Gunpowder, Spitalfields

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.

Tandoor Chop House, Covent Garden

It is difficult to find an Indian restaurant to suit everyone. I know some people prefer something upmarket and civilised (and head to Gymkhana), whilst others swear by the long-standing, cheap Indian restaurants that line Brick Lane, believing the food to be more authentic. I like a combination of the two, a comfortable but relaxed restaurant which offers Indian flavours at reasonable prices. And so I was delighted to discover Tandoor Chop House, which effortlessly ticked every box for me.

Tandoor Chop House

The stylish exterior had me immediately excited about what lunch at this new restaurant would be like. Inside, the black and white tiled floor and lavish red leather banquettes assured me further that this new eatery was worth photographing for more than just the food. We settled down at a beautifully lit corner table and ordered a couple of the speciality ‘Star of Bombay’ gin and tonics flavoured with orange, hazelnuts and mint.

Tandoor Chop House

The menu is full of exciting sounding dishes, Indian recipes with a twist of British influence. I always prefer to share an assortment of dishes when it comes to Indian food so I was relieved to find the portion sizes relatively small. Amritsari lamb chops were wonderfully aromatic and tender pieces of meat, the black dahl is a brilliant creamy and comforting vegetarian dish, and Bhaki onion rings are a irresistibly naughty snack. I found the paneer pieces rather too big, which sadly made the cheese rather bland, and the Tandoor broccoli, though delicious in flavour was quite tough to cut through.

Tandoor Chop House

I had been pre-warned about the delicious coal roasted pineapple, so despite feeling rather full we had to order one to share. It was delicious, a sticky and sweet caramelised piece of tropical fruit that was nicely balanced with a creamy honey ice-cream.

As we walked out of Tandoor Chop House I noticed how busy and jolly the rest of the restaurant was… with food this tasty I’m sure the popularity will continue to grow at this charming new Indian eatery.

More information and book a table at Tandoor Chop House here.

Veeraswamy, Regent’s Street

A few months ago Veeraswamy was known predominantly as London oldest Indian restaurant, celebrating its 90th birthday in 2016. Tucked away at a first floor Regent’s Street address, this eatery was only frequented by those in the know. But when the renowned Michelin Guide 2017 was released with Veeraswamy as a new 1 star entry, foodies flocked to try this established restaurant.


The entrance is small and unsuspecting and you will be greeted before heading up in the lift to the dining room. With old fashioned portraits in the lift and traditional music playing in the background, I left like I was travelling back in time. The illusion continued as I stepped out into an opulent restaurant, the alluring smell of spices flavouring the room.

To start we ordered the Tandoori Green Prawns, delicate and juicy wild prawns, grilled to perfection and served with coriander, mint and chilli. I tried the Raj Kachori, a typical street food from Delhi which has become a signature dish at Veeraswamy. Colourful and unique in shape, I was very excited to taste it. The familiar flavours of Rajasthan came flooding back to me, but here the textures were refined and elevated to produce a fine dish of delicious food.


There was a range of elaborate main courses to choose from on the menu, which included a few 90th birthday celebratory additions. We couldn’t resist the Patiala Shahi Raan which our waiter strongly recommended. It was a dramatic dish, a juicy lamb shank encased in thin, crunchy pastry and cooked for a long time. The meat was tender whilst the exterior remained crisp, a brilliantly innovative and tasty dish. A keen lover of Makhani chicken curry we ordered it to trial the Veerswarmy version. The curry was creamy, rich and moreish, paired with garlic naan, lemon rice and saag.

Each component was carefully made and presented prettily, but without being over-stylised and pretentious. There are so many contemporary, ‘trendy’ new Indian restaurants in the city, it feels like Veeraswamy have avoided modernising too much to keep the experience authentic.

Full from our feast of indulgent Indian dishes we only opted for one portion of rose kulfi to share. It was the ideal light dessert after a meal of rich and indulgent curries. Paired with a cup of comforting homemade Masala tea, it was a lovely end to a beautifully refined Indian meal.

More information and book a table at Veeraswamy here.

All photos supplied by the restaurant.