First there was Gunpowder with its family style Indian small plates, then came Madame D’s drawing on the exciting flavours of Indian, Nepalese, Tibetan and Chinese cooking, and now the husband & wife dream team bring us Gul & Sepoy. All located within a stone’s throw of each other, in Spitalfields. It’s quite cute really.
So who’s Gul and what’s Sepoy? Showcasing the breadth of Indian cooking, the menu is split into these two sections. Gul reflects the royal flavours of age-old banquets in Northern India – think; Three Bird’s Awadhi Korma; Jackfruit and Walnut Galouti and Red Leg Partridge in Afghani sauce.
Whereas Sepoy represents the more rustic, provincial style-food associated with the soldiers of the Indian army who would cook whilst on the move. Expect Wild Rabbit Terrine with kasundi celeriac and pickled fig; Clams Sukka Masala; and Potted Pig Head with Blood Masala onions, championing nose-to-tail cooking and drawing on the food Chef Nirmal grew up with at his family home in Maharashtra.
The restaurant is in keeping with the others, paired back and spread across two floors but still nice and intimate. Start with a cocktail at the big oak paneled bar – the Porto Spritz with white port, lemon marmalade, basil and tonic, is the ideal aperitif. Or if you’re a spice junkie you’ll love the chilli and cardamom margarita.
Dishes come as and when they’re ready and are designed to share. Highlights for us included the tandoori sea bream, which is served whole (head an’ all) with a few squiggles of pickled cucumber noodles and the warming bowl of clams in tangy sukka masala gravy.
Big fat triangles of paneer hit the spot but could have done with a bit of bread or rice to make the most of that gorgeous rich red roganjosh. Aromatic burnt (intentionally we hasten to add!) cauliflower and potatoes were the closest thing we ate to a side but unfortunately they arrived before anything else – lesson learnt, order the mushroom pilaf.
And you simply can’t leave without ordering the orgasmic rum soaked sponge, layered with spiced cream cheese and berries. Our dream dessert. We insist.
Gul and Sepoy opened on 3rd October, with 30% soft launch on Saturday 30th