[London] Indian lunch at Gunpowder, Spitalfields

This place is, to me, one of my new finds for this visit to London. Gunpowder’s kitchen, so I’m given to understand, is helmed by an ex-Tamarind alumnus, the very talented Nirmal Save.

I arrived just in time for a late lunch last Monday, just as the lunch-crowd were dissipating.

I picked three items for a quick meal:
#1 Spicy venison and vermicelli doughnut Firstly, I’d never ever seen something this beautiful sitting on a plate in front of me in quite a while - a beautiful globe covered with crispy fine golden-brown vermicelli. Cut it open to reveal an aromatic, curried venison mince. No concession to local taste preferences here - what you taste at Gunpowder is akin to what you’ll get in Mumbai or Delhi.

#2 Gunpowder aloo chaat This is a common North Indian chaat (street snack), done very, very well here. Crisp sev noodles, the dull sour knock of amchoor (green mango powder), the sweet-sour spike of flavours from the tamarind and jaggery dressing, the cooling milkiness of the yoghurt. The aloo (potato) itself was the base upon which all these wonderful flavours and textures sat upon. I could live on this forever.

#3 Egg curry masala This is a rather simple dish, more likely to be found in a home, or a casual canteen or road-side eatery than a restaurant. It’s also done very well indeed. The curry sauce was as spicy as anything I get at home back in Singapore.

Gunpowder’s fare is something I’ll definitely want to return to for second helpings on my next visit to London. Simple but marvellously executed dishes.

11 White’s Row, London E1
Tel: +4420-7426 0542
Opening hours: Mon-Sat, 12 noon-3pm, 5.30-10.30pm.
Closed on Sunday.


Well, who needs more of a recc than ones from Marina and yourself.

And they even manage to make aloo chaat look quite attractive.

1 Like

I actually came to Gunpowder after initially going to Som Saa and found that it was closed at lunch. Didn’t realise the controversy which hit it just the day before!

Have passed it many times! Sounds like I need to go in. I’m a sucker for any kind of chaat too. That doughnut thing is yelling my name too! And wow I just checked the prices and it’s not crazy-expensive either. Will put it near the top of my list for one of my walks. Thanks, Peter!

It’s got a crazy queue to get in at peak dinner times - although you don’t have to stand in line: they’ll text you when your turn comes. That said, I’ve heard of 2-hour waits, surpassing even those of Bao and Hoppers in Soho, or Padella over at Southwark.
I think easiest time to go is for an early lunch (12 noon?) or else, like I did, appear at their front door at 2.30pm as the last of the lunch crowd is leaving.

Just a heads up that Gunpowder’s new restaurant at One Tower Bridge is in soft launch mode for the next couple of weeks. Usefully they seem to be offering bookings for early dinner.

1 Like