An Indo-Chinese restaurant has confirmed it will open in Soho in spring. Fatt Pundit, which will open at 77 Berwick Street, will serve Indo-Chinese, or Desi-Chinese food — a culinary tradition of assimilation food that has existed in the outer zones of London for years. This restaurant claims, however, it will bring “a new kind of food ... yet to be explored in the UK.”
The restaurant comes from the team behind Indian restaurants Bombay Chow, Station 31, and Imperial Lounge, and promises Tibetan momos with “never seen before meat and veggie fillings.” Shredded chilli venison, Hakka paneer lettuce cups, and a classically Indo-Chinese Manchurian sauce will also be on offer at the 60 cover restaurant, with interiors purportedly based around Tangra in Kolkata, a large and historic Hakka community in the city.
The new information overstates the restaurant’s claims to “newness,” as with the ‘Chindian’ campaign between Just Eat and the Evening Standard last year, which reduced a century of diasporic cooking to a new trend for bored Londoners.
More positively, when the restaurant was first announced, director Hamza Sajawal said, “while Indian Chinese cuisine has been enjoyed by the international Indian community for years, this is the first restaurant with a central London location that we believe will devote entire menu to it.” A more realistic take. London’s Indo-Chinese restaurants, are largely clustered around Harrow to the north and Hounslow to the west, serving immigrant communities that grew up on Chinese restaurants in Indian cities. While the mechanics of bringing such a culture ‘mainstream’ have their complexities, highlighting a “knotty intersection of authenticity, unique among Chinese diaspora cuisines” in an area that is still an epicentre of London dining has the potential to be a very good thing indeed.
Fatt Pundit opens 11 March.