I love food.
Really good food, that is.
Each time I eat out, I try and experience a new restaurant. You can quite often find me scouring Time Out or Secret London for the newest burger joints, or the most-Instagrammable avocado on toast (judge me at your own will, but I’m a blogger and that’s how we do. That’s how you do as well, admit it).
Therefore it’s very little wonder how I ended up in one of Soho’s hottest new eateries last weekend; Flavour Bastard.
Yep, that’s Flavour Bastard. A very clever choice of name, as you’re hardly likely to forget it easily. Here you’ll find flavours marrying up with other flavours that on paper, shouldn’t work. But yet, they do.
Last weekend, after dribbling over the menu all week, I ventured down there.
Word of advice to save yourself some embarrassment: There is a gold door, and a purple door. You need the gold door. Do not stand there for 5 mins ringing the buttons on the purple door for the flat above. Ahem.
The decor is a mix of plush purple and gold, complete with a copper bar. It’s Indian contemporary vibes seep through, and they have the most unique cocktail list I’ve ever seen. You won’t find an espresso martini on the list, but you will find a Nick Said “No Espresso Martinis!” martini.
I won’t lie, I struggled to understand anything on the cocktail list. For a cocktail connoisseur, I’m sure this would be a matchmade in heaven. However I am admittedly, an espresso martini kinda gal.
After deliberating the list for a bit too long and slyly googling ingredients under the table, we settled on a Frith Street Stomp (in a nutshell – vodka and raspberries) and a Drama-Lama-Ding-Dong (a posh ginger beer with a banana on top).
In all honesty, I wasn’t blown away by the cocktails as they were both a bit too bitter for my liking… But we came for the food. This place is all about the food.
Small & Tiny Plates
The menu is split into three sections for readability: tiny plates, small plates and sweet plates (desserts). Our waitress recommended 3-4 tiny/small plates each, and then a sweet plate if you fancy it afterwards… Which is of course, the whole reason I came.
From the tiny plates section, we chose the bread & butter dish, white lentil, chorizo & pecorino doughnut and deep-fried feta with walnuts, honey & mint.
Even the bread & butter is fancy at Flavour Bastard. It comes with a side of turmeric butter and crispy pickled onion. Oh life. It’s an incredible mix. Even better is the fact that they offer you free bread, which you’ll need to finish off the general helpings of the garnishes.
Shortly after, the other two dishes arrived. I’m obsessed with feta, and generally anything that’s deep fried (Mars Bar in batter anyone?). The feta dish didn’t disappoint. The drizzle of honey combined with the tanginess of the feta is a beautiful combination. Highly recommended!
The white lentil, chorizo & pecorino doughnut on paper sounds… Interesting. But it’s so tasty. It’s maybe more of an acquired taste, but is a must-try for those who particularly are fans of chorizo – guiltyyyyy!
The tiny plates have an average of three pieces in each dish, which leave you with a satisfied-full feeling, but not the too-full-I-need-to-unbutton-my-jeans-under-the-table-feeling. Which is probably just as well, as you’ll need to leave plenty of room for the small plates.
From the small plates section, we chose miso & mango glazed aubergine with peanut-buckwheat crumble, sweet potato with fennel yoghurt, sunflower seeds & chilli popcorn, tandoori-fried chicken and Caribbean-style mussels with jerk spices, rum & scotch bonnet.
The aubergine dish was the only plate we ordered that we weren’t keen on. It had an unusual texture to it, and we also imagined it would come out hot, so it took us by surprise that it was the opposite!
The sweet potato dish on its own would’ve been nothing special, but was given a special edge by adding chilli popcorn. It’s such a simple addition, yet genius at the same time.
The tandoori-fried chicken dish was by far my favourite. The chicken was more than finger lickin’ good. It was downright delicious. It comes with a little bowl of something equally delicious, but unfortunately I wouldn’t be able to tell you what said little bowl of goodness is. I want to say their own version of soy sauce/vinegar, but I think I’ve just made that sound disgusting. Which it isn’t. But don’t try to wash your fingers in it, as someone may or may not have tried to do… Ahem.
Lastly, (and by this point we’re pretty full) the Caribbean mussels made their way onto our table. I’ve never tried mussels before, nor have I accidentally rubbed a scotch bonnet into my eye, both of which were first experiences for me, WAHOO! (More aimed at the former, less at the latter). In all honesty, mussels, or seafood in general, just really aren’t my forte. I tried one and passed the bowl over, but I will add they had very good feedback. “Brilliant sauce” was the general consensus coming from the other side of the table. Just watch the sauce – it does have a kick to it. If you’re a lover of spice, these are right up your street. Just keep your fingers away from your eyeballs. And all other body parts you’d rather not set on fire.
If I had to choose between starter and main or main and dessert (and by “choose” I mean someone’s holding a gun to my head, otherwise it’s going to be all three, every time), I’d have to choose main and dessert. That sweet tooth just has such a hold over me. Although we were pretty full, we of course had to sample what the sweet plates had to offer – which is code for we had already looked at the menu beforehand and chosen what were going to have so that we could pick off each other’s plates. Don’t pretend you don’t do it as well!
Churros. Dessert was all about the deep fried, curly wurly shaped churro sugary goodness, which came with a dollop of ice cream or sorbet of your choice. We decided to have one scoop of salted caramel, and the other with basil and pineapple sorbet. I have to admit, the salted caramel won hands down, but when does it not? At just £5.50 each, I thought these were pretty reasonable and the churros were baked to perfection.
Flavour Bastard put presentation first and it shows on every plate the waiting staff deliver. A lot of though has gone into each dish and it shows. Confession: we couldn’t stop instagramming our food. If you’re looking for a hip, different, reasonably-priced eaterie in the heart of Soho, then give Flavour Bastard a try. Have a look at the menu here.
A perfect, perhaps unconventional, pre-Christmas meal with the gang? (And there’s not a slice of turkey in sight…)