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Restaurant Review: Fatt Pundit, Covent Garden in London

Discover the delicious flavours and bold dishes of Indo-Chinese cuisine at Fatt Pundit’s new restaurant in Covent Garden.

By Georgie Bentley-Buckle  |  November 5, 2021

London is a city that serves an immeasurable number of culinary niches from across the globe. One fantastic example of this is Fatt Pundit in Covent Garden, a new restaurant on Maiden Lane championing ‘Indo-Chinese’ cuisine that magnifies the melting pot of cultures within India’s Chinese immigrant community.

Fatt Pundit is a combination of the common Chinese surname ‘Fatt ’with the Indian word ‘Pundit’ (a scholar). The name itself epitomises everything they do – playfully combining Chinese inspired dishes with Indian flavours to spark the senses, creating something both new yet familiar. Culinary fusions are often a meek modern interpretation, Fatt Pundit’s Indo-Chinese gastronomic blend however is entirely authentic.

Fatt Pundit
Fatt Pundit is a combination of the common Chinese surname ‘Fatt ’with the Indian word ‘Pundit’ (a scholar)

Otherwise known as ‘Diaspora’, this unique cuisine originated from the Indian region of Kolkata, when the Hakka people migrated to India from the Chinese province of Canton, carrying with them their culinary heritage to establish a distinct new one.

Uniting traditional Chinese cooking techniques with Indian spices, today Indo-Chinese is an integral part of Indian cuisine, and Fatt Pundit is on a mission to introduce it to London’s dining scene. An evolution of the Soho site, Fatt Pundit in Covent Garden features a number of their popular classics, refreshed with several new dishes and beverages with an unusual wine list that celebrates small, organic producers.

Telling its distinctive culinary story from the streets of Kolkata, this is seen throughout an interior that has been created to reflect the original Chinatown of India where Diaspora cuisine began.

Fatt Pundit
A nod back to the Chinese theme is the honey chilli duck, served with freshly steamed pancakes and seasoned with five spice, whilst a tender venison dish is coated in a sweet chilli sauce with burnt garlic

A signature start at Fatt Pundit is their steamed ‘momos’ dumplings. Influenced by Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet and other parts of the Indian subcontinent – these Indo-Chinese dumplings are served with spicy sesame and red pepper chutneys and are filled with a choice of beef, leek and chilli, kid goat, garam masala and cardamom.

Following this, I recommend you order between five to six small plates to share. A standout recommended to us (and a favourite from the Soho site) is the crackling spinach: an unmissable dish. Perfectly illustrating the Indo-Chinese fusion, it is inspired by the familiar Chinese crispy seaweed, made with crispy fried and dried spinach leaves, served with a rich tamarind, date and plum sauce and topped generously with yoghurt and pomegranate seeds.

Strong contenders appear throughout Fatt Pundit’s meat selection. Paying homage to the Leopold Irani café in Mumbai is the rich shredded chilli beef: an iconic dish of the famous restaurant, and the fiery Kolkata chilli chicken with beautifully caramelised onions, green chillies and smoked dark soy. A nod back to the Chinese theme is the honey chilli duck, served with freshly steamed pancakes and seasoned with five spice, whilst a tender venison dish is coated in a sweet chilli sauce with burnt garlic.

Fatt Pundit
A standout recommended to us (and a favourite from the Soho site) is the crackling spinach: an unmissable dish

Whilst playing more so on Indian foods and flavours is Fatt Pundit’s only curry: the Malabar monkfish curry which their saffron butter prawns have been created off the back of, grilled and served with a saffron butter and coconut Malabar sauce. This sauce is particularly reminiscent of India’s southwestern coast where some of the Hakka community settled, subsequently falling in love with these fragrant curries.

The restaurant’s dessert menu also showcases a winner from their Soho site. This ‘cult classic’ as they describe, is the indulgent sizzling brownie served with soft ice cream. The dessert menu is also an opportunity for this new Covent Garden branch to bring to light some new dishes to the group. Inspired by the traditional ‘ledikeni’ (a favourite Bengali sweet) this includes the ‘Lady Kenny’, created for and named after Lady Charlotte Canning: wife of Lord Charles Canning, the last Governor-General and first Viceroy of India.

Fatt Pundit
At the bar, Fatt Pundit has created a collection of cocktails that offer twists on popular classics with flavours and spices from both India and China

Whilst at the bar, Fatt Pundit has created a collection of cocktails that offer twists on popular classics with flavours and spices from both India and China. Two particular new favourites include ‘The Hakka Garden’ that is in honour of settlers from Hakka who grew and used fresh fruits in their garden and made with peach, passionfruit, vanilla, black cherry and bergamot; and the ‘White Tiger’ made using Hapusa Himalayan Gin which is rarely found in London. This makes Fatt Pundit one of the few places in London to stock this Asian gin – perhaps, (but not the only reason) to visit.

Factbox

Address: 6 Maiden Ln, London WC2E 7NA
Phone: 020 7836 8883
Website: fattpundit.co.uk/covent-garden