Gunpowder (Hauz Khas village) 6.2/10

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One flight of stairs is fine. But four stories? You’ve got to be kidding me! The food better be worth it. These are are thoughts that would undoubtedly cross your mind on your way to Gunpowder. But more on the stairs later. Getting to the entrance itself is a bit of a problem. Hauz Khas village is a maze of tiny alleys and lanes that twist and turn all over the place and will, more often than not, lead you on a wild goose chase that’ll get you back to where you started. But here’s (hopefully) a helpful way to get to Gunpowder.

Start with the main entrance- leading to Naivedyam. Go past Naivedyam on your left and continue down the alley. You should pass a newish-looking Mediterranean place on your left and the lane curves to the left. Take the first right again and follow the curves of the lane. This should lead you down very close to the boundary wall between the village and the Hauz Khas lake. Follow the boundary wall until you see a sign for Gunpowder- its a fairly nondescript door, so keep a look out.  Then come the stairs. All eight flights, four stories of them- a tough climb for many. But purgatory is worth it. The balcony gives you a panoramic view of the Hauz Khas lake and the surrounding woods, which on a winter afternoon is a most pleasurable sight.

Onto the food then! Gunpowder has firmly established itself as a fantastic place to get Malabar/ Konkani/ Hyderabadi food and more. And the best part is- its not just vegetarian. For from it in fact. For starters we ordered the Buff Fry (buffalo), the Mutton Fry, the Aila Fry (mackerel) and the Koothu Parantha with chicken. The Buff Fry was an instant hit- except for the fact that it might come across as a little too spicy. The Koothu Parantha was bland in comparison, but just as awesome. What blew us away though, was the mackerel and the mutton fry. The mackerel was firm, smoky and came off the bone like butter. The mutton on the other hand was soft, succulent and easier on the spicy scale.

Between the five of us, four starters were enough to put a massive dent in our appetites- the portions are that huge. So it was onto a very small order of the mains- Chicken Gassala and the Iddukki Pork. The Gassala is refreshingly light, tangy and zesty- we just couldnt get enough of it. However, the flavours didnt seep into the chicken much- rendering it slightly insipid. On the other hand, the pork was unacceptable. Not marinated enough, overcooked, dry and fibrous. To top it off, the four out of the five that had the pork all have upset tummys today. Not recommended.

However, you can usually count on the backwater prawn or a malabar curry. Plus, given the portions and the overall quality of food, I’d say Gunpowder, minus the odd hiccup like the pork, is still a first choice at Hauz Khas Village.

Top Tips:

  • Get reservations. Seriously.
  • The climb up does work on your appetite.
  • Lunch on the balcony on a winter afternoon- few others beat that
  • If you get lost, dont check your gmaps. Ask.

Ratings/ Quick Facts Scale (on 10)/ Remarks
Ambience 5
Ease of access 5
Service 6
Quality of food 8
Value for money 8
Would I go back there? Without a doubt- everytime
Meal for two Rs 1000 (without alcohol)
Serves alcohol Yes (just beer though)
Credit cards Accepted

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4 responses »

  1. hi

    thank you for the review. am glad you liked most of what we had to offer.

    am quite surprised to hear the problem with the pork curry. it is one of the more popular curries we have and it is quite rarely that anybody has had any issues with it, except sometimes when people claim that it is too fatty. but then, what is pork with no fat?

    it is unfortunate that i wasn’t there in the kitchen when you came for your meal. i’d like to invite you again sometime to come check out the pork especially, and hopefully this time, we won’t disappoint.

    my apologies for the hic-up with the pork.

    best
    satish

    chef & proprietor, gunpowder

  2. That hiccup with the pork was quite surprising indeed – I usually swear by their pork curries [my favorite is their Pork Pandhy curry (Mangalorian dish - a robust sweet and sour bliss, kind of a rarity in Indian cuisines) though]. I have infact had occasional issues with their fish (not fresh or not infused with enough flavour) and have found their chicken dishes dry/insipid almost without exception – and I have gone there several times, so I have a decent sample size.

    But having said that, I have to agree with your conclusions – I would definitely go back there again and again and again, stairs notwithstanding :-) Love the quirkyness of the place. On a related note – Have you tried ‘Yeti- the Himalayan Kitchen’ in Hauz Khas village?Since that place has come up – I no longer need to trudge all the way to Majnu ka Tila to taste Tibetan food.

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