Mr Dehli 2008 and a stunning lamb curry at Mumbai to London Cafe

Dishoom level curries... without the price tag

By Ben Arnold | Last updated 19 April 2024

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Mumbai to London on Market Street, opposite The Droylsden Centre, makes a few pretty bold claims. Firstly, you might be welcomed by a former Mr Delhi.

Radi, brother of the restaurant’s owner Vinod, and chef at the family’s other restaurant Vedaa in Cheadle, won the bodybuilding contest in 2008. 

If you ask nicely, he might show you a few pictures of him sculpting, though he’s a bit less hench these days.

Among the other big claims, is that it’s the only place in the country where you’ll get a chutney garlic naan – a fresh, puffy garlic naan, with fresh, vibrant coriander chutney.

On the wall there are upside down umbrellas, Bollywood movie posters, and a sign featuring the ‘rules of the cafe’, precluding petting (the heavy kind), combing hair, flirting with the cashiers and sleeping in the toilet.

Other than that, anything goes.

On the other wall, there are wooden plates decorated in tribute to the restaurant’s various milestones. Their first review on Trip Advisor (Lisa), their first online order (Marie) and, perhaps most important of all, their first actual, real-life customer, Lenny.

Lenny, who became a regular, even has his own dish on the menu – a chicken tikka wrap, with fresh salad and tomato chilli jam.

So this is a place which cares about the community being created around it, and that gets delivered on every plate from chef Vinod Singh’s kitchen.

Though he doesn’t have the carved physique of his little brother, Vinod’s pedigree is just as esteemed. After working for world class hotel chains like Grand Hyatt and JW Marriot, he was the first person to be employed by the fledgling Indian chain-that-doesn’t-feel-like-a-chain Dishoom.

He was instrumental in the creation of the chicken ruby, the nihari and the famous black daal. We can add this to the list of impressive claims made at this unassuming spot.

The menu is crammed with joyous dishes – like Dishoom, there’s a Chicken Ruby and the humbly named ‘Lamb Curry’, which – quite seriously now – is among the best examples you will ever encounter. His take on the black daal is the Daal Bukhara, cooked for 24 hours.

Prawns, marinated in (wait for it) basil, cheese and cashew before being scorched in the tandoor, were unexpectedly perfect, as were the chutneys – the Mumbai green slaw and pomegranate raita – and that chutney naan.

And don’t ignore the Mumbai ‘gun’ potatoes – their take on the gunpowder potato, baby new potatoes caked in desi spices – or the spectacular Indo-Chinese chilli chicken.

There’s so much to love on Vinod’s menu. And who knows, if he loves you back, you might get a dish named after you.

Like Lenny did.

Mumbai To London Cafe, 126 Market Street, Droylsden, Manchester M43 7AA