Have yourself a very Desi Christmas
Christmas is coming, have you noticed? All around the city it’s full on glitter and gift-giving, while tempting invitations to stuff yourself with food and drink hit you left, right and centre. But as great as it can be, it’s not long before roast potatoes, meat, and stuffing start to seem a bit ubiquitous.
Into the spotlight steps Bundobust, as it usually does in these situations. Whenever we’re hankering for something truly alternative and inventive, there it is; reminding us that a meal doesn’t have to be smothered in meat to hit the spot.
The Christmas menu is no exception, and is sure to raise the bar again when it launches on Tuesday 1st December. For £15 per person, you start with a selection of four grazing dishes to share, including their much-loved Okra Fries. The main course is three dishes: Bundo Chaat, Festive Curry or the unexpectedly delicious Sprout Bhajis, which went down an absolute treat when they debuted last year. Finally, for an extra £3.50, you’re treated to a Cardamom and Pistachio Ice Cream. For a total of £18.50 a head, it’s also a frontrunner for one of the cheapest Christmas Dinner options in Leeds. Still thinking about over-cooked turkey?
You don’t have to go all in for a three-course dinner, however. The normal menu is still running throughout December, and the Sprout Bhajis and Festive Curry will feature as specials for those who are just after a little taste of Desi Christmas. When you’re in the city and fancy a speedy snack, these spicy and festive delights are the ideal winter warmer.
But of course, it doesn’t stop there. Great food is always only half the story at Bundobust, so their excellent craft beer selection is also getting Christmas makeover. The bar is hosting three special Christmas beers from Danish brewery Mikkeller, available throughout December. ‘Santa’s Little Helper’, ‘Hoppy Lovin’ Christmas’, and ‘Winbic’ will feature on tap, an exclusive for Bundobust, and are the perfect match for the winter menu. Whether you’re a experienced beer fanatic, a casual drinker after something a bit seasonal, or somewhere in between, the Mikkeller brews are sure to satisfy every palette.
Christmas is an expensive time for everyone, and with so much choice, where do you even start? Luckily Bundobust are offering discounted flight boards – a selection of three different thirds – to allow you to try each of the beers without breaking the bank. What’s more, there’s also a deal to try the two specials dishes alongside a flight board as a cheaper package. There’s really no excuse not to give it all a try.
If three different Christmas beers aren’t enough to satisfy your festive thirst, Bundobust are also infusing their own spiced beer. That big contraption on the bar? That’s a Hop Randall, or a Organoleptic Hop Transducer Module if you want to be overly complicated about it. It’s an invention of Dogfish Head brewery, and is basically a two-chamber filter that allows you to run a beer through flavour-enhancing ingredients. Bundobust have been using theirs for a while, creating some delicious brews – cranberry and blueberry sour or pineapple, coconut and fennel wheat beer, anyone? – but now it’s being put to more festive uses. With spices like cardamon, cloves, cinnamon and ginger, the beer is the perfect choice when you fancy a more refreshing alternative to the hot, sweet familiar drinks like mulled wine and cider.
The bar is taking it easy on the Christmas hours, too. Bundobust closes at 5pm on Christmas Eve, remaining shut until the 27th December. It’s business as usual until New Year’s Eve, when they finish up at 10pm, and take some time off to re-open on 8th January, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to get the New Year off to a roaring start.
Because Bundo isn’t just for Christmas. Coming in 2016 is a collaboration beer with Northern Monk Brewing Company. A spiced Belgian Witbier style, the brew looks set to be quintessentially Bundobust, even featuring a can designed by Drew Millward, whose marvellous work adorns the walls in the bar, and is instantly recognisable to many in Leeds (he’s the artist behind the Leeds International Beer Festival artwork, and numerous gig posters and designs around the city). There’s no official launch date just yet, but you can be sure that they’ll fly out the door faster than you can say “will there still be some available next week?” It’s certainly one to keep an eye on.
And then, of course, there’s Bundobust number two, arriving in Manchester’s Northern Quarter next Spring. Plans for the new bar are still firmly under wraps, but as the creators and masters of the original Craft Beer and Indian Street Food concept, their Manchester incarnation is hopefully just more of the same. There’s less of a need to push the envelope when you invented the envelope.
Do yourself a favour this Christmas and give Bundobust a go. After two years there’s really no need to point out that it’s not just for veggies and vegans, but we’ll say it anyway. Take and break from the typical festive fare and try a Desi Christmas, and leave the pigs in blankets on the supermarket shelf.