BY PALOMA LACY
As clever restaurant names go, Fatt Pundit is a winner.
This Indo-Chinese restaurant uses this play on words – combining a common Chinese surname, with the Indian word for scholar.
A new one on me, interesting to find yet another Indian word so common place in the English language.
The name also translates beautifully to raise a smile for native English speakers. This is fusion food at its best and many others are in agreement.
Despite being open for a little over two years, another restaurant is due to open close by to the Soho original, in Covent Garden, this summer.
Fatt Pundit has the feel of a Kolkata Café that’s home to such cuisine, invented when the Hakka people migrated to India from the Chinese province of Canton.
Description of the cuisine isn’t enough – it truly must be tried to be believed.
It is inventive, packed full of flavour, largely rather spicy, with limited availability in London. I can’t remember the last time I felt like I’d discovered a new cuisine.
The menu is exciting and at first glance a bit overwhelming but that only adds to the fun.
I took manager Alex’s steer and he was quick to point me in the direction of award- winning dish, Crackling Spinach, which scooped second prize in the Taste London Awards 2021.
Not dissimilar to the Northern Indian speciality, Palak Chaat, fresh spinach leaves are flash fried to a light and crispy finish. Topped with sweet yoghurt, date and plum sauce and pomegranate – it runs the spectrum of flavours – from salt to sweet, with a tangy and piquant hit along the way.
Kid Goat Momo – succulent meat dim sum, seasoned with garam masala, cardamom, ginger and garlic. Delicately flavoured and so stylishly presented – with three piece sat upon a banana leaf.
Popcorn cauliflower tasted exactly like a bowl of popcorn and came served with a garlic dip.
My favourite dish was Lollipop Chicken – spicy, crispy and crunchy – there seemed far more meat on them than their wing description would suggest.
Served with a Szechuan chutney to temper the fiery nature of the dish somewhat.
I’m not a huge lamb fan but this was a showstopper of a dish – Lamb Chops in Black Bean Dust – stone flower masala rub, grilled and served pink.
Fatt Pundit won over my stomach and stole my heart. All that remains is to work out when I can visit again.
Fatt Pundit, 77 Berwick Street, W1F 8TH
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