Saturday, May 16, 2015

An Indian Feast at Gaylord London

Can you believe that my first experience with Indian food was just three years ago when I moved to London?  Up until then I'd never had Indian food.  Now I can't imagine a week going by with at least one curry night. Britain has a long standing love affair with Indian food dating back to their colonial relationship with the subcontinent.  Curry is as popular as fish & chips in the UK.  There are 9,500 Indian restaurants for the UK population of 64 million.  (Half of those are in London).  Compare that to 8,000 for the US population of 314 million and most Americans are missing out on some spicy special food.  

Gaylord Indian Restaurant London


I was invited to a blogger tasting recently and when I saw the menu my mouth started to water.  I knew that I had to go.   The Gaylord Restaurant is one of the oldest and most elegant of Indian restaurants in London.  It was established in 1966 (just like me) in the West End near Oxford Circus and Regent Street.  

(Now I have a confession to make.  I'm a very picky eater and I'm pretty stubborn about trying new things.  It's made my husband, and my parents before him, crazy at times.  But, if you're going to commit to doing a food review then you have to step up.  So, I went with an open mind and a commitment to at least try everything set before me.) 

Gaylord Indian Restaurant London

According to their website, Gaylord London specializes in Mughlai and Northern Indian fare served on white tablecloths.  Their motto is "tradition is always in" and the tradition of Mughlai dates back to the royal kitchens of medieval India.  They've added a touch of "western elegance and innovative presentation" to make this one of the top five Indian restaurants in the UK. 

I have to say that this meal was one of the best Indian meals I've experienced.  We started with a welcome drink of Sharabi Saffron Thandaior Virgin PaanMohito which was creamy and decadent with the bright bit of saffron floating on top.  Then it was time to experience an assortment of Amuse Bouche to get us started 

Gaylord Indian Restaurant London

Panipuri or gol gappa is a popular Indian street snack which is a hollow crisp pastry filled with a flavored water.  Ours came as a Golgappa Shot.  As instructed, I carefully poured some of the shot into the hollow ball and popped it into my mouth without making a mess.  The puri melted away with the spicy liquid.  I had a few more sips of the shot before the next offering came around. 

Gaylord Indian Restaurant London

A Mini BhelPuri cone which is puffed rice, vegetables and tamarind sauce.  Mine was particularly spicy hot so I'm afraid I couldn't finish this one.  Luckily, the next offering was already making the rounds. 

Gaylord Indian Restaurant London

Gaylord Indian Restaurant London

The AlooTokriChaat also packed a spicy hot punch, but even I can't resist a fried potato cake topped with wonderful flavors.  So far this plan to try everything is working out.  I was pretty proud of myself for trying everything and very pleased with the amazing flavors. 

Gaylord Indian Restaurant London


The final two offerings of MurgMalai Tikka and Zaffrani Chicken Tikka were easy options.  Bite size chunks of boneless tender chicken cooked in a clay oven after a marinade in yogurts and spices.  Tikka is one of my favorite Indian foods and these were perfect. 

Gaylord Indian Restaurant London

All of the canapes were amazing.  Gaylord is known for their catering and events service and it's because of the good food and the elegant way that it's served.  But, we were just getting started.  It was time for the starters. 

Gaylord Indian Restaurant London

This Tandoori Tiger Prawn was incredible.  Now remember, I'm a picky eater and usually never eat shrimp.  Well, that is no longer the case especially if it tastes like this.  It was hearty and meaty and full of flavor.  Uh oh, another thing I never eat, crab.

Gaylord Indian Restaurant London

The Crabcakes Dakshini with spices, watercress, sesame seeds were served on a sugarcane stick.  Not only did I try it but I ate every bit of it and then chewed on the sugarcane for a moment just so I'd remember the flavors.

Gaylord Indian Restaurant London

Then came this whimsical delight. I have to say their presentation throughout was well thought out and fun.  But, you certainly don't expect to see tacos on an Indian menu.  There were two options - Spicy Rajma with red kidney beans and Lamb Seekh Kebab.  I had the Rajma and loved it.  I love crunchy taco shells and kidney beans, the Indian spices just gave it an extra kick. And it was spicy hot.  I was searching for some yogurt to counteract the heat.  But I could have eaten another one, it was so good. 

Gaylord Indian Restaurant London

Can you believe that this wasn't even all of the starters?  There were three other dishes that I didn't get photos of.  After a few hours of amazing food and wine, we were just now getting to the mains. 

Gaylord Indian Restaurant London

There were six different mains on offer, but I only had room to try two of them.  The Lamb Chops Anardana was the winner.  Chargrilled with a spicy ginger infusion and pomegranate seeds, it fell off the bone and melted in my mouth. 

Gaylord Indian Restaurant London

I also tried the Butter Chicken which is a dish I love and often order when we are out for Indian.  All of the mains were served with lush sides and beautiful breads.  The Chana Peshawari is a Gaylord specialty, chickpeas in secret spices. 

Gaylord Indian Restaurant London

Our table was heaving with food, each dish distinct and special.  At this point we were all just communicating in happy eating noises.  I indeed felt like I was feasting from a Mughlai royal Indian kitchen. 

Gaylord Indian Restaurant London

Gaylord Indian Restaurant London

When they finally brought out the desserts I was waving my white napkin in surrender.  I couldn't possible eat another bite.

Gaylord Indian Restaurant London

But a dish served in this delicate silver box must be something special. 

Gaylord Indian Restaurant London

Gajar Halwa was certainly an unexpected treat.  It's a carrot pudding served warm with pistachios crumbled on top.  I know, warm carrot pudding?  But it was lovely, not too sweet, nice and light.  I only had a few bites but I did love it.  It was served with Rasmalai, a soft Indian cheesecake with cardamom scented sweet milk. 

Gaylord Indian Restaurant London

Finally, because we really hadn't had quite enough, Gulab Jamun flambeed in spiced dark rum.  Milk solids are kneaded into a dough, rolled into small balls and then deep fried.  For that extra presentation, add some rum and the spark from a lighter to end a very special meal.  

A very sincere thank you to everyone at the Gaylord Restaurant for taking exceptional care of us and for feeding us such an incredible feast.  Thank you for exposing me to new foods and flavors and expanding my horizons.  

79-81 Mortimer Street
London W1W 7SJ

This isn't your typical pub curry, this is traditional Indian fine dining at its best.  
Be sure to visit their website and take a look at the menu.  
They post a Recipe of the Month in case you want to try your hand at Indian cooking. 

And if you haven't yet experience Indian food,
find the best Indian restaurant in your city and have a feast.



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 *We received a complimentary meal from Gaylord London for the purposes of review.
All photos, writing and opinions are my own.
As always, I promise to be open, honest and transparent with my readers.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.


You can find this review and many others in my
London Attraction Guide.

7 comments:

  1. Yum! I love Indian food and I wish it was more popular in the States. And talk about amazing... the Indian food we had in actual India last year... wow, mouthwatering!

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  2. the food looks so amazing!!!!

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  3. This looks and sounds amazing! What an awesome selection of food. I do love me some Indian curry, can't go wrong with some garlic naan! xx

    Jasmin Charlotte

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  4. I have not had authentic Indian food yet, and I have a few friends from India, I guess I should request them have us over for dinner! ;)

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  5. my mouth is watering! Looks like it was a fun and tasty night.

    Ps. love the new look ;)

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  7. Wow, that food looks incredible! I don't think I've ever had real Indian food before, just curry. From what I here, there's a lot more to have than just that. It looks like there are a ton of amazing dishes to try from there, so I better get started. Thanks for sharing the tantalizing pictures! http://www.royalindia.com.au/about/

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