The ever cheery waiter brought over our food: five pots filled with the new additions to the menu. Up for testing was the Biryani Bhaji Balls, Paneer and Mushroom Tikka, Tarka Dhal and Rice, Chole Bhatura and Punjabi Kadhi. One of the greatest things about Bundobust is the sharing element (some compare it with Indian tapas) meaning me and my company could get excited about sampling all of these new and exciting treats in a collective dining experience. Loading up my plate, the mixture of piquant smells was proving too much and I launched in. It’s safe to say our expectations were high and we weren’t disappointed by the plethora of taste sensations we were guided through.
The Paneer & Mushroom Tikka was chargrilled and smoky, the Tarka Dhall & Rice was the perfect consistency with a progressive spice kick and the hybrid Biryani Bhaji Balls were fluffy and retained a distinctive rice texture which was complemented by the rich tomato accompaniment. Thumbs up all round really!
Paneer and Mushroom Tikka
The Punjbi Kadhi was the more curious dish amongst the newbies described as a warm yoghurt soup and topped with gobi bhaji dumplings (arguably the best kind of croutons) this pot had a unique composition with a silky soup that was mild but flavoursome and mini bhajis cuddled in the middle. I was intrigued by this when I saw it on the menu and I’m happy to say it worked well, proving Bundobust’s ability to be innovative whilst not letting the flavours slip. Possibly my favourite dish was the Chole Bhatura, a full-bodied chickpea curry that was especially moreish and had the perfect balance of richness to spice - plus the flatbread which accompanied had that satisfying buttery-ness about it without seeming overly indulgent.
As well as the tasty new additions to the food menu, there has been an overhaul of the drink offering. Previously craft beer had been completely central to the Bundobust experience but now there is the option to veer off this well-trodden track with an extensive cocktail menu. Taking cocktail staples such as the Daiquiri, Old Fashioned and Bramble and giving them an Indian twist proved a triumph for the Bundobust team who had carefully curated these drinks to provide a drinking experience that got a little spicier and moreish with every happy sip. Slurping on the Mango and Rose Bramble I was astounded that I’d never come across this combination which worked so brilliantly before, plus it was topped with dainty little edible flowers equalling to a delicately flavoured, and decorated, tipple.
Their fruity mocktails are too a refreshing addition. I tried the Pomegranate and Orange which had a tartness that cut through the sweetness to provide a revitalising and fruity zing. Another small but well received change was the adding of different spirits options to create a Boozy Chai. Previously just Baileys Chai, you can now choose to liven up your chai with Buffalo Trace Bourbon or Martel VS Cognac too. Little alterations like this highlighted how Bundobust isn’t trying to overhaul their already much loved foodie offering but rather build on the success of their dishes and brand.
The new menu at Bundobust adds to an already vibrant and accomplished culinary offering, proving that the team strive to stay on top of their game: constantly using their skills and knowledge of Indian cuisine to create inventive and ingenious hybrid dishes while staying true to their roots. The cocktails will no doubt be a well received addition for those who prefer spirits mixes to beers. These drinks definitely add a luxury element to an essentially street food outlet proving how Bundobust refuses to be pigeon holed and in the process has created a unique and matchless dining experience.