Gunpowder first started up at Old Spitalfields as a home-style Indian “tapas” restaurant. Despite hearing a lot about them, that branch doesn’t serve halal options so we never had them at the top of our dining list. Then recently, they opened up another branch at Tower Bridge and are offering some halal options on the menu. Needless to say, we very soon booked a table there to try it out.
Located at the Duchess Walk, Gunpowder Tower Bridge is part of the One Tower Bridge development and offers spectacular views of the Tower Bridge & the Thames. We went on a Friday evening after work. The restaurant was bigger than I anticipated. It actually spans across two storeys. We liked the sleek & modern interior, and the lighting was great (very important for taking photos!). We got a table by the sofa booths, which offers a good little bit of privacy from the buzz and a cosy vibe. Soft Indian music was playing in the background as well without being overly loud.
Their menu was straightforward – everything from starters to mains to desserts all fit onto one page. The waitress suggested we each order 2 to 3 dishes, so we each picked two and then just ordered some rice.
*Chicken, beef and lamb are halal at their Tower Bridge branch
Here’s what we ordered:
- Chicken Lollipop Madras Style (£7.50)
- Maa’s Kashmiri Lamb Chops (£7.50 per piece; min order 2 pcs)
- Marwari Soft Shell Crab (£11)
- Kerala Beef Pepper Fry (£11)
- Organic Baby Chicken Chargrilled in Tandoori Spices (whole/half – £16/£9.50)
- Whole Grilled Plaice in Garlic, Tomato and Black Pepper (£14.50)
- Steam Rice w/ Gunpowder Butter (£3.50)
Chicken Lollipop Madras Style (£7.50)
This was the first dish we tried and it was our favourite one of the night. The chicken was succulent and they were very flavoursome as they were drenched in a palatable madras sauce. When we’re done with the chicken, we were scraping clean the plate to savour the leftover madras sauce with rice!
Maa’s Kashmiri Lamb Chops (£7.50 per piece; min order 2 pcs)
These lamb chops were definitely well presented and looked very alluring. Flavour-wise it was decent, however I thought the meat was a bit overcooked. It was pretty much cooked well done but, as you know me, I’m totally more of a medium to medium rare person! Given it’s cooked well done, I’m glad the meat was still considerably tender though it’s not exactly as juicy as it looked.
Marwari Soft Shell Crab (£11)
Being a group of soft shell crab lovers, we just had to order one when we see it on the menu! We’re very happy to come to a verdict that the crab was very meaty and tasty. We loved the light crispy on the outside, the piquant & tangy touch of the sauce on top, and the moreish crab meat on the inside.
Kerala Beef Pepper Fry (£11)
To be frank, we thought this one was rather underwhelming. We felt the flavours lacked a punch and the beef wasn’t as tender as we hoped. It just in overall didn’t generate any exciting flavours and sadly wasn’t up to par with other dishes (as well as our expectations).
Organic Baby Chicken Chargrilled in Tandoori Spices (whole/half – £16/£9.50)
We originally was thinking of just ordering half a baby chicken but got persuaded by the waitress to go for a whole one since there’re three of us sharing. The chicken has a strong chargrilled flavour to it. It was generally flavoursome but a bit dry at times – it definitely needed that sauce on the side to go with the chicken. It’s decent but I’d say it’s a comparatively forgettable dish.
Whole Grilled Plaice in Garlic, Tomato and Black Pepper (£14.50)
This fish dish had a very refreshing touch compared to all the other dishes. The tomatoes topping carry a very tangy touch which I personally find very contrasting to other meat dishes we’ve been having that evening. It’s nice to have something switching up the palate for the evening. Since the fish wasn’t like mega big, do watch out for bones if you order!
Steam Rice w/ Gunpowder Butter (£3.50)
Last but not least, we love rice to go with the dishes so we ordered two bowls of steamed rice with Gunpowder butter. The Gunpowder butter is basically a dollop of spiced butter to mix with the rice. Flavour-wise it was rather subtle so it didn’t seem too special in our opinions.
All in all, we enjoyed our meal at Gunpowder. Was the food absolutely banging? Perhaps not so much but it was decent and satisfactory. Service was generally good – very friendly and attentive. The restaurant is comfortable to hang around and definitely a great spot for meeting up with friends. If you’re around the area, go check it out and let us know your thoughts!
Chicken, beef, and lamb is halal. Please note that only the Tower Bridge branch of Gunpowder serves halal options.
Pork & alcohol is present at the restaurant.
Nearest station: Tower Bridge / Bermondsey
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