Disco diva: Harneet Baweja to open 1970s disco-inspired Indian restaurant Empire Empire

By Restaurant

- Last updated on GMT

Gunpowder founder Harneet Baweja to open disco-inspired Indian restaurant Empire Empire in Notting Hill this spring.

Related tags Harneet Baweja Gunpowder London Restaurant Indian cuisine

Gunpowder founder Harneet Baweja is opening a new Indian restaurant concept in London this spring.

Called Empire Empire, the Notting Hill restaurant will take inspiration from the late 1970s Indian disco era, with customers able to ‘dine and dance the evening away’.

The 40-cover restaurant, located on All Saints Road, will be lined with tables on one side, dressed with white linen covered with paper cloths that will be reminiscent of India’s old-school curry houses, while the other side will house a bar.

The dining room will feature a custom-made Marshall jukebox playing ‘Bollywood bangers’ with artwork from respected Indian artists Jogen Chowdhury and Rabin Mondal featuring on the walls alongside vintage LP covers of recordings from 1970s Indian artists.

The menu will be inspired by the northwestern cuisines stretching across the old Punjab Empire, from Bihar across to Afghanistan. The menu will feature dishes such as the lasooni tangdi kebab; nizam chicken kebab; and bihari boti kebab, while other mains and sharing plates will include vegetarian options like malai methi matar; and lobster dum biryani.

empire-food

Marking a shift from Gunpowder, which seldom serves breads, Empire Empire will offer naans and roti, as well as rice as accompaniments.

The drinks list will comprise natural wines, beers and ciders from 40ft Brewery, alongside a small selection of pre-batched cocktails and a wine list created by Mattia Bianchi of Berber & Q and Carmel.

“When disco became big in India, my dad would put on his silk floral shirt and bell-bottoms and hit the town - often eating, drinking and dancing all under one roof,” says Baweja.

“This is my personal inspiration for Empire Empire. We wanted to bring the golden age of Indian music, art and food together in one place - and hope this makes for a unique spot.”

Baweja and and Devina Seth opened the first Gunpowder on White’s Row, next to the original Spitalfields Market, in 2015, serving a modern interpretation of the family recipes they grew up with. The group now operates three restaurants in London, with sites also in Tower Bridge​ and Soho​.

The group also recently launched its first restaurant outside of London​, in Lisbon.

This is not the first time Baweja has used the empire name for a concept. In February 2021 he launched London-based delivery brand Empire Biryani​ serving dishes centred on the Northern Indian tradition of dum biryani.

Empire Empire will open in March.

 

 

 

 

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