Gunpowder: the peninsular kitchen
by Vandana Verma
16 July 2012
Gunpowder, 22 Hauz Khas Village, third floor (2653-5700). Meal for two approximately Rs 1,500.
Gunpowder was one of the first to emerge on Hauz Khas Village’s modern restaurant row. This urban village might have been home to the Village Bistro through the nineties, as well as a smattering of other little eateries over the years, but it was Gunpowder that helped kicked off its super-trendy streak, starting a couple of years ago.
This cosy restaurant isn’t for the weak-of-thigh; a three-storey walk-up demands that you earn at least a little bit of your meal. But make the climb, because Gunpowder’s got a great view of the Hauz Khas reservoir, a view that’s only topped by the South Indian cuisine its kitchen sends out. Owners Satish Warier and Kiran Bhushi are often found in the kitchen, or front of house, which most likely accounts for Gunpowder’s continuing high standards. Their short, seasonal menu samples the cuisine of India’s southern states and have the gentle, punchy flavours that you’d find in a home kitchen. A very skilled home kitchen that is.
Resist the urge to over-order. The prices might be reasonable, but portions are generous, and the tables aren’t large enough to accommodate a full southern smorgasbord. Repeat visits have established the following: always order the toddy shop meen (fish) curry, tangy and delicious atop a mound of rice. The Coorg pork is ridiculously tender and flavoursome, and tends to satisfy everyone at the table, no matter how diverse their personal tastes. And finally, mopping up at meal-end is a absolute delight, when armed with Gunpowder’s flaky Kerala porottas.
Gunpowder is small, and unlike so many other Delhi eateries, takes reservations seriously. So if you’re planning a visit over the weekend, make sure to call ahead for a table. Go at sunset and sit outside on the balcony, so you can watch the sun dip down over the hauz as you eat.