Review of 'Flavour Bastard (NOW CLOSED)'

I have been hearing good things about the (unusually, though perhaps appropriately, named) “Flavour Bastard” hidden away on Firth Street just south of Soho Square. The flavours, as they say, were not to be missed. So, when Time Out offered a deal for three plates, a drink and dessert for £25 this was all we needed as an excuse to pay them a visit…

The small dimly lit restaurant consists of two rooms with one dominated by a long bar. The interior is modern but comfortable with quirky lighting and long, lounging benches along the walls.

In addition to our special “Time Out” menu we were given their three standard menus: Drinks, “Chefs Choice and Development Menu” containing a short list of dishes “under development” and their standard menu that was split into “Tiny Plates”, “Small Plates”, and “Sweet Plates”. All of the dishes are in the £7-£9 range and they suggest between 2-3 main plates per person. Our set menu included some highlights from the regular menu and, as we were two, we were able to try all six dishes listed there. These were delivered in batches of two to our table, with care taken to only deliver the next dishes only after we had finished the ones we already had on the table…

  • Miso & mango glazed aubergine, peanut-buckwheat crumble (standard menu £7) - Unusual but very, very tasty with interesting crunchy texture coming from the peanuts and buckwheat. Could not really pick up on the mango.

  • Salad of beetroot scented with rose & bergamot, magnolia mustard, ricotta and pine nuts (standard menu £8) - Really tasty and striking on the plate with it's vibrant red. Perhaps a bit too much rose for me, a flavour that tended to dominate the dish. Spactaculer looking.

  • Caribbean-style mussels – Jerk spices, rum & scotch bonnet (standard menu £8) - Really great, spicy, sauce that seriously overpowered the flavour of the mussels. Thankfully served to the table with a large slice of bread to mop up the sauce left over.

  • Spiced hake, 3 bean stew, turmeric yoghurt, vermicelli (standard menu £8.50) - My companion thought the fish slightly underdone but I thought it was perfect – delicately textured with a nice flavour from the stew.

  • Dingley Dell pork belly with cinnamon & pepper, bacon jam, pickled carrot (standard menu £7.50) - Absolutely delicious with the pork bely cooked perfectly (and with just the right amount of fan) with the wonderful salty bacon hit of the jam.

  • TFC (tandoori fried chicken) (standard menu £7) - A bit of a disappointment, though tasty enough, this was several pieces of fried chicken slices with a pleasant, tangy dip.

For our dessert we were offered our choice of two ice creams served on a wonderful bed of crushed peanuts. Of course, we tried each of them: “Blood orange sorbet” and “white chocolate & pecan praline” (standard menu £5.50 each). They were both magnificent with the sorbet perfectly fresh and sweet, not a bit sour as is often a risk in sorbets. The praline was a stunner - Not overly sweet (the pecans, for example, were not candied) and simply delicious. The white chocolate here was only barely detectable.

I could not resist at item from the main menu I had spotted: “Single origin 70% hot chocolate Papua New Guinea Intense” (£3). Served in a espresso cup this was deliciously decadent but slightly thinner than I would have expected.

Throughout our stay the staff were friendly and efficient throughout the evening. Eager to explain the various dishes and showing a real passion for the food they were serving.

A great place to relax, grab some great, quality, fusion food served in smaller portions with unusual but delicious flavours. Perhaps not a bargain but worth every penny.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2018-03-13

Cuisine: American/British


Public Transport: TUBE Tottenham Court Road TUBE Leicester Square

Location: London (England) - Soho



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