Glass experiences an explosion of flavour at London’s Gunpowder

SITUATED unassumingly on Greek Street and blending seamlessly into the bustle of Soho’s frantic evening night life is Gunpowder – a restaurant whose humble exterior houses a culinary experience worthy of bragging rights.

Started by husband-and-wife duo Harneet Baweja and Devina Seth, this is the third opening of their hailed take on Indian cuisine that emphasises heritage, travel and sustainability. Drawing on childhood experiences in India and mirroring traditional clubs in the capital, which are quiet sanctuaries away from the busy street markets, Baweja and Seth’s restaurants is a compact escape that promises the richness of modern Indian cooking with the luxury of London’s food scene.

Gunpowder Exterior Soho

At the heart of Gunpowder’s menu is the tradition of sharing. With inspiration seeping through generations and family recipes as the starting point for the dishes, this is not a place to dine alone, but a place to sit with loved ones – or in our case, the Glass team. Small plates dominate the menu, triumphantly balancing meat and fish options, with vegan and vegetarian offerings in a shared manner.

Gunpowder Interior Soho

Undecided and met with a lot of ‘umms’ and ‘ahhs’, our waiter, Gabriel, came to the rescue and took charge with a handful of appreciated suggestions. Gunpowder Chaat and Norfolk Potatoes (a signature, can’t miss dish), CPC Prawn Toast, Karwari Soft Shell Crab and Tandoori Chicken Chop were our opening dishes and each triumphant in their own right.

While the flavour was bursting from the first taste to the last lashings on the plate, what was more impressive was the beauty in textures that varied so well across the small plates, finding the combination on your plate an ongoing lucky dip of crunches, mouthfuls of succulent meat and pops of earthy flavours.

Gunpowder Soho

Next up we chose the Saag with Tandoor Paneer and the Kerala Beef Pepper Fry with a side of steamed rice. Packing powerful punches of flavour with the beef, that left us trying to be polite with the helpings hoping to get the last spoonful, the main didn’t push to the extremities with the spice that some Indian establishments fall guilty of but instead offered a mild mixture with the option of chunks of chillis to add that kick if you’re brave enough.

The Saag was a beautiful return to tradition, cooking it close to the recipe with no fuss or additional details because ultimately the strength of a menu like theirs is evident in how well they can create the classics – and they can, they really can.

Gunpowder Soho

Divided as half of us were intrigued with dessert and the other held a strong savoury preference, we decided to indulge nonetheless after being persuaded to delve into the latter half of the menu by Gabriel.

Caramel Custard, Triple Chocolate Brownie with Ice Cream, Old Monk Rum Bread & Butter Pudding, and Dark Chocolate, Cinnamon Skrikhand were all ordered – excessive maybe, but absolutely one that awoke our inner child. Delicious and naughty in every bite, each brought something nostalgic and rich to our palettes – and for me, the Brownie was a winner, it was sensational and dangerously moorish.

Leaving wanting more, and feeling as if there was so much yet to explore, our return to Gunpowder will be imminent. And though the restaurant is a big name in the city, it still feels like a hidden gem, one that ‘if you know, you know’, and after that meal, it’s safe to say, it’s time to get to know.

by Imogen Clark 

Gunpowder, 20 Greek Street, Soho, W1D 4EF