat’s place. He had already heard about Mooli’s through Jan, a common friend of his and Sam’s. He unwittingly offered to help us out, and we unashamedly took him up on the offer. We peppered him on a daily basis with questions about tax reliefs under the EIS scheme (which has been an incredible help in raising external equity), many of which required time out from his busy City schedule to make calls to HMRC and research cases. Last night he filed our application for clearance under the EIS scheme - a letter with a copious number of annexures, something even our accountant was loathe to undertake. For nothing.

I have a special affinity for other things South African. Its been five years since I rolled around with Whitey, since Tiger poo'ed & pee'd on my shoulder, since I swam with Jessica. Five years since I tasted that divine Bunny Chow in Durban and chicken with pap in Jo’burg. Since I heard the infectious beats of Mafikizolo.


Google is now very big, but they have stuck to their original philosophy – be good। Barring some silly privacy concerns, they have been very good to most of us। Yes we all know that they raised the bar several notches for internet search, email, maps etc – but they have also made life easier and cheaper for bootstrapping startups like Mooli’s. This blog is hosted for free by them. As is our mooli’s email. We use google calendars, google tasks, google docs, picasa. Follow this link for a street view of 50 Frith Street , courtesy of google. It feels odd to thank a juggernaut like them, but it is hard to imagine a world without google.


Dodie is a lovely woman. Of Cool Chile Company and Taqueria fame. Sam has eulogised before about her excellent corn tortillas and harbanero sauce. Having heard about and empathized with our frustrating quest for real bread, she invited us over to try to make rotis on El Monstro. She had balls of chappati dough ready and waiting (we were, as usual an hour late, but that is about to change soon) and ran an entire production line for us. For nothing. As she only supplies gluten free corn tortillas, commercially supplying us with wheat chappatis on El Monstro is not an option for her. And she then gave us a free run to poke around her kitchens at Taqueria, quiz her chefs and sample some delicious tacos. Her thumbs up to our Goan Goat and Punjabi Paneer was a great endorsement for us.


I could go on – Bing Bong who stayed up nights and weekends drafting our shareholders agreements (but at least he had the misfortune of knowing us for many years); TAB who writes outrageously funny stuff and understands the Mooli's brand better than us (but at least these might help to make him famous or find a mate. And of course he is also no stranger); Edair who runs my local Oz Café and who taught me to make coffee and gives me a few hours of experience behind his counter every week (his words of advice have been simple but invaluable – "....always always clean, always always good food, always always take girl who speak good English, then always always people come"). There are many more.

Starting Mooli’s has been as exciting and challenging as I expected and wanted it to be – and we are truly grateful for the help that we have got from these Good Samaritans. I compare you to a kiss from a rose on the grey.

Does my poo look big in this?

Ladies and gentlemen, as we approach the big launch date, there is a question which hovers above us and has yet to be fully addressed. After eating a mooli, is your experience in the toilet heaven or hell? Has the passage of your excrement been smooth  (even if a little bumpy) or stingy and uncomfortable followed by slightly more stingy and uncomfortable.

Perhaps it is embarrassing to ask such questions in feedback sessions or perhaps it is simply bad manners to ask after a person's poo (let us stick to this word rather than its harder alternative of shit, excrement etc). The reality is you will not know until after the event anyway. 

It is an important question. The richness of Indian food is such that it is almost inevitable that the stomach will rumble somewhat. This is an accepted risk for most consumers of Indian food. There is also a real risk that it would go beyond rumbling to downright bubbling uncomfortability. If that happens then very quickly a place can get a bad reputation. So what effect does the mooli have on you? Are questions about poo redundant because there is nothing one can do about it?

That second question is interesting. I have no answers, but it seems to me the spices one uses and the time of preparation must be linked to the poo question. Purely on an observational basis (which is far from scientific), it seems that home cooked Indian food is less likely to induce the bad pooh than some restaurant food. Why is that? This is a question for the mooli chefs and their expert advisors. But before they can investigate this they need the big poo question answered. So don't be shy, go ahead and reply. 

18 July 2009

Some Proposed Tag Lines for the Mooli Packaging



Please make no mistake, eating 4 Mooli's a day will make you fat.

Our salad leaves are washed with water which has passed through the cracks of tibetan virgins. Yes it is that clean.

A Mooli will change your life. No seriously dude, it will.

Our chais are made with milk as fresh tasting as that which you tasted from your mother's teat.

The animals which have been slaughtered for your Mooli taste so good because they are so well treated, with regular massages, organic grass, sushi and 24 hour cable television. 

We do not need to show off about our coffee, because it is so well grounded.

We wanted to bring you the best tasting kulfi. We sourced a great supplier who lovingly makes her creamy kulfis in a farm just close to berkshire-upon-thames-upon a hill. But she was pretentious, overpriced and unbearable to work with, so we have put the kulfi on hold. 

9/10 of our friends think that Mooli's is way better than Pret and EAT. 

As we are just starting we have underpriced our products. Hopefully as we get more popular we will increase the prices. 

Warning: this is not a fucking burrito.

Not to be consumed with low grain cocaine.

This Mooli was not made by an overworked and underpaid illegal immigrant. 

If our staff could speak they would tell you we are the best bosses ever.

This Mooli is bad it's bad...you know it. And the wholeworldhastoanswerrightnowanditellyouonceagain who's bad?





 

17 July 2009

I'll see you when you get there......

We'll be back at the Upmarket this Sunday. Flogging our mooli's. Having fun. After a few sold out shows, the Goan Goat Mooli and the Paneer Mooli will be rested and Sam's Keralan Beef Mooli will be unveiled. And, we're also trying out a new and experimental Potato & Asparagus Mooli with tamarind and yogurt sauce (this hasnt yet been voted on to the menu, so your feedback will be really useful).




We're working with little more than a table, a tarpaulin and a plug point, so do make some allowances if the bread isnt fresh off moolita (as it will be @ Mooli's, 50 Frith Street) and the mooli's arent 110% ...... but come on and join the joy ride. We'll be there from 10 am till 5 pm.