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|Address:||42 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4JH|
|Tel:||020 7768 6566|
|Price: £55.00||Wine: £25.00||Champagne: £60.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 12N-2.30pm 5.30-10.30pm|
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London: Gymkhana is my new number 1 for posh Indian, sorry Amaya (now no. 2). Having come from a background of top Indian home cooking, I am rather hard to please on the curry house front. This venture is by the people behind seafood Indian Trishna in Marylebone, so expectations are high. There is an old colonial India theme to the restaurant, however this is done elegantly with alluring dark wood booths, slowly rotating old ceiling fans, black and white photos of men with curly moustaches and a 1920s playlist. This place attracts the well heeled ,partly due to the location in Mayfair central but also the avid foodies. The reviews across the board have been ridiculously good. Service is helpful and unobtrusive.
Time for the food, this was a heavenly feast laden for the Indian gods. There is an art to presenting a curry well but Gymkhana has cracked it with immaculate, appealing dishes presented in novel ways, even Michel Roux would be impressed. To start with, the goat keema had a deep rich meaty chilli flavour and was accompanied by little white buns to mop the residue . Chicken wings were not really wings, more little yummy chicken lollipops. Then came the crispy light dosa cone hiding a delicious duck curry. Tandoor guinea fowl was a beautiful breast of tandoori chargrilled white meat. We ordered it twice. Could this get any better ? Yes, then came the 3 plump pan fried spicy wild tiger prawns with an unctuous red pepper chutney. I had to order an old school vindaloo but this was no ordinary vindaloo, rather a fiery suckling pig condensed into a dark velvety explosive curry. Sides were not just bland sides, the aubergine was a sweet rich smokey accompaniment. Okay, I know I sound like a Marks and Spencers food advert but this is how it felt. This was a feast for the eyes and the resilient belly. There were also a number of other gamey numbers such a partridge pepper fry, pheasant, deer, maybe next time. The only negative is that portions are a little meagre for the big price tag per dish, but it just means you have room to taste more. I was left in a giddy capsaicin-stimulated euphoric state. Not for the faint hearted. PS tables are hard to get, but go midweek for Indian game, why not indulge?