Do you remember when sleek bars and restaurants were in fashion, with their chrome fixtures and fittings, funky coloured lighting and perfectly painted walls?
Bundobust is the polar opposite of what was in vogue in the noughties. It is in fact the epitome of what is cool in 2015.
Chipboard tables – check. Retro lighting – check. Food served in paper bowls and wooden cutlery – check.
This craft beer bar and Indian vegetarian street food cafe certainly brings something very different to Leeds city centre. I don’t think I have ever been to this place and found it easy to get a table – it is always full to the brim with the trendy after work crowd.
My staple choices on the existing menu were the Okra Fries, Bundo Chat, Bhel Puri and the oh so fabulous Massala Dosa. I will always have a soft spot for the latter as it will forever remind me of travelling in Mumbai in 2008, when Jake, my brother Simon and I all tried this street food staple for the first time. It was ‘Bali the Great’ who introduced us to this dish – he was our taxi driver, tour guide and basically our life safer for our rather frightening five days in this pulsating city.
I should also spare a mention for Bundobust’s Chai. One sip of this wonderful, warm, milky and scented liquid, and I am back on that hot, smelly, stuffy train trundling along between Jodhpur to Delhi. It really is that authentic.
I was invited to try out the five dishes that make up Bundobust’s new menu, and I have to say they all bring something unique and interesting to the table, so to speak.
First, the Biryani Bhaji Balls – arancini meets biryani. These squidgy, flavoursome spheres were served with a spicy tomato sauce. The Tarkha Dhal with rice was mellow and had a lovely texture to it. I was reminded of being India again, when we visited a Hindu temple in New Delhi and were invited to try their homecooked dhal.
I thoroughly enjoyed that Chole Bhatura, which is basically chickpeas cooked in a rich onion and tomato sauce. The Indian flatbread which was served with this was one of the highlights of the whole meal with its salty doughy texture.
Probably my favourite of the five dishes was the Paneer and Mushroom Tikka. Beautifully grilled Indian cheese, mushooms, onions and red pepper served with a delicious spinach chutney. Pure simplicity.
The only dish that didn’t quite hit the mark for me was the Punjabi Khadi – a warm yoghurt soup. I found it needed a little more spice and was slightly bland for my taste. I did, however, adore the little ghobi bhaji dumplings which floated like little islands of onion loveliness in this soup.
The dishes on Bundobust’s new menu give you even more reasons to catch a craft beer and a quick bite with mates here. And if like me, you’ve been to India, it’s a great place for remeniscing too…