Their brilliant menu of flavour packing vegetarian Indian street food – massala dosa, tarka dhal, vada pav, kale bhajis, okra fries, and the rest – was soon legendary across Leeds. All washed down with their Northern Monk collaboration ale Bombay Dazzler, or with expertly selected regularly changing guest brews. The flexibility of this stripped back interior and laid back vibe meant that Bundobust was just as welcoming of folk sipping a half or supping a skinful, scoffing a feast or starting a fast; Leeds returned the welcome by taking Bundobust in as its one of its own.
But all good things should be shared, and at the end of 2016 Bundobust took its concept, spread its wings, and flew from the Leeds nest. Their first stop was Manchester, a logical move, though a surprisingly ambitious project in relation to the cosy casual Leeds hangout.
Here, the space was expansive, at around 4000 square feet in a central modern basement, with an impressively plush decor which still echoes the natural brick and wood of the original. Importantly, the relaxed atmosphere, glorious food and unbeatable beer travelled across the pennines sublimely, and the Manchester branch was a hit, both with local socialites and in national reviews from the likes of Jay Rayner.
In 2018 Bundobust expanded a little further, this time heading into Liverpool, whose people it seems are as fond of this fare as its northern neighbours were. Suitably positioned amongst other cool and independent eateries and drinkeries on Bold Street, the space again forges its own identity, upstairs and airy, whilst keeping all the authentic elements that makes Bundobust appeal. It’s appeared an effortless expansion, judged, paced and timed perfectly, and with surely more to come, for what in reality is a dangerously treacherous step for any independent business.