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Square Meal Review of Gymkhana ?

Best Restaurants - Mayfair - WinnerNow in its second year, Gymkhana has proved that the rave reviews greeting its 2013 opening were no flash in the pan. For many Londoners, it has become “my new number one for posh Indian”, yet the principal pleasure of dining here is that Gymkhana really isn’t excessively ‘posh’. The menu touts the likes of kebabs, tikkas and biryanis, elevated through superior ingredients and expert cooking into “immaculate and appealing” dishes, but still recognisably the fondly remembered curry-house classics. Superbly fleshy lamb chops are marinated to perfection; plump wild tiger prawns are blackened just enough to highlight their sweet flavour; a crisp, delicate dosa cone hides a “delicious” Chettinad duck; and best of all is goat keema, with soft white buns to mop up the deeply flavoured sauce. Some dishes are so good you’ll want to order them twice – a reflection on portion size as much as quality, although prices are likely to deter greed. The colonial-themed decor is done “elegantly”: dark wooden booths, lazily rotating ceiling fans and black-and-white sports team photos. Every detail has been fine tuned, from the cocktails served at the small bar to the vintage-style crockery, spice-friendly wine list and bargain set lunches. All in all, a very deserving winner of our BMW Restaurant of the Year award and somewhere that leaves readers planning their next visit before they have left the premises – but be prepared to book well in advance.


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  1. I grew up eating in Indian restaurants on a regular basis but as my tastes evolved I somehow neglected them in favour of seemingly more exciting cuisines. Perhaps unfairly but more likely caused by one too many average meals in mediocre local ‘curry houses’. Over the last 10 years i’ve travelled far and wide to eat in 100s of restaurants, many with Michelin stars but until recently had never been tempted by high end Indian restaurants.
    That changed last year when Mughli in Manchester’s Rusholme rekindled my love of Indian food. Since then i’ve been keen to eat at a more upmarket establishment to see how the food...
    More from Food Geek Blog »

  1. The banqueting manager of the five star hotel came rushing out to greet the marketing director of our company. The hotel was on a short list of possible venues for a conference we were planning. ”Oh I’m so glad you came back,” gushed the banqueting manager and then, looking at me and mini me she added “oh, and I’m so happy you brought your IT team with you!” I was duly introduced as the CEO while my colleagues struggled to keep straight faces. I could hear little strangled giggles throughout our hotel tour as the banqueting manager desperate to make amends offered us “coffee, breakfast, anything? It’s on the house…”...
    More from Martini Mandate »

  1. As soon as we entered the restaurant and were seated upstairs, the restaurant felt relaxed, elegant and was modernly presented.

    Gymkhana has a variety of different tasting menus, such as the game menu, vegetarian menu and an early dining menu as well as offering a more traditional à La Carte menu.

    Since our table was booked slightly earlier, we opted for the early dining menu which is only offered between 5.30pm – 6.00pm every evening. The menu is extremely good value with 4 courses offered for £25 per person, with the option of adding a wine pairing for £45. We opted for the former and since there...
    More from Ramblings of a Food Addict »

  1. London's Michelin starred Trishna's sister restaurant Gymkhana is housed on Albemarle street in Mayfair. Subtly disguised behind a big green door and minimal signage, I don't think you'd ever imagine it is a (now) infamous 'Gymkhana' style Indian restaurant.

    The room is rich colonial, with 1920's (esq) music piping through reflecting that of the high society sporting clubs set up by the British Raj called 'Gymkhana's'. The menu is split into starter style dishes, mains and puddings however they also have three types of tasting menu's, another vegetarian one and also an early bird menu for £"5 - bargain!...
    More from S.W. Foodie »

  1. Published : Wednesday, 4 December 2013

    Wrap Your Lips Around This :: Gymkhana

    Gymkhana refers to the social clubs popular with the high society of British Colonial India. Having never been to the Indian subcontinent, I won’t attempt to vouch for the authenticity of the menu or the stylised interior of the Gymkhana in Mayfair. I don’t give much of a toss whether or not the hogs head hanging on a wall actually came from the Maharajah of Jodhpur, or if the cut glass goblets are from the Maharani of Baroda. Rather than waxing lyrical about the exact ingredient that makes the kid goat keema so silken (ok, it’s the sautéed brain), here is what really matters...
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  1. Published : Tuesday, 21 January 2014

    Samphire and Salsify :: Gymkhana, Mayfair

    I’d heard many a good thing about Mayfair based Gymkhana, an Indian restaurant by the people behind Michelin starred Trishna. We’d had a cracking meal at their sister restaurant so I had high hopes for our lunch – and we left far from disappointed.

    The ground floor dining room had a touch of colonial India about it with 1920′s music playing in the background. There was dark wood, green leather banquettes and hanging on the wall was a stuffed warthog. It felt like I’d stopped off for lunch in a hunter’s cabin whilst on safari in India – it was a beautiful space. A darker, more intimate dining room lay in the...
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  1. Published : Monday, 28 July 2014

    Nomface :: Gymkhana, London

    In a rare outing for Indian cuisine we were torn between Michelin starred Trishna and its newer sibling, Gymkhana, which was recently crowned the restaurant of the year at the National Restaurant Awards, sitting at the summit of the top 100 list. It was this that swayed us to Mayfair based Gymkhana despite us initially preferring the seafood heavy Trishna menu. I thought booking at relatively short notice would be a problem but luckily we managed to get a table for lunch at midday which fit in ideally with our plans.

    Gymkhana serves contemporary Indian cuisine using seasonal British ingredients, with a strong...
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  1. Gymkhana. I can’t help but think of those Thelwell cartoons. Little fat girls on even fatter ponies. Events that happen in the Home Counties. Rosettes. That sort of thing. I don’t automatically think sophisticated curry-house in Mayfair.

    My mistake.

    “Gymkhana” is, I now know, an Anglo-Indian expression, derived from the Persian and Urdu word “Jamat-khana”. Most Indian gymkhanas (places for riding horses) have a “Gymkhana Club” associated with them, a term coined during British Raj, for a gentlemen’s club.’ These clubs appear to have been rather exclusively British, at least until Independence...
    More from Saying it straight »

  1. Brass edged tables, rattan chairs and walls adorned with prints and medals of sporting champions from the popular gymkhana clubs that once made up colonial Indian society. It reflects the once lavish lifestyles of the British raj - walking in to Gymkhana was like taking a step back in time. It was light and airy upstairs, but dark - to the point almost becoming seedy downstairs. Its the trend at the moment you see, to not be able to see your food - or the person opposite (which could be a godsend), depending how you see it. The brains behind this new restaurant is Karam Sethi who also owns Michelin Starred restaurant,...
    More from londonfoodaholic »

  1. Published : Saturday, 14 December 2013

    The Cutlery Chronicles :: gymkhana, mayfair - review

    There has already been much said about Gymkhana, the Indian restaurant in Mayfair decked out to transport guests to the high-society social sports clubs (gymkhanas) of British Raj India. Most of it, if not perhaps all, consist of glowing testimonials: Jay Rayner advises getting ‘armpit deep in a menu which is not afraid to make a mark’; Grace Dent hails it as ‘one of the greatest restaurant openings London has seen in 2013’; and Fay Maschler gave it a rare 5 stars, describing the Muntjac biriyani as the best she’s had outside Hyderabad...
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  1. Published : Sunday, 10 November 2013

    The Food Judge :: Gymkhana. For the Maharajas of Mayfair.

    Gymkhana. I can’t help but think of those Thelwell cartoons. Little fat girls on even fatter ponies. Events that happen in the Home Counties. Rosettes. That sort of thing. I don’t automatically think sophisticated curry-house in Mayfair.

    My mistake.

    “Gymkhana” is, I now know, an Anglo-Indian expression, derived from the Persian and Urdu word “Jamat-khana”. Most Indian gymkhanas (places for riding horses) have a “Gymkhana Club” associated with them, a term coined during British Raj, for a gentlemen’s club.’ These clubs appear to have been rather exclusively British, at least until Independence...
    More from The Food Judge »

  1. Published : Friday, 25 October 2013

    Mitziesbubble :: Gymkhana: No ordinary curry night

    Speaking of which, here’s my latest outing, a curry night with the hubby at the much hyped and talked about Gymkhana. A restaurant that pays homage to the good old days of the British Raj, particularly the trend of the Gymkhana – ye olde gentlemans club.

    Now you know my feelings about hyped up restaurants. They tend to make me more nervous than those that are hardly reported because they have a greater tendency to disappoint. However I just couldn’t resist this time because the man behind this latest venture is Karam Sethi, whose successful endeavours include the London branch of Mumbai seafood favourite,...
    More from Mitziesbubble »

  1. We have been dying to go back to Gymkhana since our last visit in May ( as we had a fantastic meal last time. The only issue with going back to a restaurant you loved is trying to balance wanting the same dishes you really liked before versus trying new things on the menu and experimenting. But, our dining companions (my dad and his wife) have palates of 10 year old kids (which I tell them often…) and anything more adventurous than chicken or pasta scares them. But they had told me they really liked Indian – I just didn’t realize they meant they liked chicken curry and chicken...
    More from Sam Stewart Etc »

  1. Published : Wednesday, 11 December 2013

    Her Favourite Food :: Gymkhana

    Freshly launched in the heart of Mayfair, Gymkhana created quite a stir with its opening. Gymkhana is Trishna owner Karam Sethi’s bigger and bolder venture. Evoking gymkhana clubs from the India’s colonial past the atmosphere in the dimly lit dining space is powered by authentic nostalgic additions from the era.

    Entering through what looks like a large wooden household front door diners will be transported in to an Anglo Indian sports club from the days of the British Raj. This is achieved through dark oak wooden panelling across the restaurant’s walls, sephia photos of maharajas, hunting trophies and...
    More from Her Favourite Food »

  1. Published : Monday, 13 April 2015

    inher30s :: Gymkhana | inher30s

    Gymkhana is named for the Anglo-Indian sporting club, a gentleman’s club for the British Raj. It seems somewhat odd to me that a restaurant be themed on the remnants on a colonial-era so despised by those living in the time, but fast-forward 50 years and it appears to have evolved into a theme. Will there come a day when Apartheid is no more than a distant memory, nothing more than a theme?

    I may be giving the casual naming of this establishment more intense thought and debate than really required – in reality it is probably no more than a nod to the cuisines of the time; the game-based dishes favoured by...
    More from inher30s »

Private Dining at Gymkhana


Private Room Capacity
Private Dining Room 9
Private Dining Room 14

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Karam Sethi

Gymkhana Young chef/entrepreneur Karam Sethi came from nowhere to open Trishna (the London outpost of a Mumbai seafood legend) in 2008. When the original chef quit, he stepped in – although his culinary training amounted to just one year at the Sheraton New Delhi. Since then, Trishna has won a Michelin star and Karam has also set up hot-ticket Gymkhana with his brother Jyotin. He’s also launched Sethi’s Verandah in Copenhagen, and backed Lyle’s, Bubbledogs and Bao in London.

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