London Bridge is awash with new openings. After dining at their original cosy Spitalfields location I was thrilled to discover a new highly anticipated and thankfully much larger second Gunpowder venue was set to open serving up their inventive selection of Indian tapas-style plates!
Stylishly decorated, think warehouse chic, the restaurant maintains it’s vibrant atmosphere. The dining room has a range of booths, tables and bar seats to make it the perfect option for pretty much any dining experience & the smaller upstairs level also comes with a view of the bustling kitchen. Despite the larger size, and almost overwhelming demand, service remains friendly and attentive.
We were lucky to get a table during their soft launch (50% off), so were able to try a great selection of their traditional plates and some new additions designed specifically for the Tower Bridge site.
In keeping with the tapas style, the menu isn’t categorised into the normal starters & mains, but the dishes do tend to get more substantial as you work down it. The dishes will also generally arrive in the similar order, but can come thick and fast as they are ready. Be prepared for a table full of delicious food that you can’t wait to eat!
A fantastic plate to start with is Gunpowder’s take on aloo chaat. Traditionally a street food dish, this version of potatoes & chickpeas in covered in yogurt, tamarind and spices will be the perfect way to wake up your tastebuds.
A staple of the Gunpowder menus is their spicy venison & vermicelli doughnut. Intriguing to look at due to the use of vermicelli pastry to cover the doughnut, it is filled with a venison keema mince and accompanied by a great, and needed, chilli sauce. This is one you have to try at least once!
One of Tower Bridge’s new dishes is the chicken lollipop Madras style, which is easily one of the best chicken lollipops I’ve eaten. Full of perfectly balanced spice and very tender, I could have eaten a lot of these.
The Gunpowder favourites of Kawari Soft Shell Crab and Nagaland house crispy pork ribs with tamarind kachumber pack a punch of flavour that explains why people order them on every visit!
I have never had a lot of crab dishes, but this was amazing – possibly my dish of the evening, although it is extremely hard to pick! The convenience of being able to eat the whole crab encases in a supremely light lentil batter & beautifully balanced spicy sauce was delightful. The Nagaland spiced ribs glistening with sweet & spicy BBQ sauce are an unexpected item on an Indian menu, but definitely worth the mess! Thankfully they provide you with little wet-wipe packets, and as if they knew me they gave me extra!
Our final dish was one of the new larger plates. Aunty Sulu’s Rabbit Pulao is a bit like a biryani, with rabbit on the bone nestled in the rice. Both of us agreed that the rice was so tasty, with a perfect combination of sweet, crunchy and spiced elements that the rabbit almost became a side to the rice!
Normally Indian desserts are extremely sweet (no complaints here!) but following a recommendation we tried the Old monk Rum pudding. The best way to describe it is a gently boozy bread & butter pudding. Very soft, with a lovely custard and a hint of the traditional Old Monk Rum found in India. Worth saving a space for that sweet hit after all the other fantastic plates.
The restaurant will also feature an Indian bakery and wine bar, Custard. This site will be open all day & serve a range of breakfast, lunch, pre & post theatre snacks. Inspired by the old coffee houses of Kolkata they aim to rejuvenate the skill of enjoying each others company over delicious food & drink in a casual setting.
Food will be available to eat in and take away, with suggestions including butter chicken puffs, Goan pork sausage rolls and Bombay sandwiches! I can’t wait to try this when it opens; it will be the perfect addition to the increasing options for visitors to the also reasonably new The Bridge theatre.
They also sell the fantastic newly released Gunpowder cookbook in the restaurant, which features recipes for many of the dishes we ate! It would be a wonderful addition to any cookbook collection! Loving mine!
Overall Gunpowder is a fantastic casual restaurant for all occasions & a welcome addition to the developing foodie hotspot of Tower Bridge as a sure fired way to impress with delicious food and drink options!
Nearest Train Station: London Bridge
Website: Gunpowder – Tower Bridge