Gunpowder is one of my favourite restaurants in Spitalfields so when the team opened their second eatery I couldn’t get there soon enough. Madame D is named after the legendary woman who was driven out of her home in China and travelled through Tibet and Nepal before reaching India using the only currency she knew, opium. Madame D sold her last batch of opium to the smuggler she met in Tangra, Calcutta so he would smuggle her to London.
The menu at Madame D is an interpretation of the food prepared by Chinese-Tibetan immigrants in India, inspired by this mysterious lady.
Madame D is a lively little restaurant on Commercial Street. Downstairs a walk-in bar serves wine, beer and cocktails and upstairs the dining den is a cosy environment to feast on the small but flavour packed menu.
We tried a range of the dishes on offer: Himalayan fried chicken, Stir-fried broccoli and Hakka chilly paneer. A great hunk of duck arrived coated in a sweet sticky Himalayan sauce and topped with fresh chopped spring onions. The whole meal was bursting at the seams with flavour, though the majority of the dishes were overwhelmingly spicy.
I was sad particularly about the soft and luscious aubergine which has been carefully cooked and marinaded with the most delicious sauce, but was just too spicy for me to manage. I had to bear the chilli for the paneer, which I found too addictively tasty not to eat. When I asked the kitchen afterwards whether this quantity of spice really does add extra flavour or is it simply a case of offering authentic food they seemed unsure of the answer.
Pudding, was thankfully, a boule of cold refreshing ice-cream… ideal for soothing numbed tastebuds. The ice-cream was a delicious stem ginger flavour, with a vibrant kick from the nuggets of crystallised ginger found within.
I loved the concept of Madame D, with the spice levels turned several notches down I’m sure this eatery could have equal successes to their sister venue, Gunpowder, over the road.
More information and book a table at Madame D here.