“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 of 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.