Places To Eat In London: Fatt Pundit, Soho
While I eat out in London much less than I used to, I still subscribe to all of the new restaurant openings in the City. I’ve written before about how I find new openings in London less exciting as I used to as it always seems they’re trying to be a copy of what has most recently been popular, but one recent opening in Soho that I earmarked as somewhere I really wanted to try was Fatt Pundit, an Indio-Chinese small plates restaurant that seemed to be offering something a little different, and married together two cuisines I absolutely adore.
The restaurant is dark, narrow, perfumed with incense and with a very smoky atmosphere. While there are a lot of tables packed in, the chairs have been angled for privacy, so it is easy to enjoy your dinner ands forget what is going on around you. Or, in my case, end up with my best friend making fun of me for not realising that Greg Wallace had sat down a few tables from us (I don’t watch Masterchef, okay!) You know, the Greg Wallace that I really should be able to pick out from the crowd on account that his name is next to mine on my first cookbook.
I cannot rave about the drinks at Fatt Pundit enough. All cocktails are mocktails, slightly salted fruit coolers designed to be refreshing, but with a liquor pairing listed on the menu if you fancied yours spiked. I’d planned to order one of each (obviously laying off the booze after the first few) but after ordering the guava cooler with a spicy salt rim and a slug of tequila, I just had two more of those instead. Bright, fruity and refreshing, I loved being able to drink guava again – it is something I can usually only find in California. Sherin had an also tequila-spiked mango chilli cooler which was wonderfully thick, rich and fruity, and for a second drink, a hyper-refreshing, very English cucumber and elderflower number, elevated with a very British shot of gin.
The meal started with momos, steamed dumplings served with a selection of chutneys. The dough was pleasantly toothsome but still tender, and the fillings put most Chinese dumpling houses I’ve been to in London to shame. Both were impossibly moist, juicy and flavourful, and while the chicken ones (the safe option) were very, very good, it was the goat that were a must order – so rich and complex, and if we had not ordered a proper mountain of food to get through, I would have ordered at least another plate of these all to myself.
Even on the veggie option, it seemed like there were no boring menu options. It was a bit much just for the two of us to share, but we still adored the plate of crispy spinach leaves, almost like little green crisps, piled up with yogurt, pomegranate, date and plum sauce and spices. A rather unusual dish designed for sharing.
The charred, double cut lamb chops coated in black bean dust and served with a good green chilli chutney were very tasty, but I think they could have been a little overcooked – I just kept on comparing them in my head with the vastly superior chops at Booma in Brixton. However, if you’re craving lamb, this is still a solid dish.
Aside from those incredible goat dumplings, when it came to our savoury dishes, they really saved the best to last. Definitely two much for two to share, we were very sad to have to leave some of the manchurian chicken, a wonderfully sticky soy glazed dish of shallots and chicken morsels, so perfectly velveted they melted in the mouth, all mopped up with a light but still crispy bing bread. We both got a bit greedy with the bread, forgetting we were supposed to be sharing it it was so good. We should have traded the lamb chops for another helping.
We had both desserts to share. The sweetened mango yogurt pudding with saffron and shards of honeycomb was okay, but to be honest, after tasting the sizzling chocolate brownie, served with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream and with hot chocolate sauce poured over it at the table so it sizzled some more, it was forgotten. God that was a good brownie; such a common dessert that restaurants were so often lazy with, they kept the flavours simple for something that was hot, moist, rich and more than slightly addictive. The perfect end to the meal.