After closing for several months in 2019 when a fire ripped through the building, Gymkhana finally reopened in February 2020. Widely considered to be one of, if not the, best Indian restaurant in London, the site has undergone a refurbishment with new artwork and photographs on the ground floor level, and a more substantial remodelling in the basement, which has seen the bar moved and a more colourful design adopted.
There’s no doubt that the place is looking better than ever, absolutely glowing with bright paint and shiny new decorations. We settled into one of the plush green leather booths just after it re-opened and we were quickly reminded why this place is one of the best in town. The menus still feature many of the Gymkhana classics, as well as a few new dishes and cocktails, so there’s plenty of reasons to visit again even if you’ve been before.
There’s still the option of set tasting menus which give a good overview of key Gymkhana dishes (including a vegetarian menu) but we decided to go a la carte so we could cherry pick our favourites. The kid goat methi keema was always one of the most hyped dishes at Gymkhana and it’s still a must order – scooping up the rich minced goat meat and piling it on to the soft buttery pao buns is a joy to behold. The venison keema naan bread with cucumber and cumin raita is another one not to miss from the bar menu.
The tandoori masala lamb chops might be £38 but they are so worth it. Tender, juicy chops smothered in spices and served with radish and mint salad – you will absolutely not regret ordering them. Another one of Gymkhana’s most famous dishes, the muntjac biryani, is still here and again it’s one you won’t want to pass up. The pastry crust is broken upon table-side, revealing a steaming bowl of rice and chunks of muntjac deer – it’s a heavy dish but it’s served with pomegranate and mint raita which helps add a bit of freshness.
Our only advice is to not get too greedy and order too many dishes like we did. It’s tough, as everything sounds so good, but we ended up rolling out of there after one too many courses – at Gymkhana, less definitely can be more! We failed to get dessert but if you pace yourself better than us, there’s plenty of great dishes to choose from there too.
Whether you’re a long time fan of Gymkhana or you’re yet to visit, the refurbishment of the space is the perfect excuse to visit. It’s certainly pricier than your average Indian restaurant but the cooking is exceptional, and fully worthy of it’s Michelin-star status. A five star experience all round.
42 Albemarle St, Mayfair, London W1S 4JH