Piggybacking off of my Valentine’s Day post, D booked us a reservation at the Soho restaurant, Flavour Bastard. I looked up the menu prior to going, because I’m anal and plan everything in my life and saw that it was small plates style. Meaning, you order a few different plates to share. But these weren’t your every day small plates or tapas, they were unique, original, and a bit weird. Now don’t get me wrong, weird is good. I like weird. I am weird. I’ll be honest, I was a bit hesitant after looking at the menu. If it was me choosing a place, I would have glazed over it because I am annoyingly passionate about my food. And I hate being disappointed when trying something new so I get scared and go somewhere I’m comfortable. This time around, I put my hesitations aside as this was the boyfriend’s thing and I am so happy I did.
We got there a little earlier than our reservation called for (eager beavers) but they sat us immediately in this very cosy half booth/ half table right next to the door. We may have gotten a chilly draft every time the door opened (which was literally every 2 minutes – this place was very busy) but it was easy not to let that bother us as we were so ready for good food and drank. We split a bottle of Prosecco between us – a bottle, that arrived as a screw top which neither of us had ever seen before – and glazed over the menu.
We ordered the following:
- White lentil, chorizo & pecorino doughnut, £4
- Bread and pickled onion & turmeric butter, £3.5
- Za’atar roasted squash, pumpkin mousse & pickle, squash relish, tamari pumpkin seeds, £8
- Caribbean-style mussels – Jerk spices, rum & scotch bonnet, £8
- Dingley Dell pork belly with cinnamon & pepper, bacon jam, pickled carrot, £7.5
- Tandoori Fried Chicken with 3 dip selection (+3), £7
- Mayan-spiced chocolate & brownie mousse, parsnip & cedar ice cream, £8
- Churro and clementine marmalade & petitgrain ice cream, £5.5
Ok yes, this looks like we ordered a lot. And we did order a big selection, but as they were all small plates, there wasn’t an enormous amount of food. But, rather, just the right amount for a dinner.
Everything was fantastic.
The doughnuts more resembled meatballs and I was surprised with how much flavour was in them. I reluctantly took a bite after my boyfriend was dying in his chair over how good they were and immediately wanted more. It was the first thing that came to our table so after those, we were even more excited for the rest.
The bread and butter came next and as the bread wasn’t anything special, I really enjoyed the pickled onion and turmeric butter. And it served us well leaving some for later to help cleanse my palette when the spicier food came.
I’ve never been the biggest fan of squash but holy balls was I happy we ordered it. The food on that plate didn’t last more than a minute. We each took turns getting a forkful of everything together and literally went nuts for all of it. I mean we were in heaven.
As the minutes ticked by waiting for the rest of the food, we were already saying that we would come back again and we weren’t even half-way through yet.
Next, they brought out D’s pork belly and the mussels, and we jumped right in. I’ve only ever had mussels in a normal white wine and garlic sauce, but they put these in their own Caribbean Jerk spices and it is the only way I want mussels from now on. I almost ate the entire bowl but remembered I had to share those so made myself stop. Luckily enough, it was around the same time they finally brought out the Tandoori Fried Chicken, or TFC.
The TFC was the juiciest, most tender, spicy, crunchy, flavourful chicken I’ve ever had. there should be studies done on this chicken guys. It was so good that I ended up buying a giant bag of tandoori seasoning at Tesco so that I could try and emulate it the best I can. Luckily, I followed Flavour Bastard on Instagram and they explained that they marinate the chicken in tandoori seasoning, roll it in buttermilk (raise the roof for American customs), then toss the chicken in a mix of panko breadcrumbs and flour and then deep fry the little critters. They do say they finish with a secret blend of spices, none of which I’ll ever know unfortunately, so I’ll have to do my best with the information given because I am 100% going to try to recreate this perfection.
While I was salivating over my chicken, D was hoovering up his pork belly, that he did make me try. And I’ll admit, even that was miraculously good (doesn’t beat the TFC though – nothing ever will).
They brought the desserts out next. D ordered a churro with some clementine ice cream, and I opted for the Mayan-spiced chocolate dessert (of course). I tried a bit of the churro and it was warm and crunchy and really really good. My chocolate dessert was a lot spicier than I had expected so I didn’t finish it. Quite honestly, I’d much rather have more of the chicken than the dessert, but I had to try it.
As we were saying goodbye to the plates they were clearing from our table, we both said that it was probably the best tasting food we’ve had in a long time. And we’d definitely be back again, there is no question about it. But, as it did require emptying the wallet, we’d have to give it some time before returning.
Although, I’d be happy with a Coke and two servings of the TFC which would easily be under £20…. Oh wow, I’m remembering this for the future.
However, if any of you are visiting London, or looking for your next date night, this is the place to go. Most of the staff were very friendly. Even though our main waitress did act like she was mad at her own existence on this planet, everyone else was lovely and the food and drinks arrived quickly. There was a steady stream of people arriving for dinner and the decor was very cute and comfortable.
Looking up some information on this restaurant, I’ve only just learned it opened up in September 2017 which I am shocked to hear it is that good being that new. In the last paragraph on their About page on their website, they state, “Our dream is to create a cuisine that is fresh, unusual and will stay with you once you leave.” And as you can tell from all my words above, they succeeded.
I really don’t have anything bad to say about this place except maybe the prices. However, it is London and the food was exceptional so it was probably pretty fair. And definitely well worth it.
Have any of you been there? If not, are you going to try it out?? If the answer is no, then you’re making a very bad mistake. Go now! 🙂