Harneet and Devina Baweja’s second Gunpowder restaurant is now open at the new One Tower Bridge development – great news for anyone that’s ever tried to get a table at the original teeny tiny Spitalfields spot.
They haven’t rewritten the rule book too much here, but the space is much bigger – across two floors in fact – with a beautiful mix of polished concrete, raw steel & marble tops. We sat in the window, perched on stalls watching the world go by, but upstairs, the sleek mezzanine level will give you a view into the kitchen.
Foodwise, Gunpowder is all about home-style cooking, brought up to the modern day. Food is undoubtedly contemporary, but you won’t find the foams and swirls often found in more high-end (read: expensive) Indian joints across the capital. Nor are there sloppy curries you’ve tried a million times before. It’s refreshingly contemporary, yet reassuringly comforting at the same time.
All the signature dishes that we fell in love with in Spitalfields are still here (we’re looking at you spicy venison and vermicelli doughnut) but Head Chef Nirmal Save has come up with some cracking newbies as well. We began with one of them – peanut masala chaat – the perfect little snack to munch on whilst you check out the rest of the menu. It’s comes with chopped onions and chillies so is half salad, half nut mix. The cocktail menu is excellent – we adored the super spicy margarita with chilli rim but it’s not one for the faint hearted.
Plates are designed to be shared but we seriously over-ordered (but when you see what we tried, who can blame us). Veggie friendly aloo chaat (potatoes hidden under tons of sweet chutney and cooling yoghurt) kicked things off, alongside the must order pulled duck which comes in a little homemade oothappam (a dosa-like pancake). Another standout dish for us was the soft shell crab (we’d go so far as to say it was probably one of the best we’ve ever had) and a squeeze of lime really made it zing. Chunky cubes of paneer tikka was one of the more mild dishes on offer, in its vibrant green spinach sauce.
If there’s a few of you dining, try aunty sulu’s rabbit pulao – it’s one of the larger plates and hides great big chunks of meat on the bone under a heavily seasoned mound of rice. The doughnut, spice encrusted Kashmiri lamb chops and grilled mustard broccoli (available as a whole or a half) we’re every bit as good as we remembered.
There are just two options for dessert and we went for the super-rich chocolate slab with passionfruit, cream and edible flowers. Chocolate lovers will be delighted.
We’d highly recommend visiting first, but if you do fancy trying to recreate any of this at home, Gunpowder have also recently released their first cookbook, you can see what we thought about it here.