Food Review: Fatt Pundit, Soho, London.
I have been waiting for an Indo-Chinese restaurant to come to central London instead of making the trek to zone 5 and finally, there’s Fatt Pundit, right in the heart of Soho. It might not quite be the kind of food that many here associate Indian food with given the abundance of ‘curry houses’ but this cuisine brings back so many wonderful memories of home to me.
Inside, the vibe of the restaurant is a mix of Soho-sharing-plates buzzy and Indian café chic: long and narrow, exposed concrete, small tables, large dining bar, never quite enough space for all the plates that will arrive and decorated with a strong influence from Tangra, a Hakka-heavy region in east Calcutta.
Now, the food. Max and I being vegetarians, we ordered nearly everything veggie friendly from the menu - Momos, Schezuan fried rice, Hakka noodles et al. What I personally loved were the crispy okra fries and chilli paneer, they definitely got the flavours right. This may be slightly pricey but it is in central London after all. Fatt Pundit is now on my list of the top ten restaurants in London and I’m already thinking of when I’ll be back.
Selin Kiazim and Laura Christie have done a fine job in showing London that’s there’s a lot more to Turkish food than kebab shops.
Having been to their first venture Oklava in Shoreditch thanks to my foodie friend, I decided to visit the sister restaurant near Warren Street. Kyseri is named after the ancient city in Cappadocia in central Anatolia (sometimes spelled Kayseri) that is most associated with the Turkish stuffed pasta - manti. Here, they’re serving two types of pasta.
The first is manti, popular throughout Turkey and Central Asia. They’re small dumpling-style stuffed pasta bundles with fillings including beef, chickpea, mushroom, and more. I had the mushroom manti. Here they come with traditional garlic yoghurt, and tomato chilli butter sauces.The second type of pasta is the eriste, which looks like a broken tagliatelle. It’s traditionally made with walnuts, feta, garlic, and parsley, but here, they’re promising a more elaborate version of that.
Delicious pasta aside, I also tried some incredible Turkish coffee, Sparkling wine and a special mahleb (cherry based aromatic dessert) to end my fabulous meal. Well worth a visit and full points for the service and food.
As Kyseri gets booked well in advance, it's recommended to make a reservation prior to your visit. For more details on their ever-changing menu, check out Kyseri here- https://www.kyseri.co.uk/
Unfortunately, as of January 2020, Kyseri closed and re-opened as Oklava Bakery and Wine in the same location. I was meaning to go there to check out their promising breakfast, but it will have to wait for better days after the lockdown has been lifted and when it is safer to dine in.
Food Review: I ended my epic food reviewing year at Rude N Boomin, this lovely, vibrant Café near Walworth Road. Excellent coffee, smoothies and healthy brunch options where you’ll find a more snappy avocado on toast. Rude n Boomin is highly recommended if you're in Elephant and Castle and wondering where you can grab a bite to eat with some coffee or get some work done. There's vegetarian and vegan options on the food and drinks menu whats more, they’re introducing more fun additions this year. Wonderfully friendly staff and some brilliant artwork too!
My passion for food, particularly trying the vegetarian dishes from different cuisines stems from the advantage of living in London. The diversity here is remarkable. You can head to another part of town and try an authentic dish from a country that is 6000 miles away.