Bold Street, Liverpool, L1 4DN
By Natasha Young | Indian street food & craft beer | £££ | 0151 705 1688
Back in February 2018 YM Liverpool first reported that Bundobust was eyeing a space on Bold Street.
The Indian street food and craft beer specialist had already built up foodie followings in Leeds and Manchester and so, after more than 15 months of waiting, anticipation here in Liverpool was high for its recent opening.
My partner and I paid a visit to see if the new addition to our city’s food and drink offering lived up to expectations.
Warmly welcomed with a vibrant colour scheme and the smell of incense, which made a cheerful change from the unseasonably drab weather outside, we snapped up one of the upper floor venue’s smaller tables.
With an order-at-the-bar arrangement – an efficient approach in a venue so big – we got straight to work on studying the menu, which was ready and waiting alongside disposable cutlery and paper plates.
The food is also served in throwaway pots at Bundobust, the reasoning for which appeared unexplained although I’d presume it’s to further push the ‘street food’ concept. The menu does boldly state, though, that it’s all plastic-free and fully compostable.
Entirely without meat, Bundobust’s food offering is brimming with choices for diners seeking a vegan or gluten free feast, and there’s also a range of set ‘combo’ platters for those who are happy to have the difficult choice of which dishes to go for taken out of their hands.
My dinner date and I were keen to handpick our meal from the small plate-esque selection which, on paper, sounded flavour-packed and ideal for a couple of spicy food fans like ourselves.
I was advised during ordering that two to three picks per person works for a meal, depending on how hungry you are, and two-and-a-half plates is actually the perfect serving so sharing works well. By this point though, we were so set on our carefully chosen three dishes each that we couldn’t possibly compromise one of them.
I ordered the Bundo Chaat (£4.75) – layers of samosa pastry, chickpeas, potato, tamarind chutney, yoghurt, onion, turmeric noodles and chilli sauce; the Pav Bhaji (£6.50) – mashed cauliflower, potato and peas flavoured with garam masala and served with a spiced toasted brioche bun; and the Idli Sambhar (£5) – a lentil, aubergine and bottle gourd soup with steamed rice cakes and a mustard seed and curry leaf chutney.
The Bundo Chaat was a refreshing mix of flavours and textures, with the tamarind and spices gently warming the cool dish.
It was a great accompaniment to my other choices, which slowly built up some heat.
The tasty, vegetable-filled Pav Bhaji’s brioche was beautifully soft; while the steamed rice cakes soaked up the soup of the Idli Sambhar to create hearty perfection.
My partner, meanwhile, chose the Paneer and Mushroom Tikka (£6.50) – skewers of barbecued paneer, peppers and mushrooms marinated in yoghurt curd and tikka masala, and served with red pepper ketchup and spinach chutney; the Chole Saag (£6.50) – Bundobust’s version of a traditional chickpea and spinach masala which came with a portion of the deep fried Puri bread; and Gobi Mushroom Manchurian (£5.50) – mushroom and cauliflower pakoras in an Indo-Chinese sauce.
The tikka dish’s red pepper ketchup and spinach chutney toppings were a particular hit, credited with bringing the plate to life.
Meanwhile the Gobi Mushroom Manchurian was satisfying with its sticky sauce; and the Chole Saag, with its tried and tested combination of chickpeas and spinach, didn’t disappoint.
When it comes to drinks, Bundobust’s selection is broad. Wines, cocktails – both alcoholic and non-alcoholic – and Indian-style beverages like the House Chai and Mango Lassi provide a tipple to suit all tastes, but we felt inclined to check out the bar’s speciality – its beer selection.
Craft creations by guest breweries from Liverpool and beyond were on offer, varying from sours and stouts to pilsner and IPA.
Playing it safe on a work night, the strengths went some way to dictate our choices. Steering well clear of the 12% Marshmallow Pyscho,
I went for Northern Monk’s 4.1% Eternal session IPA (£3.20 for 2/3 pint) and my partner picked De Molen’s 3.5% Hugs and Kisses session IPA (£5 for 2/3 pint).
Although somewhat pricey for under a pint, our brews of choice were both deliciously thirst quenching with well-balanced flavours. My dinner date, who would usually opt for a higher percentage, was pleasantly surprised by the taste.
The inclusive, well thought out drinks selection and pots of comfort food with great flavours are combined with a casual, friendly atmosphere at Bundobust and, as a result, it brings an offering which, in my view, truly enhances Liverpool’s food and drink scene.
You can make a meal of it and go there for the food, or simply drop by for drinks and satisfy that sudden peckish pang with a tub of easy to order, efficiently served, Indian inspired cuisine. Either way, there’s quality across the board.