Having a South Asia theme on the blog and a burger theme on the Instagram. Obviously, I’m going through something right now.
Naasto Baasto came about after a drunken conversation outside of Moor Beer. Mostly me shouting at Monica, owner of Naasto Baasto that she needed to pull her finger out and feed me Gujarati food.
So instead of telling me to dick off, Moni got her cogs working and it was the first Naasto Baasto last night. Held at pop-up championing Bristol Spirit, I was promised an afternoon of Gujarati feasting courtesy of Moni and her gorgeous family. The venue was decorated with fabrics that had belonged to Granny Patel as well as family photos and we were treated to a fab playlist.
I will take this moment to mention that the evening ran really slowly, Moni admitted they had perhaps bitten off more than they could chew however despite the long wait between courses everything that came out was absolutely delicious.
We started with a new favourite, pani puri and a generous bowl of tamarind water for scooping and filling. I’d have happily eaten these until the cows came home but remembered to leave room for the rest!
Following the Pani Puri were two fried dumplings stuffed with peas and currants. These again were gorgeous, full of flavour and warm. I’d have loved some sweet chutney for dunking but the dried fruit inside was enough sweetness. Then we had onion bhajis, but not as you know them. Light, crisp and flavoursome with a chilli green sauce that placed a punch and a half!
There was a rice “cake” that was nice, the same texture as tofu and brought out the accompanying coriander-heavy, green chutney that came with it with aplomb.
We were then presented with a very generous thali tray loaded with rice, chapati, pickled mango, tomato salad, poppadoms and a fried okra and potato mix. The chicken curry was light and flavoursome, the chicken leg served was falling off the bone and was incredibly moist and succulent. The pickled mango was a revelation to me, I could have eaten that by the bucketful. I’ll be having a bash at that at home don’t you worry.
All in all, I had a lovely time and left very full and very happy. There are certain things that could and should be tweaked for next time but the food, the most important bit, was spot on. I hope Naasto Baasto returns and I’d be first in the queue for a ticket.