Mughal is located near the river Kamo in Kyoto, tucked away opposite a little stream that runs parallel to the river, at the back of the Okura Hotel. It is a flight of stairs up from the street. It has been running for over three decades, established in 1987 by Kyoto native Yukihide Hirata. It offers a full a la carte menu as well as some set options, and a cheap thali style lunch menu priced at just ¥1,000 (£7). Popadoms were grilled rather than fried, which is never a great idea in my view, and were not quite as crisp as they might be; they came with mango chutney. A starter of prawn pakora was pleasant, the prawns nicely cooked and the batter not too heavy (12/20).
Chilli chicken was fairly spicy but no excessively so, the meat quite tender (12/20). Channa masala was less good than I recall from a previous visit, the chickpeas a little overcooked (10/20). Sag paneer was good, the spinach smooth and creamy and the paneer quite soft (13/20). Bhindi had okra that was quite as dry as I would have liked, but was far from slimy as it can so often be (12/20). Best was the naan, which has always been a star here, the bread light and fluffy and appearing piping hot (14/20). Rice was fine.
Service today was not good, our Indian waiter managing to forget no fewer than three items from our order despite having supposedly written the order down on his bill pad. However the owner was very pleasant as always. The place was packed out at this lunch, even turning some tables, so the locals seem to be developing a taste for Indian food since we were the only foreigners dining. The bill came to ¥5,146 (£35) per person with beer to drink. Overall Mughal is not somewhere to which you would make an excursion, but if you are seeking a change from an endless diet of kaiseki cooking in Kyoto then it is a nice enough little place.