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Fatt Pundit brings Indo-Chinese cuisine to London's West End

This August, Fatt Pundit will open their second restaurant to bring the unique influence of India’s Chinese community and culture from Tangra, Kolkata to Covent Garden, London. The new restaurant on Maiden Lane will be an evolution of the original Soho site, continuing to tell the story of this special melting pot of cultures found within India’s Chinese immigrant community. Borrowing cult classics from the Berwick Street site, the new Fatt Pundit will bring fresh dishes and a new beverage concept to the forefront, starring signature cocktails inspired by the flavours and spices of India and China, and an unusual wine list, celebrating small, organic producers from all corners of the world.

Indo-Chinese cuisine is steeped in history and was created by those who emigrated from Canton and Guangdong in China with their rich gastronomic culture and settled in Kolkata and Mumbai, where they began incorporating Indian spices into their Chinese dishes. Fatt Pundit’s new menu will celebrate this unique diaspora cuisine.

No meal in Tangra should begin without a plate of steamed momos, and Fatt Pundit’s menu will honour that. Served with spicy sesame and red pepper chutneys, Fatt Pundit’s version of these hearty Nepalese dumplings are packed with aromatic fillings such as Beef, Leek and Chilli, or Kid Goat, Garam Masala and Cardamom.

For the main event, there’s a line-up of small plates designed to be shared with a selection of new dishes unique to the new Covent Garden restaurant. From the sea, Crab 65 is Fatt Pundit’s take on one of India most sought-after bar foods Chicken 65 - a perfectly crunchy soft-shell crab served with yoghurt flavoured with a symphony of different spices and curry leaves. Saffron Butter Prawns are a new take on Soho’s Malabar Monkfish Curry, the only curry on the menu; juicy king prawns are grilled and served with a saffron butter and coconut Malabar sauce, a nod to the beautiful flavours of India’s southwestern coast where some of the Hakka community settled and fell in love with these fragrant curries.

From the meat section, the Shredded Chilli Beef pays homage to the Leopold Irani café in Mumbai, where guests come back specially to order this iconic dish; Kolkata Chilli Chicken is adorned with beautifully caramelised onions, slit green chillies and smoked dark soy; whilst Honey Chilli Duck is served in crispy strips perfectly seasoned with five spice and ideal for wrapping in freshly steamed pancakes; and finally Sweet and Sticky Venison is coated in a wonderfully sweet chilli sauce with burnt garlic and crispy noodles to top it off. Try alongside Crunchy Jersey Royalstossed in a chilli and garlic reduction and topped with coriander, a herb synonymous with Indian cuisine.

Favourites from Soho will also be joining the new dishes; highlights include their Crackling Spinach, a dish inspired by Chinese crispy seaweed; spinach leaves are fried two at a time, dried out for 24 hours to crisp up and served with a tamarind, date and plum sauce and topped with yoghurt and pomegranate; another favourite is the tender Lamb Chops with Black Bean Dust, chargrilled to perfection in a smoky stone flower masala rub; the garam masala is ground in house from 29 different spices including the distinct bitter stone flower spice from India, before being crushed with salty Chinese black beans.

What’s more, wherever possible the team at Fatt Pundit will endeavour to create a vegan version of the dish, by taking the delectable sauces and marinades and pairing them with a suitable vegan protein instead.

Fatt Pundit Covent Garden will boast two bar areas for enjoying the new signature Fatt Pundit cocktails and twists on popular classics, as a pre-dinner drink or for those moments when only a cocktail will do. On an ever-evolving menu, Bar Manager Gianluca Capilungo plays with flavours and spices from both India and China, creating tantalising tipples.

A line-up of small batch beers and soft drinks such as Mango Lassi and Thums Up round off the drinks list, while an updated wine list features a carefully curated collection of aromatic white varietals, such as Gewurztraminer, Gruner and Riesling, as well as soft and ripe reds with no dry tannins to perfectly complement the richly spiced dishes.

Set across two floors, the new space will have its own distinct look and feel; the luxe interiors will reflect the vibrant streets of Kolkata, ornamented with antique Chinese and Indian artefacts throughout. The restaurant pays homage to the rich narrative of this culture within a modern space; and the interiors look to the original Chinatown of India, where brightly coloured façades became backgrounds to the rich food heritage of the area. The Victorian floor tiles and dark timber polished furniture reference the colonial Kolkata architecture, and rustic walls laced with brightly coloured red and blue Hindi signage are the backdrop which start to tell the story.

Customers will be seated on traditional Brentwood chairs or at booths in the basement, waiter stations will take the form of reclaimed cabinets, and carefully curated Indian and Chinese artifacts will line the shelves. From India you’ll see vintage artworks of Indian deities, Buddhist statues and bamboo birdcages, and from China there will be cast iron teapots and classic antique porcelain vases. This detail also extends to the crockery, which is all handmade in India, and includes matt aluminium pots and plates, wooden boards and bowls, and terracotta cups and bottles – all materials you would expect to have your food and drink served on in Tangra in Kolkata.

Co-Founder Huzefa Sajawal says, “We’re excited to be opening our second Fatt Pundit in London’s buzzy West End. It has been a rocky year for us all in hospitality, but we have been overwhelmed by the continued support from our community and are exciting to be moving forward once again.

In the UK, we believe that Indo-Chinese culture and cuisine is still relatively untapped. We are incredibly grateful for everyone who has dined with us in Soho over the years and shared the story of Fatt Pundit, and through the launch of our second restaurant, we hope to be able to introduce even more people to the rich culture and history, the fantastic flavours and the delicious dishes on offer. We’ve been working hard to develop some exciting new dishes and have revamped our drinks menu entirely. We can’t wait to show everything we’ve been working on, and to continue to shine a light on Indo-Chinese cuisine.”

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