Sitting glamorously beside Tower Bridge, this is the second branch of Gunpowder, the home-style Indian sharing-plates joint. Split over two floors, this riverside spot is much bigger than the Spitalfields original, and it has a more stylish, contemporary design (polished marble floors, vintage red leather seating), jazzily offset by a soundtrack of old-school Indian tracks. Better yet, on the midweek night of our visit, it was buzzing.
Head chef Nirmal Save has introduced new dishes here, like intriguing-sounding grilled black oysters. But the most impressive newbie was the duck leg. A hunk of tender meat arrived slathered in a sweet and spicy tomato sambal, with crisp parsnip ribbons for the contrast of sweetness and crunch.
There were also quirky new puds, like paneer-and-Oreo cheesecake (rich, creamy, with big biscuit chunks) or Old Monk rum baba: a moist syrup- and booze-soaked cake loaded with cream and fruit.
But keep an eye out for signature dishes. The seared head of broccoli, bathed in a creamy, tangy sauce, is a must. As is the succulent grilled tandoori chicken. And for a welcome respite from the heat of those dishes, order the pretty aloo chaat (chickpeas and potatoes with a sour-salty spice mix and yoghurt).
The duo behind Gunpowder closed down their other restaurants, Gul & Sepoy and Madame D, to focus on this spin-off and it’s paid off, not just in the food and setting, but in the swift, welcoming service. Tower Bridge: you’ve finally got the destination restaurant you’ve been waiting for.