Flavour Bastard, Soho: restaurant review
Lines between modern Indian and other contemporary cuisines are well and truly blurred at Vic Singh and Pratap Chahal's bold new restaurant on Frith Street
What's the draw
Brooklyn's industrial chic meets Willy Wonka's Pinterest account in Vic Singh and Pratap Chahal's (founder of luxury catering company That Hungry Chef, who cut his teeth in the kitchens of Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's and the Cinnamon Club) new restaurant on Frith Street. Designed by Afroditi Krassa – the company behind Dishoom and Yosma – the space is flush with gold and suaves of purple and burgundy. It's opulence teetering on the edge of bougie... but, we have to admit, we kind of enjoyed it.
What to drink
The brushed copper bar is manned by Nick Jones, co-founder of Wines of Momentary Destination – a funky winemaking collective that specialises in short run, one-time only vintages. His drinks list is extensive, covering everything from a rye and pecan bitters 'Nick said “NO espresso martinis!”' to Flavour Bastard's kaffir lime homebrew all the way through to a selection of 'smashable' wines, and even a choko or two of cheeky sake. We went for the Mataro 2013 from Aussie wine producer Ministry of Clouds. On its own, this bright red grenache was deliciously light and laced with notes of cardamom and anise, although its flavours were blunted somewhat by the spice of the dishes.
What to eat
Normally we wouldn't address a restaurant's bread, but the sweet pickled onion and earthy turmeric-infused butter needs its moment. The lingering spice of the white lentil and pecorino doughnut was evidence that not all of Flavour Bastard's adventurous flavour combinations work, but simpler dishes like the deep-fried feta drenched in honey and garnished with crunchy walnuts were surefire winners. The 'house dish' – tandoori chicken with an unexplained pot of vinegar – didn't quite do it for us, but the floral, melt-in-your-mouth smoked goat, and fudgy, slow-cooked duck egg with crunchy cauliflower crumble and sweet pickled watermelon were worth the wait.
Small plates from £6.50, wine from £6 by the glass; 63-64 Frith St, W1D 3JW. flavourbastard.com