07 July 2009

My my, hey hey

Mr X : So how do you think Mooli's will do in Soho?

Cafe Manager Friend of Mr X : "I'm not sure if the Soho set who are used to eating slim Pret sandwiches and classy Fernandez & Wells fayre would eat smelly burritos."

Smelly burritos ???????????? OK to the credit of Mr X, he hadn't disclosed to his Cafe Manager Friend the true nature of a mooli as he is constrained by the banker's duty of confidentiality.

Mathew : "........ the burrito analogy we sometimes use is useful, but it breaks down after a point. Unlike a burrito, we don't stuff our mooli's with boiled rice and beans"

Burritos are yummy, and London is now home to some great Mexican restaurants like Taqueria, Benitos Hat, Chilango, Wahaca (and their tacos are fantastic). May their tribe increase, especially before the onslaught of the mighty Chipotle. But we have refused all suggestions to add rice to our mooli's, even if the rice is cooked in coriander.

This call with Mr X has gone on for 25 minutes now. It has been a long hard day. Got to Renato's bread lab in Clerkenwell at 8 am. Surveyed 50 Frith Street with our architects at 10 am. Set off for Birmingham to meet Mushtaq Food Equipment and demo their chapati wedge press . Ritwik is violently sick in the car. Twice. Poor kid. We finally reach a bit late, to only get a viewing (no demo) for all of six minutes. So we go to this really dodgy shack - Lahore Roti Juntion on Stoney Lane to peek at the wedge press in action through their open kitchen door. Their rotis are bad, and their glow in the dark tikkas even worse. This part of Birmingham is a real shit hole.

Mr X : "So have you conducted any of your tasting sessions in gay areas then?"

Mathew : "No Sir. Our tastings are normally conducted from the familiarly of Sam's or my flat (except for that mammoth 50+ tasting at the UBS cafeteria). But we have had our food blessed by all of our gay friends."

Nick was especially complimentary - he said that our food (and the mango lassi especially) really tingled his taste buds, like Wagamama did in the early days. And Thariel and Fab loved our chicken. And Homi & Graham, bless them - our first paying customers @ 11:30 am on 5 July 2009. In fact about 30% of our 45 customers @ the Sunday Upmarket were gay.

Anyway, I am being silly. These are actually all fair questions. We are aware that Soho is home to a number of super models and the gay community. And hence the mini moolis; carb-lite salads; lentil soups; guava, lime and vodka cocktail.

But every now and then even super models and gay men must indulge in a Goan Goat mooli. Tangy and fiery. Rolled with a freshly cut salsa of vine tomatoes, yellow peppers, spring onions, pine nuts and pomegranate seeds.

Yes, Soho has proved hard to break for many. Especially for Indian food concepts. Tiffin Bites failed initially on Wardour Street, but went on to do well in Canary Wharf, Liverpool Street and Moorgate. But Imli looks to have broken the jinx, Masala Zone is doing ok as well and Kati Roll Co looks to be doing better these days with their light and yummy wholemeal option.

Yes there may be safer battle grounds like Wembley, Tooting, Southhall and East Ham. But my my hey hey. Rock & Roll is here to stay.


Franziska said...

Mr X's comments clearly indicate that he has never tasted a mooli.
Otherwise he would know that they are light and delicious and will be loved by goras - girls, gays and boys alike.
plus there is always the salad option.

Gautam said...

Ignore Mr. X for now.

1. Why is it called a Wrap in the picture? A wrap is not a mooli. A mooli is more than a wrap.

2. Post more pictures from this please! More!

3. Post me a mooli. I'll pay postage.

Anonymous said...

On the one hand I think, yes, ignore Mr X, or better still, invite him to taste a mooli. On the other hand there's a serious issue of the public perception of moolis: Mr X's inaccurate view could be more representative than we'd like, and every measure should be taken to disseminate the truth and the whole truth! On this blog for example.

Yes, the reactions have all been good among those privileged enough to taste the mooli, but what about the power of words to educate, entice, and convert those who have not yet had this good fortune.

Maybe it's time for someone to compose a lyrical description of the mooli experience. TAB, you're in the Proustian homeland!

Anonymous said...

there are no stupid questions, and there are no stupid answers. there are only stupid people.

anon nyc

mathew said...

a lyrical composition to follow (courtesy Dev) and more photos from the Sunday Upmarket (courtesy Shilpa).

i agree completely with anon. it is difficult enough for me to describe a mooli to someone who hasnt tasted one - it is not a wrap, not a roll, not a burrito....

yes, i succumbed and called it a wrap just to complete the first sale. next week will be different.

can i just say that we really enjoy everyones comments immensely. the collective goodwill is very powerful!

thariel said...

Mr X is an idiot (and I don't care if he's reading this), purveying stereotypes about the gay community as a uniformly anorexic, calorie counting, muscle fetishising bunch of body fascists. bah. i mean, for fuck's sake, have you seen the ginormous, full fat cream encrusted pastries they serve at patisserie valerie (and the number of copycat joints clustered around old compton street)? or all those big beer-bellied bears who hang out outside comptons who don't exactly look like they're watching their waistlines? or frickin everything that's deep fried in all of chinatown? tell mr. x that we come in all shapes and sizes and that we resent his insinuations of us as a bunch of finger-food eating freaks. ugh, i'm having an episode of queer rage.

sameer said...

thank you thariel. can't agree more.

Anonymous said...

It didn't seem to me that Mr X's question about gay marketing implied any particular character of the gay market (least of all a slur). If anything, it was M's response to it that seemed to anchor its meaning in the world of supermodels and those concerned with their weight. But this is neither here nor there. I think Mr X was right to ask if Mooli's came across generally as a gay-friendly outfit, and the answer is obviously a resounding yes in every respect.

thariel said...

@anonymous: er, no i disagree...in the context of the comment made by Cafe Manager Friend of Mr X, who was very much part of the conversation: "I'm not sure if the Soho set who are used to eating slim Pret sandwiches and classy Fernandez & Wells fayre would eat smelly burritos" - the insinuation is "these people are slim and dainty and don't exactly eat heartily". which irritates me no end. perhaps my ire should be directed at 'Cafe Manager Friend of Mr. X'

Anonymous said...

OK. Your point is well taken.

mathew said...

...that was an editted version of the conversation.

I went on to point out to Mr X. that the Gourmet Burger Kitchen (opposite) and the Nandos (three doors down) were doing very well, and their food was more hearty than slim Pret swiches, posh BarFina tapas and classy F&W.

i do LOVE the F&W coffee