Gymkhana
Gymkhana
Gymkhana
Gymkhana
Gymkhana
Gymkhana
Gymkhana
Gymkhana
Gymkhana
Gymkhana
Gymkhana
Gymkhana
Gymkhana
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SquareMeal Review of Gymkhana

Gold Award

Gymkhana is closed until further notice due to fire damage.

“An incredible dining experience”; “unmissable”; “the finest Indian food I’ve ever eaten” …  readers regularly reach for the superlatives when talking about Gymkhana, and we’re also huge fans of this “hip” contemporary restaurant from the multi-talented Sethi family (Trishna, Bao, Lyle’s et al).

As a Michelin-starred Mayfair thriller, the venue channels colonial clubbiness over two floors on Albemarle Street, and readers love the fact that you can eat food of the highest quality in the atmospheric basement bar as well as the beautifully designed brasserie-style dining room.   

The kitchen happily accommodates all palates and preferences, whether your taste is for a gently spiced wild mushroom, asparagus, morel and truffle pilau or a fearsomely fiery pork cheek vindaloo.

Some are the best things are the nashta appetisers, from chettinad duck dosas to beetroot chop pao buns with sesame and peanut chutney, but you shouldn’t ignore Gymkhana’s celebrated game dishes – perhaps partridge pepper fry with Malabar paratha or wild muntjac biryani accompanied by a pomegranate and mint raita.

If you’re content to have a bar snack, the choice runs from venison keema naans to Amritsari shrimp and queenie scallops with dill raita, while creative desserts (‘meetha’) are often whizzed-up contemporary twists on the Indian classics – think rasmalai with pineapple chutney or black carrot halwa with white chocolate and rose-petal ice cream. 

Happy customers are treated to “great customer service”, while thoughtfully chosen wines and specially brewed Gymkhana lager get top marks from imbibers. There’s also praise for the east-west cocktails (anyone for a Quinine Sour infused with curry leaves?), while those in the know also single out the “inspired” saké pairings with some dishes. “Outstanding flavours, well worth the money!” declares one fan – and we concur.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cuisines
Indian
Ambience
Fun, Lively
Other Awards
One michelin star
People
Group dining [8+], Special occasions

Gymkhana Also Offers

Gymkhana London
Event Party Venue
Gymkhana Bar
Restaurant

Location for Gymkhana

42 Albemarle Street, London, London, W1S 4JH

020 3011 5900

Website

Opening Times

Mon-Sat 12N-2.30pm 5.30-10.30pm

Reviews of Gymkhana

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12 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
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Value

Paul P

Exceptional
05 February 2017  
The downside to being so good is that everybody else has discovered this gem. The food alone stands this restaurant is a league of its own.
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Ms/Mrs. maryam B

Outstanding on every level
08 January 2017  
Fabulous food, light but spicy, excellent service. Wine on the pricey side
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David H

Until now its been great, but they changed it for the worse
06 August 2016  
We all take a chance, every time we go to a restaurant for the first time, that it won't live up to expectations. That's something that those of us who eat out a lot have to accept . But It's actually much more disappointing when a restaurant you've visited a time or two are now delivering to a notably worse standard. We visited Gymkhana for the third time today in the last 12 months. Both the previous experiences were great , and our expectations when turning up today were commensurately high. Sadly though they've made changes, and not for the better. A year ago we enjoyed and I reviewed positively here, a set lunch that contained standout dishes such as soft shell crab , and a main of kid goat, and Dal Maharani. It was great and together with a couple of beers , a bread basket, rice and service we paid £74 for two. A year on and the food we enjoyed so much a year ago was not on the menu - any of their menus - and we had a choice between a la carte and a lunch menu of several small plate/sharing dishes at £35 a head, which we chose . Of course if the food had been better, one doesn't worry. But it wasn't. There were plenty of items, but much of it wasn't as interesting as we'd come to expect here, and it was all low cost ingredient stuff The amount of meat in the chicken tikka pilau was, frankly, mean. And I just noticed that the kid goat methi keema supposed to be served to us wasn't served and wasn't offered. We paid extra for breads. The net of all this is that today we paid £100 for a much less enjoyable meal than we had on previous visits. So 35% more money for less enjoyable food. Service today was pleasant but patchy. We had to ask three times for the bread basket we ordered at the outset to be delivered, and as I say, it looks like they missed a dish altogether. No-one offered anything to substitute for desserts we said at the outset we wouldn't be eating( because we don't enjoy Indian desserts, here or anywhere else). All told we left believing that here's a restaurant that used to offer great food and good value, but now it seems to be doing everything it can to make money. Its going to need a visible change in attitude before we're tempted back here I'm afraid.
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Piglet

Superb
30 March 2016  
The fact that it's tricky to get a table here even on a bank holiday Monday lunchtime shows how popular this place is, I booked weeks in advance. The staff are efficient, they could be friendlier/chattier, but in fairness they are very busy. The biggest problem we have is that our eyes are always bigger than our bellies, so we tried hard to "limit" the amount of food we ordered. We chose the papads with shrimp chutney, mango chutney and coriander and mint sauce and pea and potato samosas with tamarind sauce (the pastry was a bit too thick and doughy for me but the filling was nice and spicy) and followed up with a fiery, blow your head off, vivid chilli red, wild boar vindaloo and guinea fowl pepper fry, with rice, raitha and bread bowl. A couple of cobra beers, a bottle of Albarino and espresso martinis and we rolled out onto the street to walk off our over-indulgence. Still one of my favourite London restaurants.
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David H

Interesting and tasty Indian food
23 July 2015  
Its taken us a while to get here, with a couple of failed attempts to get a reservation even at lunch . However yesterday we made it for the first time to a very busy restaurant , which they seemed to manage whilst keeping to reasonable timescales for ordering, food delivery and bill. I have to say that the place itself was not as plush and serene as I'd expected- looks a bit more like a nice pub than a top restaurant. We chose from the lunch menu , me with soft shell crab with what seemed like puffed rice and samphire, and then kid goat methi keema, and my wife with Papdi Chaat and Mushroom and Pea Pilau. Dishes of dal Maharani (very like Dal Makhani) and spinach were served alongside together with basmati rice and mixed breads. All the dishes were nicely presented, tasty and spiced about medium. There were no discussions or debates about "how spicy is that ?" or "what does two chillies actually mean here please?" I'd imagine that if your usual indian dish is Madras or stronger, you're going to find the food we ate to be gentle. On the other hand if you struggle with anything beyond a Korma, you might find this food a little spicy. But ( and this is, we believe, important) the spice never overcomes the flavour and we found words like "tasty" more apposite then "hot" or "bland". We were a little surprised by quantity and value, after reading Square Meal's own review. I ate two courses plus sides yesterday and had certainly eaten enough as a main meal of the day. My wife managed a dessert too without changing an opinion that desserts are not a strength of Indian cuisine. Our bill for two came to £74. We stuck to beer and voted for coffee round the corner (Influenced by the fact that I prefer Café Nero or Costa to any coffee I've had yet in an Indian restaurant), but nevertheless thought this was good value and maybe better than we expected when we walked in. A similarly structured meal from the a la carte menu would have been arounfd £100 for two. So how good is Gymkhana? Well it was certainly one of the best Indian meals we've eaten anywhere. The cuisine is a little finer and not hugely more expensive than our usual favourite- Southall's Mehfil. Is it so different that it provokes a fundamental re-appraisal of Indian food?-perhaps not . It is good food but it isn't for me at least a game changer . I do enjoy Indian food but I retain some difficulty in seeing it as "gourmet", Michelin Star territory. I don't expect everyone to agree with that , but to my taste I don't see Gymkhana hitting the same culinary high spots as say Pollen Street Social, or Fera,, or Trompette where the food is modern European. I wouldn't expect to go for a celebration. Its more normal than that- but frankly at the price we paid it can be just that a good lunch, but not special. And before I leave an impression that I think Gymkhana is fortunate to get its star, I have to say that living west of London we're surrounded by places that were pubs but have now gained a star-occasionally two. I'd rather eat at Gymkhana than at any of those, and we'll go again. One final thing. Whilst the a la carte menu incudes many of the usual Indian favourites, there's a fair smattering of dishes that I haven't seen anywhere else. To us, one of the primary measures of a good Indian restaurant is its ability to serve distinctive and unusual dishes and it's those I tend to remember much more easily than a quality Rogan Josh or Chicken Tikka. Gymkhana scores well on that dimension.
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Ms/Mrs. Deborah N

Gymkhana
31 March 2015  
I've eaten in all the UK Michelin star Indian restaurants and this is in the top 3 for me. A relaxed, enjoyable meal in lovely surroundings with excellent service.
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Ms/Mrs. Deborah N

Gymkhana
31 March 2015  
I have eaten my way round all the UK Indian Michelin star restaurants and this falls into the top 3 for me. A thoroughly relaxed, enjoyable meal with lovely staff and service.
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Robin C

Mid week lunch
25 February 2015  
What a great place to go for lunch. Best Indian in London. Great atmosphere, lovely staff and delicious food. Couldnt have asked for more. The duck egg and lobster starter was out of this world. Please come South of the River
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Mr. Alex G

03 April 2014  
The Brits have always loved curry and it is no surprise how pervasive the Indian restaurant is within British dining culture. Into the fray comes Gymkhana, open for around six months, but visited by me and two friends for the first time last week. It is an undoubted success and there is every reason to believe it will remain a permanent fixture of the London dining scene. Given that the team behind Marylebone’s Trishna are also backing Gymkhana, this in itself is a strong endorsement. The name of the restaurant refers to those clubs set up in India during colonial times by the British Raj, locations where members of high society came to socialise, dine, drink and play sport. With the exception of the latter pastime, this is the reason for going to Gymkhana. There is inevitably a colonial-style feel to the décor, particularly the paintings/ posters on the wall. We were led downstairs, a spacious room, filled with leather sofas and banquettes. There are also two private dining rooms, a useful feature to be aware of. Don’t be put off by the dark lighting downstairs, one soon gets used to it, and the effect is to create a certain intimacy. The main reason for going, of course, is the food and Gymkhana absolutely excelled itself in this respect. Diners can benefit from a conventional a la carte, but also specific game and vegetarian menus, as well as more extensive tasting menus (again available in a variety of formats). We opted for the set lunch menu, comprising a choice of four starters and four mains, priced at an amazingly competitive £20 (or an additional £5 for a dessert to be included too). Two of us went for the dosa (an Indian-style pancake) filled with duck, while I chose the duck egg bhurji (somewhat akin to scrambled egg) featuring lobster and chilli. The flavours were complex but hugely satisfying, the dishes light and well-balanced. We were similarly delighted with our mains, kid goat keema (with optional brains – which we declined, hangover being the excuse) and a tandoori guinea fowl breast. The same observations made for the starters would certainly apply here too. These dishes were also accompanied by a generous quantity of rice and bread as well as two vegetable sides, a lovely spinach and also a daal (this being probably the relative low point). The wine list is a further delight, albeit more heavy on the wallet. It is more original than many in comparable restaurants and we were opted for Ernie Loosen’s Eroica Riesling from Washington State, a personal favourite of mine. The meal concluded with coffees, served in quaint British china cups, another nice nod to the colonial era. In conclusion, I liked Gymkhana so much that I made another booking for a lunch later this month almost as soon as I had returned to the office. Praise deserved.
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Mr. Chris H

11 March 2014  
I personally have a like for understated elegance and indulgence and Gymkhana fits this style perfectly. Despite being located in Mayfair, the restaurant has a feeling of calm and is the kind of place where you can go to enjoy yourself. The cocktails on the menu are certainly not run of the mill and were enjoyed by all that dined. The food too was delicious and well presented – the type of food that you expect from a better not-so-cheap restaurant. There were certainly no complaints regarding what was served. However, having grown up in a town where Indian food is a staple and having been cooked dinner by many of my Indian friends, I am never sure whether the additional cost truly translates to an increase in quality of cooking. Do go to have a great night with very good food, but do not expect to be blown away if you are already a lover of Indian food.
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