The Indian food scene in London has transformed in recent years… I no longer find myself wandering down Brick Lane for a curry fix. Trishna, Kricket and Gymkhana are all brilliant, but I think Gunpowder has to be my current favourite modern Indian eatery in the city.
The tiny restaurant in Spitalfields is a hotspot for business people working nearby. I nestled in amongst the hungry locals for a delicious lunch last week. I had popped in to Gunpowder a few times before but, unaware of the cult dishes on the menu, had missed out on tasting the Spicy venison doughnut, which, I can now confirm, deserves its legendary status. The rich minced meat is highly seasoned with a mix of spices and concealed within crispy vermicelli casing. We also loved snacking on the Karwari soft shell crab, a devilishly decadent battered crab topped with a vibrant marinade of citrus and chilli.
The unmissable item on the menu, in my opinion, is the Maa’s kashmiri lamb chops. These grilled chops are coated in an irresistible marinade, soft and tender inside with a perfected chargrilled edge. For vegetarians there are plenty of great options too, from intensely flavoured Bhuna aubergine and crispy kale salad to the epic Sigree grilled mustard broccoli which sits in an aromatic creamy sauce.
The small desserts section on the menu regularly changes. Last week we tried Old monk rum pudding, a comforting take on a bread & butter pudding with raisins and custard. For something more indulgent, try the Dark chocolate mousse with banana parfait and pistachio chikki. The mousse was incredibly rich but complemented nicely by the nutty parfait.
I found myself drinking copious amounts of water to cope with the spicy dishes, but if you fancy something stronger order a Gunpowder Regiment or Bow Barracks Gimlet from the cocktail menu. The drinks are carefully constructed and well mixed.
Like many of the best venues in London, you can’t book a table at Gunpowder. But take my word for it, this is one restaurant really worth queuing for.
More information on Gunpowder here.