Monday, 17 October 2016

Michelin-Starred Indian at Gymkhana, London.

I'm not a massive spicy food lover, and yet Michelin-starred Indian restaurant Gymkhana had sat on my 'to visit' list ever since it opened back in 2013. So with my move back to Australia edging it's way closer and closer, I called Kiran and Oli and we finally got it booked into the diary. So did it live up to my high expectations? Yes and no. Food-wise it definitely did, service-wise, not so much. Read on to find out about our meal...

Gymkhana Michelin Starred Indian Restaurant London Biryani

We managed to get a booking on a Tuesday evening, and yet despite it being a Tuesday, the place was heaving with life. Located on Albemarle street opposite Rextail, it is inspired by the Colonial Indina gymkhana clubs, and Gymkhana has quickly become known as the place to have a high quality meal in a relaxed setting. 

The restaurant is all dark lighting (so please excuse the photos), dark wood and leather booths with marble tables, then individual tables with traditional wicker and wood chairs. Very chic, and it was a welcome change to find no white table cloths in sight. I'm enjoying these newer restaurants that have Michelin stars but no white table clothes. The Ninth is another that I highly recommend visiting.

Anyhow, Kiran and I sat down, and while we waited for Oli we sipped on tasty Mango Lassi's and had a look at the menu. When Oli arrived we immediately started to order so we didn't waste time as the '2 hour' clock on our table booking was ticking.

I was pretty much open to trying everything and anything, so between us we ordered the following; Dosa with Chettinad Duck and Coconut Chutney | Duck Egg Bhurji, Lobster, Malabar Paratha | Lasooni Wild Tiger Prawns with Red Pepper Chutney | Wild Mushroom, Truffle & Morels Pilau (not photographed) | Paneer Kalimirch | Achari Chicken Tikka, Sprouting Moong Kachumber | Chicken Butter Masala | Wild Muntjac Biryani, Pomegranate & Mint Raita. Phew, it was a lot of food and we definitely didn't eat it all! Between three of us we managed most of it, but we still left a fair amount.

And finally, the delicious Biryani arrived...

None of these dishes were overly spicy as we purposely chose dishes that weren't OTT, I only really found the Biryani and the Wild Tiger Prawns a bit intense. Stand out dishes for me were the Dosa, the Duck Egg Bhurji, and the Wild Muntjac Biryani. The most disappointing dish was the Wild Mushroom, Truffle & Morels Pilau as you couldn't taste the truffle at all.

The flavours within all of these dishes were just incredible, and I'm not sure I'll ever be able to eat Indian food again without wishing I was at Gymkhana. I'm not exactly an expert in Indian food, but Kiran is from Sri Lanka and he was really impressed with everything! To be honest I probably should have got him to write this post for me ;)

The only disappointing thing about Gymkhana was the service. Service was slow, and with a 2 hour time limit on our table this wasn't very helpful. No one asked us if we wanted any more drinks once we'd finished our first round of drinks, and when I asked for another it didn't turn up, so I had to ask again. For a Michelin starred restaurant this just isn't good enough.

Sure enough our 2 hour time limit was up just as we had finished eating our starters and mains, and we were offered a place at the bar for dessert...except there were only two seats free at the bar, and three of us. Oli flat-out refused to move from the table and he had a point, we were paying almost £100pp and they were kicking us off before dessert because their staff were so slow bringing everything out and taking our order. Surely if the people who had booked the table after us had arrived, the staff could politely tell them their table isn't ready just yet and would they mind waiting at the bar?

The manager allowed us to quickly have dessert at the table, so we chose quick and easy dishes;  Apple & Blackberry Falooda (a milkshake/smoothie type of thing) and Rabri Kulfi, the Chocolate Samosa with Malabar Coffee Kulfi, and the Cardamom & Fig Kheer (a rice pudding sort of dish).

The desserts were OK, but nothing overly special, although Kiran loved his Falooda. We got the bill and sure enough it came to just under £90 each for food and non-alcoholic drinks (none of us had any alcohol). Was it worth it? Yes. Without a doubt. For a special occasion or a treat in a relaxed setting, it's perfect. Just bypass the desserts and be prepared to order and eat quickly so you don't get hurried when your two hour time slot is up.

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Gymkhana Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


  1. Ooh I loved Gymkhana too, the food was so yummy. Sorry to hear that you were let down on the service though, that's really annoying when you're in a strict 2 hour time slot.

  2. I've heard mixed reviews about Gymkhana so it must be about the service, but damn those dishes look GOOD! x

    Summertime Sadness - Posh, Broke, & Bored

  3. ninegrandstudent17/10/2016, 20:20

    All this food looks delicious, just a shame about the service! x

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Lifestyle Blog

  4. I'm not particularly a fan of Indian food but I've been dying to eat at Gymkhana, too! Shame about the service, but at least the manager let you guys stay for dessert!

    Honey x The Girl Next Shore


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