Gul & Sepoy (CLOSED)
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A modish Indian restaurant in a former Spitalfields townhouse.
Please note, Gul & Sepoy has now closed. Time Out Food editors, August 2018.
Ignore the ‘concept’. When you’re given the menu at this hip Spitalfields Indian (from the team behind nearby Gunpowder), you’ll be told that one column is ‘Royal Indian’ inspired food, in homage to Gul, a princess of the Raj; the other is more street-style fare, for the humble sepoy (soldier) she apparently fell in love with. In truth, the tones of the two sides are too close to call. But when it’s this good, who cares?
Take the potted pig’s head. Layers of rich, fatty, warmly spiced meat. Layers of mellow caramelised onions, cooked in pig’s blood. All pressed into a shiny brown ramekin the shape of a plant pot, then smoothed down like freshly-tilled earth. Into this, they playfully plant spindly stalks of fresh wheatgrass. So cute. To eat it, you spoon it on to giant puffed crackers.
Also excellent was a dish of chilli-spiked mussels and another of tender ox cheek, anointed with a mild, creamy sauce and a cheeky fried quail’s egg. Do get the snails, too. And the wild prawns. Oh, and the ‘mutton fry’. Only a bland paneer rogan josh and an excessively salty soft shell crab let the side down.
Set in a former townhouse, it has an intimacy you’d normally find in Soho. Downstairs, there’s a relaxed counter bar, plus a handful of tables (for more space, head up). The vibe is not unlike an Indian guesthouse: unpainted plaster walls, exotic foliage, a ceiling fan idling overhead. Be prepared for Gul, and her sepoy, to charm you too.