I had high expectations for the Indian Food in London.
After all, it’s easy to see the profound effect British rule in India had on British culture as a whole. I sought to reserve a table at the best Indian restaurant I could find, and website after website, Gymkhana came up. There were no Dinner reservations open a week in advance of my London stay, and only a few slots open for Lunch. So, Lunch it was!
I’m not out to conquer Michelin Star restaurants or anything…
As it were, it turns out that Michelin Stars were awarded the week we were on this trip. Like Social Eating House, It seems I accidentally booked a table at this Michelin Star restaurant! I had no idea it would be awarded a Michelin Star when I booked our table. I actually found out about it just now, when I googled its location to confirm it was in Mayfair, and one of the top Google hits was the Michelin website. In retrospect, Gymkhana deserves it. Every dish I had at Gymkhana was a ‘wow’ moment for me.
Easily, Gymkhana is the best Indian food I’ve had in my life!
My wife and I ordered the 4-course lunch menu each. To drink, we ordered Sweet Lassis and I had an extra Brinjal – their take on an Old Fashioned, dubbed a ‘sipper’ in their menu. It was an easier drink than I thought it would be. The chocolate husks provided this Rye Whiskey-based cocktail with a long sweet finish that not only lingers but also opens up in flavor and aroma from the ice water! The Sweet Lassi was very balanced in terms of both flavor and consistency. It was not too thick or thin, or too sweet or sour, it was perfect! The flower garnish was much appreciated.
The chutneys were packed with so much flavor! A mango-based and tomato-based chutney were provided, and they were very good on their own. But, by their powers combined, the flavors elevated each other!
The course came with Potato Chat. Normally, we don’t want to fill up on starches before our main course, but it was hard not to with this mildly spicy dish! Various sauces combine to make each bite consistently delicious, it was difficult to get tired of this! By this point, we actually forgot all about our camera for the second course – it was just that good! But, their roasted cauliflower was a real treat, a little spicier than mild, and easy to bite into. We also had a fish that was out of this world! It was very tender, and a little spicy, but the roasted tomatoes that came with it carried the flavors of the fish and filled my palate with it.
The main course in the picture does not seem like a lot of food, but looks are deceiving. Huge cheese bricks in the Saag Paneer were extremely satisfying to chew through, and their Chicken Tikka is hands down the best I’ve had. I usually receive dry, overcooked chicken when I order it anywhere else, but the chicken at Gymkhana was still moist and tender.
For dessert, I had a rice pudding. Being Hispanic, I am no stranger to rice pudding, but this one puts all of those past experiences to shame! It was not overly sweet – it was cool and refreshing. The pistachio crumbs on top provided a nice nuttiness to every bite. While my wife was not a fan of the stewed fig in the center, I found it a great compliment to the pudding, adding a bit of freshness and slight fruity sweetness at the end.
Our meal combined, with drinks, taxes, and service fee included came out to over 100 Pounds. It is a lot to spend on lunch, especially with a 1.3 USD to Pound conversion. Considering that it was a 4 course flavor adventure, I would say that it was worth it to try once at Gymkhana, almost preferably so. Dinners here were much more expensive and harder to get a reservation for, but for those on a budget, try stretching the wallet a bit on this one. You’ll be glad you did!
Every plate is consistently high quality
Excellent service by staff (checked on about 7 times in 2 hours)