Gunpowder is a tiny, homestyle Indian restaurant in Spitalfields.
And it’s the perfect spot for dinner TNT.
That’s because it’s one of the most excellent incarnations of Bengali cuisine in the city, drawn from the cooking that founder Harneet Baweja grew up with in Kolkata.
The place itself is nestled round the corner from Brick Lane, on a fairly unremarkable side street. It’s small, but the upside of this is that it always feels busy and welcoming, especially if you swing by on the sort of grey, mizzling day that makes up 85% of London’s meteorological calendar. Take a perch on the industrial stools, point out to your companion that the bar is, indeed, made out of old chair backs, and get ready to dive into the menu.
Every dish feels like that ‘one dish you have to try’, and every dish has its own personality. There’s the hedgehog-like venison and vermicelli donut; a spiky, crusty, pastry husk filled with heat-packing venison. There’s the rasam ke bomb; a take on an Indian street food favourite that arrives in the form of a potato-filled, crispy sphere perched on a shot glass of tamarind and mustard sauce. And there’s the languid, molten spice chocolate cake, served with masala chai custard. They’re all taken from traditional Bengali recipes, but given a thoroughly modern lick – and they’re all artfully assembled by head chef Nirmal Save (formerly of Mayfair’s Michelin-starred Tamarind).
A small-but-perfectly-formed selection of cocktails continues the trend of the familiar woven with the unfamiliar. A margarita with tamarind spiced water and a puchka-spiced rim, or a Cuba Libre with masala coke set the tone, whilst a range of wines, fizzes, beers, ales and ciders are also available.
Which should give you plenty of bang for your buck.
NOTE: Gunpowder is open for lunch & dinner Monday to Saturday, closed Sunday. For parties of 6 or more people, email ahead at email@example.com; otherwise it’s walk-in only. You can find out more on their website HERE.
ALSO NOTE: after the success of the Spitalfields site, Gunpowder have opened a second site in Soho.
Like dining out in the area? Check out our guide to the best restaurants in Spitalfields