Everyone knows there are six categories of Indian food in London: supermarket, takeaway, the ‘one down the road’, Brick Lane, Dishoom, and dead posh.
And then there’s Gunpowder.
Gunpowder is a simply designed little restaurant (like a nice version of the one down the road) right off Commercial Street (not far from Brick Lane) serving inventive takes on Indian food (kind of like Dishoom) that are uniformly delicious and even better than some of the posh spots around town. And while Gunpowder may share some dishes in common with both Indian restaurants around town and traditional Indian homes, they repackage them into something entirely new.
Take, for example, the spicy venison and vermicelli donut. This is Gunpowder’s take on keema, which is typically minced and spiced beef or mutton served with bread. Here the spicy venison is stuffed inside of a doughnut that looks like some sort of sea creature. Cut it open, expose its meaty guts, and serve it to your friends. Or there’s the classic tamarind rasam, which comes served as a shot with an orb-shaped dosa crisp floating in the glass. “rasam ke bomb” indeed. Bottoms up, mother fuckers.
You get the idea. A meal at Gunpowder is not a meal at your Indian nan’s house, and it’s not a neigbhorhood curry. It’s a place that you come to with friends, passing plates from one side of the table to the other while you look at each other with surprise and delight and also a little bit of fear because you just ate far more than you intended to and have to get up far too early to be having this much fun.
Gunpowder doesn’t take bookings, and they seat people on a first come first serve basis. So come, put your name down, and wait for the text to tell you your table is ready. By the time you leave, you’ll have realized there’s officially a seventh kind of Indian in this town, and it’s called Gunpowder.
A light, lentil-filled crisp, served with a traditional tamarind-based rasam soup in a shot glass. This one’s a perfect example of Gunpowder taking homestyle Indian dishes and remixing them in a way that’s inventive and delicious.
A perfect bowl of fried okra bits you absolutely won’t be able to stop eating. Someone please make a bag of crisps out of these.
A delicious, crunchy, fun ball of deliciousness. This might be our favorite thing at Gunpowder.
Standard lamb chop. Outstanding execution.
Gunpowder’s take on aloo chaat - potatoes and chickpeas covered with yogurt - is incredibly flavorful and must be on your table.
All of the crab cooked in all of the amazing spices. No, we’re not going to share this with the rest of the table. Get your own.