Opening its doors just over a year ago, under the helm of Harneet Baweja (an Indian entrepreneur who wanted to bring his food memories to the masses) Gunpowder has fast become a favourite on London’s Indian food scene.
The restaurant itself is very small and nabbing a table can prove tricky, as it’s walk ins only. But once you’re in and that first plate of food is placed in front of you, the elbow in your side becomes nothing more than a friendly ‘hello’ from your neighbour.
The plates are small and made to share, so don’t be shy with you order. The spicy venison and vermicelli doughnut could, at first glance, pass for a scotch egg, but once you cut through the crisp outer layer, you’ll discover a delicately spiced venison mince oozing from within. Order the aloo chat, it’s just as comforting as a plate of chips and mayonnaise, but swap the cloying mayonnaise for creamy yoghurt, tangy tamarind and chickpeas and it’s taken to a whole new level.
When we were there the fish was off the menu – a real shame as I had heard great things – so we ordered the sag paneer, a familiar dish that was properly tasty. The wild rabbit pulao was enormous, intimidatingly so when compared to the other more modest sized portions, but the flavour combination of cloves and cumin rang through and made a great base for the other dishes. The rabbit, however, was a little disappointing. A few large hunks of meat sat hidden within, but with little meat to take off the bone, left us craving protein by the end.
The winning dish was the sigree grilled mustard broccoli. Grilling the broccoli gave it an intense smoky flavour, and the drizzle of mustardy masala sauce unified the whole thing. While the lamb chops have famously been declared as “better than Tayyabs” – must be the powerfully spiced yoghurt marinade and the charred chops.
Gunpowder, while not doing anything completely out of the ordinary, has proved it’s worth by nailing the classics, and giving them their own fiery twist.
11 White’s Row, E1 7NF
020 7426 0542