Faultless steaks and mean milkshakes make this place a hit
MUMU is a traditional steakhouse which specialises in halal meat. But that's not what won us over on our recent visit. The portions are huge (and we mean, really flippin’ huge). The menus are diverse, ranging from American diner dishes to British staples (shepherd's pie, fish and chips etc). And it's got a brilliant range of freshly prepared mocktails and super-creamy milkshakes. (There's not a drop of alcohol behind the bar).
But the grill, as you’d expect, is where this restaurant really shines.
MUMU boasts an open kitchen where you can watch the flames licking your T-bone while you sip on a tangy mojito on the restaurant floor. It’s here that head chef, Sami, comes into his own. Watching this guy is like watching an artist at work. Everything has to be just-so – the amount of time each piece stays on the grill, how often the steaks are turned – just the right pinch of seasoning at the ideal time.
After ogling flame-grilled steaks for far longer than necessary, we head to the bar to try one of the enormous milkshakes.
It’s a weekday evening but MUMU is nonetheless host to a number of families and couples. The atmosphere is chilled and friendly, and even as we wait for our drinks, more customers wander in.
Restaurant manager Liviu reckons MUMU's popularity comes down to word-of-mouth, the quality of the food – and the way the staff work together to create something they’re proud of.
“If you have a good reputation, people are willing to travel,” he tells us, whilst spooning ice cream into a stainless steel tumbler. “Our menu is honest and the portions are generous. We give people what they want – and so they keep coming back, and recommend us.”
He gestures towards the kitchen, where the waiting staff are busy delivering steaming hot dishes from the kitchen pass to eager diners across the room. “We work as a team too. We throw ideas around together, about the menu. It doesn’t work from the top down in here – everyone has a say. And it works.”
Liviu hands us a cool tumbler of salted caramel milkshake. Excited, we take a generous glug.
We try to answer, but we’re in creamy-salty-caramel-heaven – so we just grin like lunatics and let the ice cream melt on our tongues.
“Excellent. Now come on over – Sami’s serving up.”
So how does the food rate at MUMU? Here’s a breakdown of the feast we sampled during our visit.
One to try if: You feel like eating with your hands.
This soft, creamy hummus is made from scratch on site. The chickpeas are crushed by hand with a few left whole to give every mouthful a bit more welly. And the accompanying, handmade falafel offers a surprising zing. The mild spices work well with the otherwise gentle flavours. It's served with warm hunks of pitta bread, as all good hummus should be.
Grilled tiger prawns
One to try if: You appreciate excellent presentation
The prawns are meaty and delicately spiced. They’re chargrilled – which gives them a firm texture and a warm, rustic skin – and are served with a drizzle of creamy sauce and a touch of chilli. They’re beautifully presented, like a little row of domino-seafood, which can be popped in your mouth whole, one by one.
One to try if: You’ve got an appetite
“This is a proper piece of salmon,” Liviu tells us – and he’s not wrong. This is the biggest piece of salmon we’ve ever seen, served on a bed of al dente veggies and a creamy hunk of mash. The fish is warm, soft and teasingly flaky, which works well with the nice crunch of the veg.
One to try if: You have any sense, whatsoever
Sami knew to cook this medium-rare. Because how else would any civilised person serve such an exquisite piece of meat? It’s huge, it’s flame grilled and it’s so soft and juicy on the tongue. Served with a huge Portobello mushroom, a juicy grilled tomato, and a side-serving of spicy peppercorn sauce, this is simple, perfect cooking.
Mr MUMU Burger
One to try if: You want to experience the best burger in town
Liviu is super-proud of this dish, and he has every reason to be. The burger itself is thick and full of flavour. Springy in texture, the meat is soft and oozing with juices. The brioche bun is lightly toasted with a crisp outer and fluffy inner – packed with fresh slices of beef tomato, tangy cheddar cheese, crisp lettuce, and then topped with a trio of onion rings. Enough to satisfy even the biggest of appetites. And that’s even without fries.
MUMU pancake stack
One to try if: You really want to indulge
Just a heads up – this is not a small portion. These generous, fluffy pancakes are served warm with a drizzle of chocolate sauce, dusting of sugar, tarty raspberries and a dollop of so-light-it-melts-away fresh cream. One to share with your other half, your kids or even the next table (if you’re really struggling).
Deep fried banana with a coconut crust
One to try if: You don’t usually like banana
We are not banana fans. But this dish was unlike anything we’ve ever tried. The first mouthful hit us with warm banana, then the coconut flavours fizzled through. The crust was crunchy and crumbly. It melted in your mouth, giving way to the sweet, fleshy fruit. This is going to be a hit on the menu this summer. Give it a try.
Fancy 10% off at MUMU? If you check-in on Facebook during your visit, your meal will be discounted.
MUMU Steakhouse, 79-81 London Rd, Preston PR1 4BA