Lunch at Gymkhana in London was easily the most memorable meal I’ve had this year and therefore deserves a post of it’s own! Nestled on a quiet street in Mayfair, Gymkhana serves classic and innovative Michelin-starred Indian cuisine, and will be celebrating 5 delicious years this November.
I first learned about Gymkhana when my friend and fellow lover of Indian food – Jackie Greaney – raved about it over a year ago, and I was thrilled to finally snag a coveted lunch reservation during my trip earlier this month. (You absolutely must book a table ahead of time!) London-based blogger and friend Emily of Fashion Fois Gras joined me for a 3 hour meal starting with pink G&Ts and finishing with the most fabulous creme brûlées.
Backing up a bit, the term “gymkhana” refers to Indian gymkhana clubs where members of high society socialize, dine, drink, and play sports. Founded during the British Raj, they are still very popular places to gather today. When I lived in Bangalore in 2010-2011 I’d often take meetings at The Bangalore Club, which is one of the oldest and finest clubs in India. Stepping into the club house lounge is like stepping back in time. It’s filled with plush leather chesterfields, hunting trophies, and sepia photographs, and there’s even a corner dedicated to it’s most illustrious member, Winston Churchill, who’s many unpaid bar tabs are framed on the wall. On our last trip to India, David and I stayed at the Tollygunge Club while in Kolkata, enjoying people watching and long lunches in the pavilion by the 18th hole. If you haven’t made it to India yet, you can get a literal taste of what I’m talking about at Gymkhana.
Emily and I chose the 5 course tasting menu and each course was as beautiful as it was tasty – and presented in the prettiest Burleigh Pottery. We discussed dosas, guinea fowl biryani, and pomegranate raita and washed everything down with a pink gin and tonic. (The cocktail program is incredible and cleverly illustrated to boot!) I have never been a fan of paneer (a cheese with the texture of tofu) but after trying Gymkhana’s preparation of paneer grilled with corn, consider me a convert! I can barely look at these photos they make me so hungry, and I cannot wait to come back on my next visit!
Thank you as always for reading, and let me know if you have a chance to visit Gymkhana!