Although Brick Lane is known as the home of curry in East London, it isn’t necessarily home of the best curry. One place that is vying for the title and getting a huge amount of traction is Gunpowder. The small restaurant is located just a short walk away from Brick lane by Spitalfields Market. When we arrived at 6pm on Tuesday we were lucky to grab one of the last tables, and people turned up all the time we were there looking to be added to the wait list. If you aren’t a fan of queuing then you might want to try and get a reservation at their second, larger, location in London Bridge.
The resataurant is pretty tiny, which is probably why it fills up fast, but if you miss out on snagging a table you can put your name down and go grab a cocktail while you wait. Like the restaurant the menu is fairly small and contains about a dozen dishes, half of which are meat or fish the rest are vegetarian. So it’s a good choice for your friends who prefer their food cruelty free. We were with our veggie mates, and my hubby is on Keto but we still managed to find plenty to keep us all happy.
We kicked off our meal with the Kale Salad (£8), and Spicy Venison Vermicelli Donut (£5). The kale salad which was topped with bhuna aubergine and goats cheese was excellent. The crispy deep fried kale reminded me a lot of the seaweed you get in Korea. It was studded with chunks of delicious juicy aubergine and had a rich creamy goats cheese underneath. It was so good we wanted to order another one but they had already ran out. The venison donut was an interesting dish, although it resembled a croquette more than a donut. The crispy outer layer was all thanks to the broken strings of vermicelli, and it was stuffed with a spicy ground venison. The dipping sauce it came with had quite a kick to it too, so this is a dish for spice lovers.
When I saw the special of Masala Prawns (£9) I had to give them a try. The prawns had been barbecued which gave them a smokey flavour, the sauce was particularly moreish with just the right amount of kick. However while they were delicious I don’t think they really justified their price as once they had been deshelled there really wasn’t much on the plate. In all honesty I wish I had ordered the ribs instead which came on plate pilled high for the same price. The dish I was most excited about were the Kashmiri Lamb Chops (£7.50 each). A minimum of two must be ordered but trust me, you will not want to be sharing one with anyone. The chops themselves were ridiculously juicy and succulent, while the dipping sauce was like an Indian take on chimichurri. I could have devoured at least three or four myself if my wallet could have allowed it. Our vegetarian friends ordered themselves the Paneer Saag (£12) with Aromatic Rice (£3.50). I had a small bite and found it tasty enough and they seemed to really enjoy it, and remarked that it wasn’t as oily as most saag curries.
Lastly we ordered the Porzhi Okra Fries (£4.50). I can’t resist anything deep fried, so we fancied getting a bowl of these to split. These were tiny in size but packed a big punch of flavour. They were just spicy enough that I couldn’t resist picking up another one, as soon as the heat had dissipated thanks to a sip of my Posh Lager (£5.50).
Overall I though the portions were small, but the flavours are really intense. The service was swift and the food came out fairly quickly, although I kind of felt that was in an effort to get us out and the table turned over as quickly as possible. This is not a place where lingering is encouraged, although the smugness you gain from watching people get turned away at the door does even this out. Gunpowder is located at 11 White’s Row, Spitalfields, London E1 7NF. The nearest tube station is Liverpool Street. For more information you can check out their website. They are open from Monday – Saturday 12pm – 3pm, and 5:30-10:30. They are closed on Sundays.