Soho’s Berwick Street is a treasure trove of creative and eclectic eateries, positioned just a wander away from the main drag of Oxford Circus, paved with a sea of shopping bag swingers making their way to their first G&T of the day. I, on the other, was fending through the masses to grab a seat at Fatt Pundit, a restaurant that has overwhelmed my social channels with its success since its March opening.
The restaurant, which intertwines the flavours of India and China in its dishes (named Hakka), is positioned amongst others, fairly inconspicuously, and entry sees you whirled straight to a seat at the centrepiece bar where I whet my whistle with a Guava Chilli Sour. This Himalayan Salt, red chilli and guava concoction resides in the fruit coolers section and boasts drinks that play creatively with spices, inspired by the fruit vendors of India. And, because it’s 5pm somewhere, I added a dash of tequila from the ‘Spike It’ section as recommend by the charming bartender – it was the best tequila-based cocktail I’ve ever had.
Fatt Pundit keeps it simple with interiors; inside it’s loud, buzzy and, I’m told, booked out for weeks to come which must come as a relief for the owners, who also threw open the doors to London’s Bombay Chow, Station 31 and Imperial Lounge. Design has taken influence from Tangra, a region in east Kolkata, with intriguing painted murals dashed across the exposed concrete walls and paintings of the ‘Fatt Pundit,’ or man of the moment if you will visible throughout.
My everlasting impression of FP was that it’s all about the food and drink. Your eyes aren’t tempted to people watch, you’re unphased by eavesdropping on the table next to you and there isn’t the temptation to whirl in, eat and leave. It’s an immersive food experience that leaves your mouth burning and your water glass empty.
“But what about the food?” you chime. Well, it was incredible. Whirled onto our table in a no-nonsense fashion, Fatt Pundit adopts a dish-on-table-once-it’s-ready mentality, with food arriving sporadically and fast. I began with Momos, the staple dish of the eatery. We’re talking spicy, moreish Tibetan dumplings dipped in flavour-burst chutneys – #Foodporn at its finest. The main event saw our table flooded with food; as most dining experiences should pan out, might I add! Explosive spices, hits of garam masala and heat play deliciously on your taste buds. From rabbit wontons to lollipop chicken, the menu packs a promise and a punch, with a real focus around chilli.
One stand-out dish was the crackling spinach that adoringly mixed sweet with savoury. Presented sensationally in towering fashion the dish boasted a crunchy and playful texture I could’ve eaten over, and over again. Finally, because no meal is complete without a slap-up brownie bathing in bubbling sauce and vanilla ice-cream, we delved into gooey goodness washed down with a delightful Brachetto D’acqui sparkling dessert wine.
Soho is awash with flavour but Fatt Pundit has arrived as a very impressive new kid on the block. If you love spice, brownies and tequila then why are you still reading this review and not en-route to this fantastic resto…
Fatt Pundit can be found at 77 Berwick Street, Soho, W1F8TH, www.fattpundit.co.uk