Gul & Sepoy - CLOSED

Restaurants, Indian Spitalfields
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(3user reviews)
1/5
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5/5

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.

By: Tania Ballantine

Posted:

Venue name: Gul & Sepoy - CLOSED
Contact:
Address: 65 Commercial Street
London
E1 6BD
Transport: Tube: Aldgate East
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £100
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Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|3
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Tastemaker

I visited Gul & Sepoy at lunchtime mid week. Considering how much good press the guys behind it are getting these days, I was surprised to see only two more tables occupied. Especially, that the food these guys serve is one of the best Indian I’ve ever had in London.

We tried six dishes to share and each was exceptional (and arrived in a speed of light!). The pickled kohlrabi was a cute little bite with goat cheese croquet and creamy tiny dollop and basil. Yam and paneer kofta a soft flavoursome roll dipped in yogurt and crossed with two aromatic sauces. The chat on which it was sitting was beautifully light and cripsy.

The king prawns dish: I’m not sure what I loved more, the meat or, again, cute pickles of thinly sliced radishes and baby carrots.

The last came the soft crap with aubergine pachadi and tomato. There was literary one cherry tomato on the plate, but I ignore it as the crab was beautifully cooked and had a lovely crunch.  

Already in seventh haven we couldn’t pass on the dessert. The bloody orange polenta cake was moist and full of flavours. It was served hot with creamy cardamom semifreddo, which was a perfect match.

There are still a few things on their menu I haven't try, I can't wait to go back. 

Tastemaker

Came here as their sister restaurant (Gunpowder) was rammed with people and had a long wait time. The menu was limited but not nearly as much as Gunpowder, so we were fine with it. We were seated at the bar pretty quickly and given a run down by the barman. Our main dish (pulled lamb) was absolutely divine. Fall off the bone delicious. Paired with the rice it was heavenly. Delicious old fashioneds as well. Would definitely recommend if in the area!

tastemaker

Sophisticated, yet rustic place which is almost hidden. The menu is not overwhelming with just a few selective dishes. My favourite was the yam and paneer kofta chaat. The clams were also very flavoursome, but the three birds (which sounds impressive), was quite bland compared to the other dishes.

I was looking forward to the rum soaked pillows for dessert, but I couldn't taste any rum at all. Even though it was the most expensive of the desserts, it was also very basic. The chocolate ganache, on the other hand, was extremely good. The smooth, bitter, rich chocolate just melts in your mouth.

Wheelchair access ❌. There is a step to get into a narrow doorway and no accessible toilets.

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