Specialising in Indo-Chinese cuisine, Fatt Pundit has risen in popularity in no time since it first launched in Soho. We visited their Soho restaurant when it first opened and had a mixed experience then. Whilst the concept was great and the food was decently enjoyable, all we could really remember was the overly crowded and cramped space of the restaurant. It wasn’t pleasant. Especially when it was so cramped to a point that people’s hair from the next table are flipping onto your table of food, the entire dining experience was rather ruined. It had put us off so much that, despite liking its food concept, we couldn’t even toy with the idea of returning for a second chance. But now that Fatt Pundit opens a new branch in Covent Garden, with a little bigger space and nicer decor, it is time for us to give the restaurant another go.
Fatt Pundit: Pre-Theatre Indo-Chinese Charm
With this new branch located bang on in the heart of West End, Fatt Pundit Covent Garden was the perfect pre-theatre dinner location. Walk-ins are almost impossible, so do make a reservation beforehand to avoid disappointment. Each table has a strict 1.5-hour time limit. And when I say strict, they will rush you if you start going over the time limit, which happened to us. The restaurant spans two floors and we were seated by one of the booth tables in the downstairs area. As I already mentioned, the seatings are much better than at the Soho branch.
Food-wise, the menu between Fatt Pundit Covent Garden and Fatt Pundit Soho are practically the same. They specialise in Indo-Chinese cuisine, which is a unique fusion cuisine born in Kolkata when waves of Chinese Hakka traders and workers migrated into the Indian city from Canton around the 1700s. A separate halal menu is available at Fatt Pundit Covent Garden. Alcohol is served at the restaurant.
The Food at Fatt Pundit (what we ordered)
Date of visit: November 2022
Mango Lassi (£5.50)
Served charmingly in a classic clay cup, the Mango Lassi was a delightful start to the meal. The signature mango yoghurt drink was very creamy and refreshing to taste. Laced with jaggery, it brought out a delectable sweetness, with an almost slightly caramelised touch. And may I add that, whether it’s intentional or unintentional, I absolutely adore the little latte-art-like pattern on the lassi!
Chicken Momo (£7)
Momos are certainly one of Fatt Pundit’s most prided dishes. The chicken momos were such juicy succulent bites that make them the perfect starter. It featured a simple but effective blend of flavours of soy, garlic, and spring onions. Personally, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the chutneys that came served alongside but the chicken momos themselves were more than delightful enough on their own.
Beef Momo (£9)
Compared to the Chicken Momos above, we felt the Beef Momos were a tad less memorable. Ultimately, they were a little less juicy and missing an oomph of flavour. Laced with leeks, red chilli & coriander, I was anticipating more of a subtle kick of flavour. They were still decent nonetheless, just not quite show-stopping as I’d hoped them to be.
Popcorn Cauliflower (£8)
Addictive is the word for the Popcorn Cauliflower. It was impossible to stop at just one bite for these. The flavours were cleverly put together, with tingling spices dancing beautifully on the palate. Each bite was just begging you to have more and, before you know it, they were gone in a heartbeat. For the sauce, they come with a side of soya garlic dip, which had been the perfect accompaniment for the popcorn cauliflower.
Crackling Spinach (£8.50)
If you’re looking for a standout vegetarian dish, the Crackling Spinach at Fatt Pundit is the one. It takes inspiration from Chinese crispy seaweed but uses spinach instead. The result resembles the likes of crispy kale, which is then served with yoghurt and pomegranate seeds, and drizzled with a rich & tangy tamarind date & plum sauce. As you can already imagine, the flavours were a wonderous blend of sweet, salty, and zingy flavours.
Lollipop Chicken (£9)
Similar to our experiences at Fatt Pundit Soho and Bombay Chow (a sister restaurant in Hammersmith), we found the lollipop chicken decent but nothing particularly memorable. Generally, it was a little on the drier end and the flavours didn’t stand out as much. In our opinion, a little side of chilli sauce or chutney could help a bit as well.
Lamb Chops with Black Bean Dust (£17 + one extra £8.50)
The lamb chops are no doubt one of Fatt Pundit’s signature dishes and are even known as some of the best lamb chops in town. Without a doubt, the quality of the meat truly speaks for itself. As you can see, they’re thick, meaty, and chunky, which is worth the money compared to some extortionate pricing you see at some of the Indian fine-dining restaurants. The meat was succulent and flavoursome, though I’d like to see a more robust crust over them and really give it an oomph. It’s still good nonetheless.
Malabar Monkfish Curry (£13.50)
This is the only curry dish on the menu and it’s one of the must-order dishes at Fatt Pundit, in our opinion. Its fragrance and flavours were mesmerizing, to say the least. It may not seem big, but each spoonful would offer you a dreamily rich and decadent sensation. The monkfish was cooked just right as well and was incredibly meaty to taste.
Soft Shell Crab 65 (£13)
This is a take on the traditional Chicken 65 but with soft-shell crab instead. Whilst I have an absolute soft spot for soft-shell crabs, this one didn’t really stand out for me. It was good but missing the heat and fragrance to really make the dish pop. We also feel that there could be a crispier and more robust crust over the deep-fried soft-shell crab to enhance the flavours & texture.
Vegetable Hakka Noodles (£9)
With most dishes at Fatt Pundit delivered at a pretty high standard, this vegetable Hakka noodles was, unfortunately, more on the mediocre end. It was just a fairly standard noodles stir-fry that could use stronger hints of seasoning. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not bad. It’s just, compared to all the other dishes we had, this was the most lacklustre and forgettable one on the table.
Sizzling Brownie (£9.50)
At this point, we were constantly rushed to give the table back and couldn’t really sit back to enjoy the dessert properly. That was a shame as the Sizzling Brownie was nothing short of wonderful and I could only wish there was more time to savour every bite. I loved the theatrics of the fudge sauce sizzling against the hot iron plate, and the timeless combo of warm brownie and ice cream was just the perfect indulgence to finish off the meal.
Restaurant Review Summary
Safe to say, it has been a much more enjoyable experience this time around at Fatt Pundit Covent Garden than at the Soho branch despite being rushed to finish our food in the end due to the time limit. I’ve literally gone from not being keen about returning to the restaurant, to excitingly looking forward to my next visit! The food had, overall, hit the spot, and the concept of Indo-Chinese cuisine no doubt wins the heart of the public. It’s certainly one of the must-visit restaurants in Covent Garden that you don’t want to miss out on.
Nearest station: Covent Garden