The Restaurant Everyone's Talking About: Flavour Bastard | sheerluxe.com

The Restaurant Everyone's Talking About: Flavour Bastard

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A rebellious addition to Soho’s illustrious dining scene, Flavour Bastard’s bold fusion cuisine aims to take food lovers on a sensorial journey around the world, offering a playful take on culinary classics. Naturally, with a name like Flavour Bastard, the launch attracted a lot of hype, but after reading two less-than-glowing reviews from the likes of Fay Maschler and Marina O’ Loughlin, did it live up to expectations? We paid a visit to find out…

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The concept… 
Founded by restaurateur Vic Singh and Pratap Chahal, Flavour Bastard’s mischievous menu aims to put the fun factor into fine dining. The idea, in keeping with its naughty name, is to pair unusual flavours that would never otherwise sit together – or, “A story of flavours running away from home,” as the chefs put it. Diners are taken on a journey from the Middle East, to Europe, to Asia, the Pacific, the south, the east, it even stops off at the Caribbean in parts. Confusing? Yes. To put it simply, it’s a mismatch of world cuisines, all thrown together in one gigantic melting pot. But did it work? Well yes, sort of…

The setting… 
Despite its gimmicky title, Flavour Bastard’s digs are a grown-up, glamorous affair. Interiors are slick and modern, kitted out with wooden floorboards, brass light fixtures, exposed brickwork painted in a rich plum hue, cushioned banquettes and poppy artworks scattered on the walls. There’s a long bar as you first enter the restaurant with counter seating, and a selection of corner seats at the back of the space with a few intimate tables for two.

The drinks… 
Classic cocktail lovers, be warned: this is no ordinary cocktail list. Despite having a few staples on the menu – namely the negroni and gimlet ‘of sorts’ – the majority of these boozy tipples are likely to leave you cross-eyed. At this point, it’s well worth asking one of the friendly serving staff to help deconstruct the menu and make their own personal suggestions, which they'll be more than happy to do. We opted for ‘None Shall Pass’ – a bold, punchy fusion of sake, rum and fino sherry finished with a tiny cube of blue cheese. There’s also a rather substantial wine list, with a few bottles produced by their very own vineyards.

The food… 
Here’s where things get really complicated. Tiny plates of deep-fried feta topped with walnuts, honey and mint sit alongside steamed rice cakes with tangy kimchi and sesame. Do they work together? Not entirely. The menu itself has plethora of interesting dishes, but after sampling a fair few, we were left slightly baffled by the concept of ‘bastardised’ food.

Chef Pratap Chahal, who has worked in the kitchens of Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s, Chez Bruce and Cinnamon Club, along with running his own catering company, The Hungry Chef, certainly knows a thing or two about fusion cuisine, and the Indian/Middle Eastern dishes really stood out from the crowd, and certainly tasted better together, too. Each dish was a symphony of aromatic flavours. The clouds of curd with rose harissa, smoked labneh and date syrup were a joy to devour, as was the TFC (tandoori fried chicken); the melt-in-the-mouth pork belly with cinnamon, cloves and bacon jam; and the smoked goat infused with pomegranate, frankincense, orange and tarragon – a firm favourite, this was by far the best dish we tasted.

The verdict...
Experimental foodies who aren’t afraid to try something new will be suitably impressed, but the unusual flavour combinations, when paired together, are admittedly a little confusing, and perhaps not the best palate pleasers. Our advice? Stick to the Asian-fusion cuisine. Some of the Mediterranean plates like the lentil, chorizo and pecorino doughnut, and mackerel & anchovy pâte fell a little by the wayside when served next to the big, bold hit of sumptuous Indian spices. 

We’ll go back for…
Dessert. We devoured far too much to manage afters, but the quinoa and cucumber pudding scented with vetiver, berries and pistachio, and the Mayan-spiced milk chocolate and brownie mousse served with lavender ice cream definitely caught our eyes.
 
63-64 Frith Street, Soho, London W1D 3JW

Visit FlavourBastard.com


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