Opening its doors this week, Bando Belly is South East London’s brand-new eatery pioneering ‘soul food fusion’. Get ready to fill your stomach during the third lockdown with carefully curated and mouth-watering dishes from Bando Belly via delivery and pickup – enabling Londoners from all boroughs to satisfy their taste buds.
Born out of the Covid-19 pandemic, Bando Belly is opening its doors on Friday 15 January at Peckham Levels (Level 5), South London’s cultural and social hub – sitting amongst a range of other local and independent businesses. Currently, Peckham Levels is closed to the public but once lockdown restrictions end and the venue reopens, people will be able to visit Bando Belly and dine in.
Bando Belly has created its own signature soul food fusion cuisine with flavours inspired by America, the Caribbean, South East Asia and primarily and most importantly – multicultural London and its rich and diverse food heritage. Its unique menu features complex flavours from around the globe with elements from traditional cuisines.
Dishes on the menu include Bando Belly’s spin on traditional Trinidadian doubles with its Bara Tacos (fried bread with a chickpea filling), Slow Roasted Lamb Ribs with a South East Asian influence (topped with smacked cucumbers, fish sauce, fresh mint), Soft Shell Crab with a delicious and fragrant soy caramel drizzle, Old Bay seasoned Shrimp, Philly Banh Mi Cheesesteaks, Korean-inspired Fried Chicken Burgers, and its special Deep-Fried Oreos. Prices for main dishes start from £10 and sides are available from £5.
Founded by London-based young foodpreneurs Naz Ramadan and Alex Situnayake (also Founder of the UK’s boozy ice pop brand Wavey Ice), Bando Belly has embraced the capital’s multiculturalism to create London’s very own soul food with a unique twist. Using the space in Peckham Levels, Bando Belly also plans to host community-led music and creative events to be the go-to spot for all-round great vibes.
Both the founders have roots in South London and shared a passion for inventing their own dishes inspired by their favourite flavours from across the city and other countries. They believed that every region or country has its own soul food but found it strange that one of the most multicultural cities in the world didn’t have one, so together they set out to create London’s very own soul food. Naz and Alex met in 2016 at Kitchen 54 – an American-style café and restaurant on Queen’s Road, Peckham ran by Naz and her mum, but it wasn’t until late 2020, that the pair reunited to put their stamp on London’s vibrant food and drink scene.
Bando Belly’s motto ‘The Hungry Hustle’, encapsulates the hustle-hard ethos which comes from striving to survive in a bustling city like London where it is often easier to fail than succeed. The lockdown was a catalyst for the creation of Bando Belly, where the Founders were inspired to bring people back together and strengthen the local community through its culturally diverse food offering.
Bando Belly Co-Founder and Head Chef, Naz Ramadan comments: “London is the world’s biggest melting pot and living in the capital means that fusion is everywhere – from the food, to the music, to the people. How many places in the world would an English, Turkish and Indian man all know the appropriate response to wagwan?! At Bando Belly, we are taking that exact energy and putting it on a plate with a menu that highlights a diverse selection of flavours from all around the globe to reimagine London’s soul food.”
Bando Belly Co-Founder and Creative Director, Alex Situnayake says: “We wanted to create a bold and culturally relevant brand to disrupt the traditionally Euro-centric and often whitewashed London food scene. Bando Belly is a nod to everything that inspires us about London – including all the nitty gritty parts! We don’t sell natural wine and pizza – we make food that we’ve grown up with and dishes we’ve enjoyed on our journey to where we are now. We wanted Bando Belly to represent us as founders as much as it represents the food that we create which is why our personal tastes in music and fashion are so important to the overall brand aesthetic.”
Under lockdown restrictions, Peckham Levels is currently closed to members of the public, but Londoners can still fulfil their cravings and get their hands on Bando Belly’s grub with delivery via Deliveroo and pickup orders via Deliveroo and Instagram @bandobelly.
Bando Belly’s opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday between 12pm -10pm but check its Instagram or Twitter page for updates during 2021. Visit the website for more info: www.bandobelly.com.