San Francisco is no stranger to fusion cuisine. With the bounty of produce available at our fingertips, it seems that every restaurant, no matter the region, receives an upgrade from California flavors. Early Girl tomatoes enliven ordinary tacos, market vegetables find their way into Korean stone pot, local cheeses peek their heads into savory Asian pancakes, and foie gras makes an appearance in Chinese steamed buns. DUM Indian Soul Food is no exception to this trend, welcoming an array of local flavors into classic Indian dishes.
The food-truck-turned-brick-and-mortar showcases new ingredients in old family recipes, updating what we expect to see in Indian cuisine. Chef Rupam Bhagat (a Mumbai native) tops fried chaat, a typical Indian roadside snack, with fresh beets or crispy kale, accompanying a “scotch egg” with artichokes, and even winter squash finds its way into a lassi.
And this Thursday, Oct. 12, DUM launches a new monthly dinner party-style pop-up series, Navya. Translating to “new,” it explores various techniques that comprise the flavors of Indian cuisine while showcasing local ingredients. Take a seat at the restaurant’s communal table to sample a five-course menu that changes with the seasons — and from which you can expect dishes that reach far beyond your typical curries and samosas.
Here, kale is married with scallops, tamarind, yogurt, and trail mix for an innovative appetizer. Vegetables get a kick from basil, coffee, and almond. Bhagat experiments with a play on ramen that swims in pork belly, egg, cuttlefish, lentil, bok choy, chickpea, lamb, cauliflower, and raisins. A BBQ Brisket is flavored with cilantro, mint, spinach, brussel sprouts, pistachio, mango, and cardamom.
The first dinner in the series takes place on Oct. 12, with events occurring monthly thereafter.
At $60 for five courses and an optional $30 wine pairing, it’s a prix-fixe fusion menu that will blow Wolfgang Puck out of the water.
Navya, Thursday, Oct. 12, 6-9 p.m., at DUM Indian Soul Food, 3111 24th St, $60 plus $30 optional wine pairing; 415-874-9045 or dumsf.com