Following the success of their Leeds original, Indian street food and craft beer specialists Bundobust ventured across The Pennines in December 2016 with a 4,000 square foot branch on Piccadilly.
The informal menu of snacks and sharing plates is entirely vegetarian, with plenty of vegan and gluten-free options.
The buzzing Manchester branch has been a huge success story, and now a brand new menu – their first since opening – features a range of new and updated dishes which showcase their innovative approach to Gujurat-inspired street food.
“It’s great to finally change the menu at Bundobust,” said co-founder Marko Husask. “It is the first time we’ve changed it in nearly two years, which just shows how popular our classic dishes are.
“We’ve introduced some of the favourites from the specials board and finally given the Pav Bhaji, the original Bundobust dish, a permanent slot on the menu. We’ve also re-worked some of our existing dishes.”
A street food classic, the Pav Bhaji consists of mashed up cauliflower, potato and peas flavoured with garam masala and served with a toasted, spiced brioche bun. “It’s like a deconstructed Sloppy Joe,” explains a staff member.
Another staff favourite is the Paneer Kadai. Consisting of soft paneer cheese cooked in a rich cinnamon, fenugreek, red pepper and tomato sauce, and served with bhatura – fluffy, deep-fried bread – it’s sweet, spicy and aromatic, and utterly addictive.
Fans of Bundobust’s popular seasonal sprout bhajis, previously only available as a winter special, will be delighted to see new vegetable bhajis make an appearance on the latest menu. The crisp onion, broccoli and kale bhajis are spiced with fennel and chilli, and served with a tangy tamarind and red pepper chutney.
Chloe Saag is Bundobust’s spin on a traditional curry – a chickpea and spinach masala served with puri deep-fried bread – while the new Gobi Mushroom Manchurian dish sees crisp mushroom and cauliflower pakoras slathered in an Indo-Chinese sauce.
Especially highly recommended is Raghda Pethis, where India meets the North of England. A spicy mushy pea and potato cake is topped with turmeric noodles, tomato, onion and tamarind chutney in this innovative creation which fuses Manchester caviar with curry flavours.
Several classic Bundobust dishes have had a makeover, too, while the introduction of more seasonal specials means a greater range of dishes to try.
Bhel Puri – a crisp and crunchy dish with samosa pastry, puffed rice, peas, red onion and tomato tossed in tamarind chutney – is now topped with pomegranate seeds with dried peas adding texture, while Idli Sambhar (a warming lentil, aubergine and bottle gourd soup), Masala Dosa (mini pancakes filled with cauliflower and potato) and Tarka Dhal (lentil curry with cumin, garlic and chilli) have all had a refresh.
“We’re working hard to get more specials,” said Marko. “The plan is to have two specials at any given time that will rotate every few weeks.”
All the new dishes remain around the £4 – £7 mark, making it affordable for groups to order a wide selection, while set combos start from £22. An express lunch option offers two dishes for £7, from 12pm – 4pm Monday to Friday.
The Bundobust drinks menu has also had a revamp. The craft beer list still offers a wide selection from both regional and international breweries, with the day’s selection chalked on a board. Local names might include beers from Marble, Northern Monk, Cloudwater, SQUAWK and Chorlton Brewing Company.
A selection of new cocktails has been added to the menu. The warming Re-Fashioned (£8) features Woodford Reserve bourbon, Pampero golden rum, spiced syrup and orange bitters, while the Dirty Lopez (£6.50) features Appleton’s white rum shaken with mango, pineapple, coconut and lime. There’s also a non-alcoholic, fruity Mango Lopez (£4) for those who prefer to keep a clear head.
Two new gin cocktails have also made the list. The Desi 75 (£6) includes Sipsmith’s sloe gin, lemon juice and cinnamon syrup topped with prosecco, and the elegant Hibiscus Gimlet (£6.50) fuses Portobello Road gin, lime cordial and hibiscus tea.
Bundobust’s take on vibrant, wallet-friendly Indian street food, craft beer and cocktails, served in a friendly communal dining space, is a simple yet winning combination. No wonder the place is so busy.
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