Restaurant of The Week: Gunpowder at Tower Bridge

Words by
Izzy Schaw Miller

29th November 2023

Explosive tastes and innovative twists, Izzy Schaw Miller samples Gunpowder restaurant at Tower Bridge, selecting the buzzy spot as SPHERE’s Restaurant of The Week.

Barnsley Lamb Chop, Kashmiri Ghee Roast, Gunpowder Restaurant at Tower Bridge
Barnsley Lamb Chop, Kashmiri Ghee Roast,

Home to the iconic, imposing fortress, the Tower of London, renowned for housing a deluge of explosions and executions over the years – the culling of three Queens, holding the infamous Guy Fawkes prisoner, and to this day firing celebratory gun salutes – Tower Bridge feels aptly located for founder Harneet Barweja’s Gunpowder restaurant.

Gunpowder Restaurant Tower Bridge - Egg Curry Masala
Egg Curry Masala

However, as tempting as it is to play detective and unravel a plot of connections, I’m not certain the neighbourhood’s bloody past is quite the logic behind the eatery’s concept, which follows in the footsteps of its successful sister site in Spitalfields. This first restaurant, which opened its doors in 2015 in diminutive premises, swiftly gained its footing by clinching a Michelin Bib Gourmand and garnering rave reviews. Since then, having set the Thames on fire with his culinary prowess, Barweja lengthened his small string of restaurants, opening the fittingly-placed spot I dined at by Tower Bridge, along with Soho and further afield in Lisbon.

The Tower of London
The Tower of London, home to explosions and executions over centuries

What’s the idea behind Gunpowder restaurant?

Stepping in from the historic setting of Tower Bridge, you find a warm, industrial atmosphere, where exposed walls and an open bar meet scarlet red drapes and intimate booths. The biggest bang at Gunpowder is the food, with rich, hot and daring flavours shooting you from London’s grey, airy streets into the sensory overload that is India. Drawing inspiration from his upbringing in the Indian countryside, with fond memories of his grandmother’s mouth-watering slow cooking and a farm-to-table experience that brought family together, Barweja’s restaurants are centred around authentic, responsibly-sourced food.

Gunpowder Restaurant Tower Bridge - Spread of Food
Guests enjoying a colourful spread

What’s on the menu at Gunpowder restaurant Tower Bridge?


In line with Barweja’s concept of congregation at mealtimes, the menu comprises small sharing plates, with something for all with an array of vegetable, fish and meat dishes on offer. To start with, my guest and I opted for a southern Indian take on soft-shelled crab, sautéed in a tangy onion sauce and battered to taste closer to land-friend chicken than its typical fishy flavour. Alongside our unusually meaty seafood, we had a juicy beef rib, which came highly recommended, hidden under a thick slather of a peppery, nutty curry sauce topped with delicate almond flakes. As a welcomed balance to the full-bodied meal, we munched on light, crisp kale and pomegranate seed salad, so fresh appearing almost fluorescent in colour, with deliciously oiled aubergine and piquant goat cheese to boot. Given the understated surroundings and reasonable prices – with these dishes ranging £12-£22 a piece – we were immediately impressed.

Gunpowder Restaurant Tower Bridge - Beef Rib in Kerala Sauce
Whole Beef Rib in Kerala Sauce
Gunpowder Restaurant Tower Bridge - Duck Leg with Andhra Sambal & Parsnip
Duck Leg with Andhra Sambal & Parsnip, only available at Tower Bridge location

We sipped on sweet, vibrant cocktails in martini glasses – having settled on margaritas and pisco sours – a simple yet fitting pairing for those more sensitively-mouthed (only my guest of course) looking to cool their palates. To finish, despite feeling suitably satiated, some sugary stardust to top the fiery flavourings will not go amiss, and the bread-and-butter pudding – not a usual choice for me – is sensational. It arrives temptingly presented, with a scoop of ice cream and wafer of fine chocolate perched on a bed of spongy layers oozing with custard, tasting homely and generous, ideal as a winter warming dessert.

Gunpowder Restaurant Tower Bridge - Old Monk Rum Bread & Butter Pudding
Old Monk Rum Bread & Butter Pudding

Consumed with bliss from the aromas and indulgence we experienced, amidst a convivial Saturday night atmosphere, it’s no wonder my gory backdrop speculations were dismissed a long while before.


For a fiery Christmas treat, just launched is Gunpowder’s Festive Feast Menu and Vegetarian Feast Menu from £45 per person.


Gunpowder 4 Duchess Walk, One Tower Bridge, London SE1 2SD

[email protected] 020 3598 7946