Shoreditch is notorious for Indian restaurants, and more often than not they’re the type of curry houses where you get that all too familar carb slump after filling up on bowlfuls of chicken korma, lime pickle and poppadoms. But at Gunpowder you’ll find none of the above.
I’m currently making my way through TimeOut’s Top 100 Restaurants in London and it’s no suprise that Gunpowder are ranked in the top 20, they whip up outstanding and innovative small plates cooked with authentic Indian spices.
Gunpowder is tucked away on a small lane in Spitalfields and this narrow Indian restaurant barely has space for around two dozen covers. But the cramped conditions are worth putting up with for the quirky dishes that come flooding out of the kitchen.
We started with the patrani maach,which was described to us as a river fish cooked in a banana leaf – it simply fell apart and had a delicious, subtle lemongrass and mustard seed flavour.
Next came the aloo chat, a dish which potatoes are roasted in a spice mix and then smashed and covered with yoghurt, chickpeass, tomatoes – a beautiful combiation which gives a sweet and tangy taste.
Soft-shell crab isn’t a dish I’d expect to find on an Indian menu, but at Gunpowder the risks pay off. The crab is encased in a crisp, light batter and serves to really enhance and protect the juiciness of the crab within.
We also devoured their outstanding okra fries – a crispy triumph and a beautiful accompaniment to any dish served up at Gunpowder.
To finish we had the molten chocolate cake served with masala chai custard. Spiced custard is truly the way of the future.
And, if you’re in the mood for booze there’s some interesting Indian cocktails too. I had a bellini served with chilli and corriondar, and boy it packed a punch.
Gunpowder, 11 White’s Row, London E1 7NF