London ball

Restaurant Review: Fatt Pundit in Covent Garden

I had never had Indo-Chinese food before visiting Fatt Pundit in Covent Garden, but if it’s still as good as the meal I had here, then I like it. A lot…

Main Image: Fatt Pundit/Joe Howard

Asian fusion is one thing, but it doesn’t always translate into the appropriate marriage of styles and culture.

If personal choice is involved I generally avoid fusion restaurants as I usually end up eating something rather generic while pondering the separate sushi menu and whether or not I could have chosen a better one restaurant.

(By the way, I imagine another exception to this is Yes Vegan, an Italian-Korean restaurant in Shoreditch. I’ve never been there, but I’m curious. It serves a kimchee lasagna that looks like a half-breed flat but intriguing all the same.)

Indochinese, however, takes two taste powerhouses of culinary styles and skillfully puts them together.

The result is not a sweet medley of flavors, though crafted with skill and finesse, but rather an array of bold combinations that linger pleasantly after the plate has been (metaphorically) licked clean. At least, that’s how it goes at Fatt Pundit.

As Fatt Pundit and the Internet put it, Indochinese cuisine originated in Kolkata from the waves of Hakka traders and workers emigrating from Canton from around the 1700s.

They started cooking from the comforts of home with Indian supplies; mixing techniques and flavors, substituting hard-to-find ingredients for those that were on hand, adding this and adding that over the centuries, until we rapidly advanced to the present, and Indochinese cuisine is its own distinct culinary thing and myself and my buddy Steve are hungry for it. Really, really hungry.

We arrived at the Fatt Pundit in Covent Garden a bit early and were quickly charmed.

The second of two Fatt Pundits, the Covent Garden outpost opened late last year, and is one of those places that’s a treat but laid back enough not to make you regret going. have changed clothes.

It’s a cozy restaurant in the heart of Theater Land with touches of Indian script and decorative Chinese plates on the raw, deliberately unpolished walls – if the interiors were to represent the fusion of two cultures, then well done, they do. have nailed without being in the nose.

It’s also inviting and friendly, as is our server who ushered us into our booth and quickly took care of the drinks and order, so all Steve and I had to do was talk about uninteresting things while that we were both trying to take our minds off how hungry we were.

Food started arriving in chapters and if I’m being honest we ate like horses, devouring the flurry of plates and bowls of food as quickly as they arrived.

And although the dishes all but evaporated shortly after being placed in front of us, we didn’t miss everyone having the comfort of eating something familiar but also the joy of trying something new.

The momos came first – spicy steamed chicken balls, tofu and vegetables sat in a puddle of broth encased in a sturdy shell dipped in a sweet chutney.

Next, salty and peppery okra in a lightly crunchy tempura batter was rolled in a bright mint sauce and cold paneer wrapped in a chewy, peppery coating that tasted like the Chinese restaurants of childhood dinners.

The Bombay Chilly Prawns also arrived on our table. The fatty, nugget prawns came in a glue-like batter and coated in a sticky sauce with bits of sautéed peppers mixed in, and had a delicious chew too.

Although it already looks like a full meal on its own, we were just getting started.

On recommendation, we tried the lamb chops – chunks of meat on the bone, rubbed in a masala spice blend and broiled so the charcoal-infused meat was so tender it dissolved a little. times in the mouth.

The chicken popcorn was also a recommendation and turned out to be addictive pieces of chicken also on the bone that lingered on your lips long after the last bite.

Perhaps the most Indian dish we made short was the monkfish – a pool of sunflower-colored curry with a drizzle of yellow-orange oil surrounding a small island of grilled fish.

Granted, it was a lot of food, but surprisingly, it wasn’t the end, as a flaming, gooey chocolate brownie with a dollop of ice cream arrived on our table as we felt both victorious and defeated.

I don’t know where brownies fit into the Chinese or Indian culinary repertoires, but who cares? Nobody likes a pedant, and although Steve and I outdid ourselves at this point, the brownie beckoned us to stick to it, one dollop of rich, hot chocolate pudding and melting ice cream after another, like final and final act of our epic one meal saga.

Address: 6 Maiden Lane, WC2E 7NA