The Third of the Series
Quisine’s Spotlight Series takes an inside look at the food and beverage industry by speaking with the folks who know it best – restaurant owners, chefs and managers. Join us every week as we get the inside scoop on the best restaurants in your neck of the woods.
For the third interview in the series we spoke to Alessandra, the general manager of Soho’s Flavour Bastard, an eclectic space that charmed our socks off. Flavour Bastard dazzles with high-quality, internationally-inspired (but mainly British) food, but it’s a restaurant that remains humble, even irreverent at all times. Quite a breath of fresh air, if you ask us. On Soho’s Firth Street, Flavour Bastard is a very popular London restaurant doing things differently and making quite the reputation for itself along the way. We can’t get enough of it or its food!
Our chat with Alessandra from Flavour Bastard
1. Tell us about a funny experience you had in the restaurant.
A guest pranked me with the spiciest chocolate on Earth. Funny but then not funny…
2. What made you choose this line of work? What inspires you?
Goodfellas. Seriously, I was inspired by that movie to become either a thug or a restaurateur. In hindsight, being a thug would probably have been easier.
3. What do you feel your restaurant adds to London’s dining scene?
I feel we bring a certain casualness to a market which is pretty serious. We respect tradition but celebrate our irreverence. We are here because of passion and we want to have fun doing what we do.
4. What has been the biggest business challenge for your restaurant?
I’d say getting people to understand that our name, Flavour Bastard, comes from a place of honesty rather than trying to be cool.
5. Where do you see the future of dining out or the restaurant scene in general?
The restaurant scene is booming. Traditional restaurants are going to find it more challenging as people seem to want to experience something new, but it shouldn’t be so out there that guests cannot repeat it. I believe simple innovations are what is going to drive the future. It’s often true that the best dishes are the simplest ones.
6. Is there a dish on your menu that you’re most proud of and is there a story behind it?
A cloud of curds, mint relish guindilla chillies and gram confetti. The recipe for this comes from the royal palace, Ahilya Fort in Central India, home to the Holkar family. Before the British came to India the country was split into many kingdoms, each with recipes that were near impossible to obtain even if you were a guest at the royal table. One of my wife’s dearest friends, Sabrina, is the princess of the House of Holkar and when I got married, Sabrina’s mum, the queen, gave me her personal collection of royal recipes she had spent over a decade putting together. The dish is a vegetarian yoghurt and chickpea ‘pate’ with the texture and taste of a delicious meaty pate – one of my favourite vegetarian dishes ever!
7. If you could sit down for a meal at your restaurant with any two people in the world, who would you choose and why?
Elon Musk and Snoop Dogg. They both live life on their own terms.
Feel like trying Flavour Bastard?
Of course you do. Next time you’re out in Soho, heck, next time you’re out in London, check out Flavour Bastard on Frith Street and see for yourself exactly what makes it one of our favourite restaurants right now.
Join us for the next installment of Quisine’s Spotlight Series to get insider information on the coolest restaurants and pubs near you.