Where can we take my meat loving, chilli addicted, curry lovin’ hubby for his birthday?
My son, James knew immediately. Gymkhana, London.
Gymkhana is inspired by Colonial Indian gymkhana clubs, where members of high society socialise, dine, drink and play sport.
Personally, I’m a sucker for a nice door with a knocker and swing sign.
We went with James’s recommendation (he’d eaten here before) and opted for the exciting sounding 7 course Tasting Menu. Although the boys fancied picking their own wine and Charlotte and I had already spotted some amazing looking cocktails.
‘Popadoms’ arrived promptly and we dove in snapping, dipping and crunching while we caught up on everyones news.
Cassava, Lentil & Rice Papads, Shrimp Chutney, Mint Chutney & Mango Chutney.
Drinks arrive and the concierge offered to take a family snap of our happy celebration. Cheers!!
See how he smiles at himself in the mirror, haha!
Cheers my little beauty.
The cocktails were incredibly tasty. Charlotte really enjoyed her Elaichi Sour. Haig Club Single Grain Whisky sweetened with our apple & cardamom syrup, fresh blueberries, lemon & egg white.
The second course was stunning, in looks and flavour. I could eat this course over and over.
Samosa Papdi Chat, Yogurt, Mint Chutney, Sev.
The fish course (because there are 4 of us we could all try a bit of both choices), both extremely scrummy, soft and punchy.
Tulsi Scallops, Masala Artichoke, Pickle and Black Pepper Fish Tikka, Lasooni Tomato Chutney.
I could watch and listen to these two for days.
Now for the poultry course. Everything here is kind of familiar if you are regular curry eaters. Only, it’s better. More sophisticated in flavour and more refined.
Gilafi Quail Seekh Kebab, Raw Papaya Chutney and Achari Chicken Tikka, Sprouting Moong Kachumber (I was all over the bowl of sprouting thingies, delish!)
The Kid Goat Methi Keema, Salli, Pao (add Bheja) was a fun course.
Our waiter suggested he’d explain one bowl once we’d enjoyed it. Guesses flew round the table, but none of us guessed it was (spoiler alert!) goats brain! First time for us!
The atmosphere was relaxed and lively. Tucked in our leather booth, we enjoyed laughing and celebrating.
Little bowls of Ceylon Jheenga Curry and Wild Boar Vindaloo turned up. The vindaloo was terrific, according to James and the birthday boy, but too hot for us girls to try. The food is pretty spicy here, so perfect for your chilli loving loves.
Both served with Dal Maharani, Khumb Palak (Bread Basket or Basmati Rice).
Desserts were the exciting sounding Cardamom & Strawberry Kheer and Ras Malai, Tandoori Pear Chutney.
One was basically a rice pudding, which was sweet, oozy and satisfying. The other was a bit like curds and whey. Not quite our cup of tea (‘tho’ nice flavour and super pretty)
I’ve enjoyed the delightful vintage English cups and plates.
42 ALBEMARLE STREET
Andy thoroughly enjoyed his birthday lunch. We spilled out onto the street and head for Fortnum’s which is just round a few corners. With the sun blazing all weekend, Andy has a plan to cook on his Big Green Egg and lay in the sun, so we need a butcher.
First, however, Charlotte and I got distracted by the beautiful floral decoration on the Fortum and Mason spiral stairs.
Catching up with the boys, we find them at the meat counter.
Andy was after a Short Rib (or Jacobs Ladder). He prefers to buy impossibly huge joints of meat in the firm belief they cook and taste better.
I can’t argue they do always taste awesome and I can’t help but smile at their enthusiasm, whilst knowing we will be using up this joint for daays!
James’s time-lapse video of the butcher at work is enjoyed by all.
You can take a butchers as well, if you like.
And finally, with the meat smoking in the Big Green Egg and the sun blazing, Andy finishes his birthday floating about with a cold glass of wine. Happy Birthday my love.