Inventive Indian dishes in the City
Category : Restaurant
| Cuisine : Indian
Address : 65 Commercial St , The City , London, E1 6BD, UNITED KINGDOM - Directions
Web : www.gulandsepoy.com
Opening Times : Mon-Sat: 12pm-2.45pm, 5.30pm-10.30pm
Closest Tube : Aldgate, Liverpool Street
Restaurateur Harneet Baweja and chef Nirmal Save have created an empire in miniature in Spitalfields, opening Gunpowder and Madame D in quick succession on Commercial Street. Their third venture may be their most inventive to date. We‘ve seen a lot of dining concepts in London but none quite like Gul & Sepoy. Billed as a double restaurant, the cuisine straddles two disparate borders of the subcontinent. One side of the menu represents the royal kitchens of North India (Sepoy was a rather famous chef and courtesan in the Punjabi palace) and on the other, you have soldiers‘ cuisine drawing inspiration from the sunny southern climes of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Confused yet? With the first forkful all questions will fall by the wayside.
The dining area is spread over two floors and carries forward the characteristically relaxed ambience of both Gunpowder and Madame D. Upstairs there‘s a dining nook and private room which is a bit darker and more romantic than the ground floor level, where we ate, grabbing pews on the curvilinear bar. All things considered, we preferred the gregarious atmosphere downstairs. It‘s ideal for laidback dates, drunken dinner with buddies, or a quick bite by your lonesome.
The food may be the best produced by Baweja and Save to date. Whereas the other restaurants were more ingredient-led, this one is a bit more nuanced. We were absolutely smitten with a number of dishes and keen to return to try the others. The first to arrive was a difficult act to follow. The yam and paneer kofta chaat is incidentally one of the most affordable plates on the menu, and its most colourful, arriving in a silver tureen festooned with pomegranate and harpooned with gracile shards of papad. The lamb underneath is flavoursome to the point of emotional response.
We‘d be remiss not to mention the potted pig head with blood masala onions, served in a pot with sprigs of chive emerging from the heady dark melange. The same applies to the escargot with brilliant green moong daal and spinach kichdi. And the whole tandoori sea bream with pickled black radish. And the sandwich-like gulab jamun in texture of rum baba and spiced cream. Actually, to be fair, it likely applies to the rest of the menu which we didn‘t have enough room for. We‘re keen to get back to sample them, and recommend that you make the trip as well.