It Was A Ghost Town In Moza HQ – Swadlincote
It was time for another curry. The other week I went and ate at New Swad, one of the top rated Indian’s (the Indian that isn’t a Indian but is in fact a Bangladeshi restaurant) in Swadlincote.
Finally with something to compare against, due to not having eaten Indian much at all (tikka malasa is my go to meal at an Indian. Safe. Too much heat and I’m sweating and snotting. It is not cool) I don’t really know what I’m eating, what the food is supposed to taste like or what ingredients are in it.
It is time to learn!
With the experience of New Swad in the back of my mind, it was time to see if Moza HQ was able to match the Indian food experience.
I had been to Moza HQ before. Not when it was an Indian but when it was one of its many iterations. During my meal I spoke to one of the members of staff and he was telling me that before Moza HQ took over the premises that it used to be a Thai restaurant, then a bar called Number 10 and before it turned into Moza HQ it was the Yard.
I remember visiting the Yard many moons ago. It wasn’t the best place. I think the main feature to it was the large outside drinking/smoking area which Moza HQ have found no use for. (I was thinking that they should jazz it up and install an outside bar and serve cocktails.)
I think the failure of The Yard was that it was too early. It had one of those too cool for school vibes, hipster before it was hipster.
If it was still around today you know it would be filled with men dressed in vests, with their chests pumped out, flexing their toned biceps. Alongside, slightly over weight guys, beer belly and man tits included, their well groomed beards, slicked up with oil and smelling like roses from their beard perfume, standing around in a blueberry/plimpoberry vape cloud.
You get what I mean…
Thankfully the herding ground that the Yard could have been is not around anymore and we now have Moza HQ in it’s place.
Moza HQ is set back from the Main Street of Swadlincote. Passing through some black gate you are herded down to the door by two small walls either side of you. The smoking area is on the right where my imagination placed the cocktail bar and the many people drinking their rhubarb gin and tonic.
As I entered Moza HQ I had a feeling that the place wasn’t even open. It had the air of disabandonment. As not a soul was in there. Walking into the main seating area their was a man leaning on the bar, nose stuck in his mobile.
With a curt hello, he turned, greeted me and sat me at a table.
I realised why I had had the feeling that Moza HQ had a lack of human presence, because their wasn’t a soul in there apart from me. As I ate through the night this changed with a slow drip of people coming for their Indian fix.
I was handed a menu and it was time to find something to eat. This was the hard part for me as the description of the food on the menu was the only thing that I had to go by.
When placing my order the waiter asked if I would like a popadom and a pickle tray. This was something that I wasn’t asked when I went to New Swad. My answer was of course yes. A decision that would have me thinking later “why did I order all this food?!”
The starter that I ordered was the kebab roll and I went for the Moza Pudina Bhuna for my main.
I tried to keep away from the traditional dishes as I’m sure most of you reading this have far more knowledge on their taste unlike me. Doing a review on a Korma isn’t really informative is it?
The Moza Pudina Bhuna is described as “breast chicken stuffed with mince meat and spinach, steam cooked then cooked in chef’s own coriander relish sauce”
With this dish you got rice included. I went for the Korahi Pilau Rice, which is Pilau rice with spring onions and Worcestershire sauce.
The waiter asked if I wanted any naan with the meal. I told him not really, because it is always too filling. I asked him for some other reccomendations. He pointed me in the direction of Paratha. So I ordered that having no idea what it was.
The one lonely popadom came served on it own tray. With that was the pickles; Lime, Chilli and Mixed Pickle. As far as a popadoms goes, it was popadom-y. The pickles were pretty tasty as well. Your standard stuff. Nothing notably bad about them.
One thing that I liked about Moza HQ was the fact that they kept you up dated with my food. One of the waiters came over and mentioned to me that my starter (Kebab Roll) would be with me in a few minutes. Something that I don’t think I have experienced in any restaurant that I have visited.
The Kebab Roll came in one of those dishes which had three separate sections for sauces. The sauce was similar to the pickle tray I had previously, apart from the mixed pickle was replaced with a mango chutney.
So the Kebab Roll. This was seekh kebab, flavoured with tandoor, deep fried in a home made roll. The kebab meat its self was good, the tandoor flavours seeping through with each bite. There was an overtone of fragrannce with each bite, a subtle flower taste that appeared at the end of each mouthful. This was not present when eating tandoor flavoured meat at New Swad.
The homemade fried dough had me in two minds. It was ok but it seemed a little stodgy for me, like it was hanging around in fat for a bit too long.
Overall though, it was a pleasant starter but something that I would probably avoid in the future.
Whilst I was waiting for my main, the ghost town of Moza HQ started to get some spirits resurrected from the graveyard.
One by one, couple by couple, group by group, the tables around me started to fill up. I am not sure if it is just an Indian thing but it looked like I was in another secret curry club as all the people who came in were on first name basis and handshakes were given out left, right and centre.
This was a similar experience I had at New Swad. The staff there were basically best buds with all the customers. I think that I must be the most antisocial non-curry eater in the world. If any of you are part of the secret club let me know how I can join. Thanks 🙂
After a little wait my main was served.
This was another meal at an indian that I had no idea what I was ordering apart from the short description on the menu.
Served on a triangle shaped plate, here was my Moza Podina Bhuna. One thing that stood out to me was the lack of rice. A thought after my meal was that I did have enough rice but it did look like a small portion.
This was the Korahi rice that I ordered. Pilau rice with Worcestershire sauce and spring onion. I came across the spring onion when I dove into the rice but the taste of Worcestershire sauce seemed to have been lost. I could see that the rice had a slight tint to it which must have come from the Worcestershire sauce but that was the only trace of it.
The curry itself in comparison to the rice, was bountiful. There was no half measures with this dish. With an island made of chicken breast sat in the middle and the corindaner relish ocean sat around it, this was a meal that I was going to end up getting stretched out of the restaurant due to a chronic food coma.
The chicken breast that lay at the heart of the meal was stuffed with spinach and spiced mince lamb, the spinach taking a very sweet taste and mince lamb tasting similar to what was found in the kebab roll.
The curry itself was of a standard variety. It was nothing too spicy and nothing too amazing. Not too hot, not too cold. It was that ‘just right’ category.
It made nice to dip my parathna into it. This was my first time venture having paratha because I usually have naan with any curry I have. Trying to find something not as filling as a naan, with direction from the waiter, was the reason for the parantah. In hindsight I didnt really need it because the main royally stuffed me. Eyes bigger than my belly I guess.
The paratha reminded me of pancakes, edging over to sweet rather than savoury. Would I say this is the new replacement for naan for when I have curry? Of course not!
Overall it was good to veer away from the traditntal curries such as korma, malasa and such, but this dish was not a stand on the roof tops and shout about it kind of dish. It was good but not excellent.
Epic Toilet Review
The first thing that you noticed when you walk into the toilets is the lack of light. From either design choice or a lack of wanting to replace light bulbs, the toilets are lit with a handful of lights.
It creates for a eerily and dingy atmosphere which would be better suited in some seedy nightclub but not in a restaurant. Maybe from years past, they have a sign on the wall still which says, “100% drugs free policy” which could be a relic from when it was a bar.
Or they might indeed have a drugs problem with their customers that come in for a curry. Stopping off at the toilets for a quick hit. This must be a new thing that is starting on the scene, with young people testing their metal with the hottest curry they can have, in between trips to the toilets to medicate on their drug of choice.
Whilst I was at Moza HQ, non such ruffians entered for a “buzzing curry”.
Aside from that, the toilets are well decorated, going for that slate look which seems to be the colour of choice at the moment. Those tile shops must be making a fortune out of slate colour tiles.
It is now time to see what the delightful people on Trip Advisor have to say about Moza HQ.
One review mentioned that most of the bowls that they got given had chips on them (not the potato type) and they even had a dirty plate given to them. They mentioned also about one of the dishes being too salty and sent it back. At the end of the meal, an argument ensued about the party having to pay for all the dishes and were not allowed to leave without paying.
Seems like these people had a bad time about it. For myself, no dirty or chipped plates and no over salty food. It doesn’t mention in the review if they had the salty meal re-cooked or not but Moza HQ could have at least knocked some money off the bill for goodwill.
One other review mentioned the long wait to be served and for the food to come. And when the food came it was horrible. The reason may have been the inability to cope with the amount of customers they had in the restaurant, not only downstairs but from a large party in their upstairs section.
With me being the only person in the restaurant when I arrived, this was not a problem for myself but I think any restaurant can be caught out with understaffing when they have no idea how busy they are going to be.
Overall my time at Moza HQ on a whole was a postive one. I had no complaints with the food, the staff were helpful and friendly. The cost of the meal was good. Looking for a curry in Swad, I would probably suggest this is the place to go.
Food – 7
Service – 7
Value – 7
Overall – 70%
Telephone Number – 01283 480454