Gunpowder is a new restaurant specialising in aromatic rustic Indian food. It’s located on White’s Row, just off Commercial Street, and its bright lights ensure it stands out like a hidden gem on the quiet narrow road.
It’s small and quite tightly packed fitting with Gunpowder’s theme of an Indian kitchen and home-style family dining. It seats around 20-25 people and there is a small bar serving up creative Indian themed cocktails. The space is a converted curry house with the red brick walls and some of the old furniture making the cut to stay. Hanging light bulbs and the red hue throughout the restaurant creates a delightful dining atmosphere.
The staff are very welcoming, attentive and happy to have a chat about the restaurant and recommendations. It really does feel like family dining from the warm greeting you receive as soon as you enter to the sharing tables and dishes.
The changing menu includes a selection of family inspired dishes with each staff member bringing some of their favourite recipes to the menu. The head chef previously worked on a game farm in India and has brought this experience and his unique cooking style to Gunpowder. The restaurant only uses local produce and the freshest ingredients from the paneer to the spices. For example, fresh turmeric root is used instead of imported powder. This creates the popping colours and explosions of flavour!
Gunpowder Aloo Chaat –Potatoes, chick peas, yoghurt and tasty chutneys. Delicious. Loved the sweet tamarind chutney.
Porzhi Okra Fries – Perfectly thin and crispy fried okra garnished with tiny pieces of beetroot. Once you pop you can’t stop!
Sigree grilled mustard broccoli half – This isn’t something I would usually go for but it was recommended by our waiter and a daily special. I’m glad we tried it. The mustard sauce was full of flavour, but I would have liked the broccoli to be cooked a bit more.
Saag with tandoori paneer – This is the best saag paneer I’ve had in my life. I know, very BIG statement but I can honestly say I avoid opting for saag paneer at Indian restaurants because I have been disappointed one too many times with the way this dish is traditionally cooked. It is usually made with small cubes of barley cooked paneer and generally lacks that kick you are hoping for. Gunpowder has successfully changed my opinion. The thick spinach gravy was bursting with flavour and absolutely delicious with the aromatic rice. The paneer was cooked in a tandoori style and was perfect. The paneer cheese is made from scratch at Gunpowder and you can taste the freshness. Compliments to the chef!
Aromatic saffron and jeera pulao – Tasty and great with the saag paneer.
One criticism I have of the menu is there are no bread items to accompany the dishes. Diners may be surprised by this as it’s usually a staple of Indian meals. I generally like rice with Indian food but lots of people prefer naan/roti.
Molten spice chocolate cake and masala chai custard– Great sweet ending to the meal. The molten spiced cake was so chocolaty, gooey and like every other dish we experienced that night – very rich in flavour. Sometimes it tasted a bit doughy. The custard was like masala chai flavoured cream. The chai flavour sadly didn’t seep through as much as I would have expected once paired with the cake as the chocolate can be slightly overpowering.
Gunpowder is without a doubt going to shine in Spitalfields. You can immediately feel the exciting just opened buzz and I can already picture the long queues building up outside. The flowing compliments and curiosity of diners I experienced on the evening made it clear Gunpowder is destined to be one of London’s hotspots.
Summary: Spitalfields new charm hidden away on White’s Row specialising in aromatic, rustic Indian tapas food. This converted curry house, which has maintained its red brick work and some of the classic furniture, hosts a great selection of mouth-watering vegetarian dishes. An exciting menu inspired by family recipes with new dishes being experimented with and added daily. I have no doubt word will spread very quickly about the explosions of flavours you can expect at Gunpowder. Rich flavours, locally sourced ingredients and very friendly staff!
Reservations: Can book online via OpenTable or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Location: 11 White’s Row, Spitalfields. Closest Stations: Liverpool Street and Shoreditch High Street
Perfect for: A casual dinner with friends (ideally a small group).