‘Delicious, bitesize vegetarian Indian street food’ might not be the first phrase that pops into your head when you hear the word ‘Christmas’, but at Bundobust this festive season, that’s all about to change.
December is a frantic month for Mill Hill’s finest craft beer joint; a month when every day fills tables to the rafters, when every evening is a cause for celebration, when spices sizzle and taps flow from dawn ’til dusk. Pretty much.
And this year is no exception, as the return of Bundo’s renowned Christmas menu brings unexpected delights, with explosions of flavour and innovative solutions for your least favourite festive veg. Yes, that’s right – riding on a wave of holiday cheer and national acclaim, the Sprout Bhajis are back in business.
The most-hated of the Christmas dinner vegetables comes alive in this magical combination of sprout, onion, fennel and caraway – but I’d argue that it’s that signature salty fried magic that truly allows it to shine. It’s your favourite onion bhaji – light, flavour-packed and indulgently greasy (in the best possible way) – with a small but festive twist. Oh yeah, and with the extra tang of chilli and cranberry chutney on the side for yuletide measure. (£4.50)
Follow these little guys up with a small cardboard receptacle of Festive Curry, (£7) and you’ll be vowing to abandon dry turkey and bread sauce forever. This warming dish combines parsnips, French beans and swede in a rich tomatoey, coconutty sauce, with a whole host of spices on top and a pile of jeera rice to soak up the goodness.
And if you’re after something sweet, look no further than Northern Bloc’s Cinnamon and Belgian Biscuit ice cream, (£4) with all-natural ingredients and a yummy pistachio and cardamom topping giving your average Christmas pud a run for its money.
All this festive goodness can be enjoyed in Bundobust’s cosy hustle and bustle down on Mill Hill, washed down with a merry old selection of special beer. Highlights include Mikeller’s Hazy Holidays IPA (£10 a can), and Northern Monk’s Festive Star spiced porter (£5 a pint).
If cocktails are more your figurative cup of tea, there are three very special numbers to warm your cockles this Christmas. Try The Grinch (£7.50) for a bright green, spicy combination of chilli, coriander, white rum, lime and chai, or opt for a Stollen Christmas (£7.50) for the more indulgent mix of ‘liquid Christmas cake’ – cognac, cherry liqueur and Dissaronno, topped off with cranberry, orange and clove.
If you’re worried about festive overload from the aforementioned cup of liquid Christmas, there’s a middle-ground option of Martel VS cognac delightfully swirled into a vessel of house chai (£5.50). You’re welcome.
Never one to do things by halves, a Bundobust Christmas is a full-on experience of festive spice and beautifully vegetarian indulgence this year. Squeeze in a trip before the big day – you won’t regret it.
Tel 0113 243 1248