Enriched with spices and curated by the Michelin-starred Chef Manjunath Mural, Ismaya Group’s Gunpowder Kitchen & Bar offers an exhilarating take on Indian comfort food.
There’s something exciting in the air once you step into Gunpowder Kitchen & Bar at Plaza Indonesia. You can’t really pinpoint it; maybe it’s the colourful arrangements in the interiors, maybe it’s the smell of the food, maybe it’s how friendly and knowledgeable the service staff are, or maybe its the semi-outdoor setting that gives you an unparalleled view of the Selamat Datang Monument, right in the heart of the city.
There’s a playful mood inside the restaurant. The dining area is light and airy, and separated into two big sections – indoor and semi-outdoor – that comfortably accommodate 175 diners. Colours play a big role, with bursts of red, orange, blue and yellow and intricate wooden patterns as accents throughout the restaurant, as well as ethnic hanging lanterns and quirky utensil cans in the shape of traditional milk jugs.
Plants surround the semi-outdoor area, giving it its own garden. Meanwhile, the interior is done in an incredibly classy way, eclectic yet modern, without losing its identity. Ambiance wise, it’s one of the best restaurants in the city. The best ambiance in the world won’t last three months if the food is lacklustre. But with over 25 brands already under its belt, we think it’s safe to say that Ismaya Group knows what’s best for its customers.
Gunpowder’s menu is a modern take on comfort food, enriched with Indian spices and curated by the Michelin starred Chef Manjunath Mural. Chef Mural happens to be the first Indian chef to achieve a Michelin Star in Southeast Asia with his restaurant in Singapore: Song of India. He is highly influenced by his cultural background, having been born in Mumbai, and his food does not disappoint.
The restaurant opens every day from 10 am, serving all-day brunch, lunch, dinner and cocktails. There is also a bar menu. When Prestige visited the establishment on a boiling Monday afternoon, we were immediately greeted by a glass of House Lassi, a Gunpowder signature drink made with cardamom-flavoured yogurt and garnished with silvered almonds and rose petal. It was refreshing and light, especially for a hot sunny day. Another option for the lassi drink is Mango Lassi, blended with fresh mangoes and finished with saffron tincture.
The meal began with Wada Chicken Tikka, a different take on Wada Pav, which is a street food in India. Originally, it is served vegetarian style with buns and potatoes, but this one is served with char grilled chicken tikka and a layer of mint chutney. It has a good amount of spice without overpowering the ingredients, and if you think it is still too spicy, there’s the House Lassi right next to you to calm your tongue. Spice really is your best friend in this place and the food is not lacking of it. If you feel like you want to have a taste of the original, Gunpowder has it on the menu, even though it is served with mozzarella cheese.
Next on the line is Butter Chicken Pot Pie, with charred chicken cooked in whole-spiced tomato gravy served with flaky puff pastry. It is Gunpowder’s take on the classic, served in a big pot easily fit to serve two to three people. The Butter Chicken Pot Pie also come with Naan assortment from the plain one to garlic and cheese. Another speciality is Chef’s Signature Cut, Chef Mural’s 300g sirloin steak rubbed in phoran spice and Rajasthani sauce, and Mural’s Tandoor Galore tandoori selections. The meal concludes with sweet Chai Crème Brulée, masala tea infused custard with caramelised brown sugar crust. It’s a smart take on a classic, as the tea adds a unique flavour to the custard. The Gunpowder, the establishment’s signature cocktails is served not long after that. It is a cooling concoction that uses forest berry tea infused with whisky, milk protein, rooh afza rose essence and finished with multiple aromatic botanicals.
If you think Indian food is too intimidating, then Gunpowder really breaks the stereotypes surrounding the cuisine. Its menu is creatively curated to cater to the Indonesian palate. It just lacks the vegetarian dishes that are common in many Indian eateries. But in conclusion, the place is worth visiting for its food and ambience, especially after a long day at work.
Gunpowder Kitchen & Bar
Level 1 Plaza Indonesia, Jl. M.H. Thamrin No. Kav. 28-30, RT.9/RW.5, Gondangdia, Kec. Menteng, Kota Jakarta Pusat, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 10350
Monday – Wednesday and Sunday: 10 am – 12 am
Thursday – Saturday: 10.00am – 02.00am
Phone: 021 29923039