Gunpowder is a cosy tapas-style Indian restaurant in Spitafields. I’d been hearing about Gunpowder for a while, but that still didn’t prepare me for how “cosy” the restaurant is, and also how truly special the food is.
Cosy in the context of Gunpowder means a few things, the cooking seems homely, the restaurant is really snug, and the service is very friendly.
As you can see from the video, the restaurant is “snugger” than you’d expect, but that’s in keeping with the homely vibe of the restaurant. We arrived at about 6ish on a Thursday and there were still a few free tables, but that didn’t last at all. But when the restaurant is full, they’d take your number and contact you when your table is ready.
What we ordered
As always, we ordered a lot. There isn’t a distinction on the menu for starters or mains, as everything ought to be shared and it all comes soon as its ready. We ordered gunpowder aloo chaat, spicy venision and vermicelli doughnut, maa’s Kashmiri lamb chops, Nagaland house crispy pork ribs, saag with tandoori paneer, karwari soft shell crab, and half chicken chargrilled in tandoori spices.
For the purposes of this review, I’ll split my thoughts into Vegetarian, Fish, Beef & Pork, and Chicken.
The gunpowder aloo chaat was tremendous. Delicious potato cakes doused with creamy yoghurt, and it was all a tad sweet too.
I’ve never eaten paneer before; well I think I haven’t because I don’t remember enjoying such meaty cheese at an Indian restaurant. I could go vegetarian for a week and just enjoy paneer cheese… and some halloumi too.
I wasn’t a fan of the soft shell crab. I liked the crispy tentacles, but not much of the body, which I felt was a bit moist – odd, I know.
Beef & Pork
The lamb chops were heavenly. Shiima doesn’t usually eat lamb, but after she was seduced by its wonderful aroma she devoured a whole piece for herself. It was succulent and wonderfully seasoned with the perfect amount of spices.
The spicy venison and vermicelli doughnut was similar to a bloated spring roll. The pastry was tasty; crispy on the outside with a bit more give on the inside, and there was a lot of spicy venison in the filling… certainly how your mother wouldn’t have made it and not what you’d expect at a restaurant. I really enjoyed it.
The pork ribs were incredible. I obviously ate them all because Shiima doesn’t eat pork, and supposedly I looked crazed as I ecstatically devoured them. The sauce on the ribs was a tad spicy too, which made it even better for me because I love spice.
This was the best dish for me, although it was quite small for half a chicken. The tandoori spices were magnificent and chicken was perfectly grilled, so much that the breast piece was still utterly succulent.
All the desserts had rum in it, so we had to give it a pass because we don’t consume alcohol… but I have to say that the rum pudding looked gorgeous.
We really enjoyed Gunpowder and we’ll be going back soon because not only did we enjoy almost everything we ate, the menu still has a lot more intriguing dishes. The service was very friendly as well, and the restaurant is very relaxed. I recommend for a very casual date… if your date is a foodie Gunpowder is a very good option. I also recommend for mid to large groups (4 to 10 people) and if you are more than six people you can reserve a table. Gunpowder is also very moderately priced, so you can get stuffed on a budget like we did.
Dress Code: Casual
Shiima and Amen’s Star Dish: Half chicken chargrilled in tandoori spices.
Rating: 4.9 out of 5