The Wapping Wharf redevelopment is coming on apace, along with its vibrant collection of small and intimate restaurants housed in double storey shipping containers which are becoming the place to be whether to pop in after work for a quick snack or stay till the early hours for cocktails and the full works. The team behind the Mint Room restaurants in Bristol and Bath have created something completely different here in Bandook, a restaurant serving classic street food and using other businesses within the complex as its suppliers, so they have an enviable carbon footprint of just about nil.
The interior is colourful and quirky, the chefs are on view and it only seats around sixteen people inside (there are tables outside if the weather permits) so it’s a friendly squash and jolly hubbub whilst you eat surrounded by the delicious spicy smells wafting from the behind the kitchen counter. The menu is divided into small, large and side plates and you may mix and match as the fancy takes you.
We started with two small plates, chilli paneer with spring onion and roasted peppers, and the amusingly titled ‘chicken lollipop’ one of the mainstays of Indian street food, marinated chicken drumsticks with a spicy dipping sauce on the side. Bandook serves a range of cocktails (and mocktails) with an Indian twist : Bombay Margarita being one with El Jimador tequila, green chilli liqueur, agave syrup, sage, lime juice and pineapple juice with masala salt – wow, what a combination but as it was only Tuesday it went untried by us and we settled for a good old fashioned Kingfisher been instead! For the main course we took grandma’s curry; a signature curry that changes each day and on this day was chicken, with pulao rice and Indian bread, together with boti kebab, cubes of spiced grilled lamb served with salad.
We loved the starters, as it said on the menu the chicken lollipops were dangerously moreish and we were a whisker away from ordering another plate of them but luckily the main course arrived just in time to save ourselves from our greed. Grandma’s curry was the highlight and I am in awe of a grandma that can make such a recipe since my own was only famous for her grey sprouts served at Christmas after being boiled since November! The chicken was tender and wonderfully marinated in a thick and spicy sauce, perfect for mopping up with the bread. The lamb kebab was good too, served with a nice crisp salad topped by an excellent dressing.
We enjoyed ourselves tremendously; it’s a great place for fun and casual dining where you can eat cheaply and well sampling Indian street food at its best.