Gilgamesh

Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road,Camden , London, NW1 8AH

020 3463 0397

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SquareMeal Review of Gilgamesh

The gussied-up gargantuan that is Gilgamesh serves a pan-Asian menu of great promise, tempting with the likes of scallop shu mai dumplings, seared tuna in miso dressing, Thai beef salads & large plates of green chicken curry. While many readers have praised the "excellent" flavour combinations of the pricey but perky food, others have found it inconsistent. Still, there's an undeniable buzz about the place that keeps people coming back for more.

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7.3

Food & Drink: 7.7

Service: 7.1

Atmosphere: 7.7

Value: 6.7

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Lynn W. platinum reviewer 21 July 2017

A mid-week meal with a offer, sounded like a good idea. The starters were fine, plenty of shredded veg in my prawn and chicken salad with a sharp dressing, plenty of watermelon in the salad with duck and cashew nuts. Main course salmon was cooked just right, sides of pack choy and rice also fine. That was it really - it was all fine but not special. Service was very helpful and pleasant, a little slow as there didn't seem to be many people on duty, but they responded rapidly once they realised I had a problem with one dish and brought a replacement quickly. The place now looks grubby and fabrics have faded, and there are constant long multi-load freight trains screeching and squealing past the big windows. Seems pretty pricey for what it is.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Melanie R. 20 September 2016

A night in Gilgamesh with friedns was amazing. From the warm friendly welcome a the front desk to the superb waiter who served us. The drinks were cool. The food was so tasty. We then boogied in to the night with the wicked DJ's. We will all be back soon Thanka

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Jennifer P. 04 June 2014

Absolutely loved Gilgamesh, the space is stunning, the service really courteous and attentive without being over the top, and the staff all had a good knowledge of the menu. The food itself was incredible, just delicious. However, it is expensive and more of a “treat” restaurant. Highly recommend it to anyone!

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 2.0

Rowan B. 27 May 2014

We ate on the 50% off set menu, which was delicious. It would have been quite an expensive meal if the offer wasn't availble and not sure the food would then have ben worth the money. However with the offer it made an excellent option for dinner. The room was very empty when we first arrived and very cold. It did fill up a little, but not enough to warm the room Service was OK, not as attentive as it could have been for the amount of staff present and the number of diners. We would return again if another offer was available

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Emily P. 23 October 2013

I went to Gilgamesh last Saturday night with my boyfriend for a spontaneous meal out. After some tasty cocktails in the bar, we chose a selection of items to share between us – some of the stand outs for me were the black cod and prawn dumplings, the crispy chilli chiken and the beef bulgogi. Overall, the excellent food, attentive staff and brilliant atmosphere made for a really special evening.

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 1.0

Grumbling Gourmet platinum reviewer 05 October 2013

It's been a while since Gilgamesh opened. The 800 seat ‘super restaurant’ landed in pre-gentrified Camden Lock market in 2006 like a blinged up supertanker gatecrashing a Levellers gig. Visually, it's stunning. The diner to be ascends a narrow escalator,opening out into an atrium space, a cavernous daylight filled dome, filled with ornately carved dark woods and squadrons of hushed staff. It's definitely one of the more extravagant spaces in the city, as distinctive as the tall tower dining of the Shard and it's ilk. Sadly, it didn't take long to go downhill on a recent lunch visit. Paper towels, scuffed and peeling menus and cheap, unwrapped disposable chopsticks clash with the opulent surround. We were the first people in at 12.30 on a weekend lunchtime, and indeed the only diners for a while, so maybe they only bring out the good stuff (and staff) for the beautiful people later on in the evening. It's a surprise that it's so quiet, given the vast hordes chowing down on hideously stodgy, reheated muck from the noodle merchants below. Despite the prices being more Chelsea that Camden, Gilgamesh have a set lunch menu at £12, so are not so far from competing in price and are surely a step above a styrofoam tray of MSG. I think that there's more they could be doing to create a welcoming entrance, either that or they need to actively compete with the serried ranks loudly peddling their deep-fried chicken drowned in gloopy sauce and offer people a taster. Given the pricing on the main menu, the disparity between the pricing of the set dim sum menu and the a la carte causes some confusion. The latter offers a pan Asian mix with most main dishes hovering in the £17 to £25 level, the former offers 3 ‘types’ of dim sum for £12. With no idea how much that might deliver us we go a la carte. Mushroom dumplings were green, glutinous and somewhat grim. They filled a steamer basket like claggy shopping bags filled with a lukewarm mushroom vol au vent mix. Similarly, an £8 dish of three unremarkable chicken gyoza arrived flabby and too cold again, their skin lacking any crisp or crunch. Mottled, soft and wrinkled like swimmers who've spent too long in a municipal pool. Overall, the mixed temperature of the food became a lunchtime theme, with most dishes just not hot enough. Admittedly it's an enormous restaurant, but it didn't take so long to get from the kitchen to justify the tepid temperature of so many dishes. Ribs were of decent enough quality meat, but had been cruelly treated. Cooked in (or at least covered in) a glossy oilslick of black bean sauce, tasting of a sweet soy that had been punched in the face by a rogue gang of star anise pods and not much more. A rare high came with great tempura prawns. Scattered with a sprinkle of crushed something, jade green methamphetamine maybe, they were as moreish as they were fresh, though four of them for £17.50 is definitely on the steep side. Conversely, the T'n'T ‘sashimi’ pizza (I'm not entirely sure that's where best to place the quotation marks, but they need to go somewhere in a half-baked concept like this) wasn't the best idea of the day. There's a T for the tuna, wafer thin slices of very good sashimi, thrown away on an over salted flat biscuit base and violently assaulted with truffle oil (that other T) and acerbic micro greens. The Chef's sashimi selection was thickly sliced, lumpen and way too cold for the flavours of the fish to have opened up. I wasn't expecting Dinings or Umu standards, but I was hoping for better than M&S. We've moved on with Japanese and Asian dining in the capital, it just doesn't feel like the team at Gilgamesh has noticed. Two pieces each of salmon, tuna, prawn and (I think..) mackerel were plonked down unceremoniously by the server unannounced and unexplained. At £40 a head for an a la carte lunch with no drinks it's difficult to see me being back to try their evening atmosphere, though I'm sure that for some, the idea of a roped off luxe lounge in the heart of newly wealthy Camden is de trop. It's a world away from the Hawley Arms that's for sure. But come here for food? I'm not sure I could do it (and I'm not sure anyone else does). It's a gigantic bar and club, that also serves food. Overpriced mediocrity I know your name. And it is Gilgamesh.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Kara R. 20 September 2013

Great sharing dishes on offer at Gilgamesh. Went with a group of friends and we decided to order a selection of sushi / dim sum dishes, which we were really impressed with, as well as the cocktails – Espresso martini was delish! Prompt and polite service and a buzzing atmosphere. We'll be back soon I'm sure!

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 2.0

Gourmand Gunno platinum reviewer 23 August 2013

Dare I suggest it, but Gilgamesh is definitively not a place for ‘serious’ gastrophiles; put simply, it is somewhere where you go either to be seen or because you want to attempt to star-spot. Make no doubt, it is glitzy, it is bling and it is quite different to almost any other London dining experience, but the service was wildly inconsistent, the food somewhat less so (although there were just a small handful of stand-out dishes from the many our group of five ordered) and the price elevated. Begin with the service: I was the first of our group to arrive at just before 7pm (our dining reservation was for 7.30pm). I ordered a drink from the bar, which comprised fewer than a dozen other guests. After quite some considerable time, they brought me the wrong drink and then insinuated I had not been clear when making the order – hardly the welcome or the response one would expect. When my comrades arrived, surely four people ordering the same drink ought to mean four cocktails? Basic maths was not in order and only three arrived. Eventually, third time lucky, the order was correct. Moreover, when seated, I believe it to be a divisive and inefficient system whereby serving staff have ‘allotted’ and seemingly inflexible roles. We asked for water and the person who showed us to our table, rather than responding in the affirmative, said she would get another member of staff to take our water order. How complicated could that be? The said water was brought to us by someone who incongruously looked like a glorified bouncer, head-piece, black suit etc., not perhaps what one would expect at an allegedly celeb-studded restaurant. The staff also got our wine order wrong, did not bring the correct bill… I could continue. Now, onto the food: the concept of ‘pan-Asian’ always perturbs me. You don’t get pan-European or pan-American restaurants, so why the vogue for pan-Asian, is it not slightly patronising? And, I doubt a chef’s ability to prepare, say, Thai and Japanese food equally capably. Being a group of five, we tried dishes from across the region with the soft-shell crab and sea-bass both standing out, authentic, and amply flavoured. Others were less of a success and in particular, the chilli tasting menu was – and I struggle for the most appropriate word here – bizarre. Again, think fine dining and you don’t think of ‘the world’s hottest’ chilli dishes, which perhaps brings more to mind student curry-house competitions. Not only may this be a bold claim, but being forced to sign a disclaimer acknowledging that I knew what I might be letting myself in for was faintly risible. The dishes duly arrived, had some heat, but certainly were neither extreme palate experiences nor ground-breaking in their ingredient/ flavour composition. One final word, however, ‘cool’ Gilgamesh may be, it does sit in Camden: goods trains rattled by behind our table (somewhat impeding conversation) and although the entrance to the restaurant may be up an impressive-looking escalator, carrying one up effortlessly from ground level, exiting requires descending a stairwell, and being deposited in a semi-grotty part of the Stables Market. Overall, it was definitely an experience, the alcohol flowed and we had a good time, but I probably won’t be returning.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Shakira L. 14 August 2013

I visited Gilgamesh on a Friday lunchtime with friends and was blown away by the stunning interior of the restaurant as we entered. We decided to order a selection of dishes to share from the lunch menu as you could order three dishes for a very reasonable £12. All of them were delicious; in particular the duck spring rolls and dumplings. I would definitely return!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Emily H. 01 August 2013

Went for a girly night out and had a really good time. Great atmosphere and great food! We shared sides some of the dishes because we couldn't choose and was yum! Cocktails were divine and staff were lovely! Defo will be coming back soon!

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