Gymkhana will open at 42 Albemarle Street, Mayfair, on 10th September; a second venture for Karam Sethi who earned his first Michelin star in 2012 as Patron Chef of Trishna London.
The 100 cover restaurant is inspired by the Colonial Indian gymkhana clubs, set up by the British Raj, where members of high society came to socialise and play sport. Renowned for their excellent tandoori and chatpatta food and sense of conviviality, Sethi will bring the clubs’ dining culture to Mayfair.
The interior design of Gymkhana, by B3, references British Raj India with ceiling fans that hang from a dark-lacquered oak ceiling, cut glass wall lamps from Jaipur, hunting trophies from the Maharaja of Jodhpur and Grandmother Sethi’s barometer. Reminiscent of the gymkhana clubs, the dining room is flanked by turned oak booths with marble tables and fluted, bitter chocolate leather banquettes.
Brass edged tables and rattan chairs punctuate the dining space, which is embellished with Punch sketches and Indian sports prints and divided by lead framed, mottled glass screens. A large marble bar stands before an antique leaded mirror work, providing a backdrop to the room.
Karam Sethi commented:
“The social and sports clubs of India have always been renowned for serving excellent tandoori and chatpatta food. Their dining culture is about sharing – frequently with copious amounts of alcohol – and I wanted to capture that sense of opulence and celebration at Gymkhana. I’m looking forward to the restaurant being a convivial and accessible addition to Mayfair’s iconic dining scene.”
Sethi’s menu is modern Indian with a focus on the tandoor oven and sigri charcoal grill. Signature dishes include club-style nashtas (Indian all-day snack fare) such as Duck egg and white crab bhurji, kerala paratha (£6.00); Paper Dosa, Chettinad duck, coconut sambal (£6.00); and Veal sweetbread and wild mushroom dopiaza (£6.00).
Dishes such as Achari roe deer chops, pickling spices, clove smoke, mustard mooli (£24.00); Jungli grouse, grouse leg naan, moong-urad-masoor lentils, smoked aubergine bharta chutney (£22.00); and Gilafi buffalo seekh kebab, coriander and black salt chutney (£10.00) will be served roasted from the tandoor.
Seasonal curries and biryanis will be available, such as Dum pukht muntjac biryani (£24.00); Suckling pig shank vindhaloo (£20.00); and Lucknawi kid goat raan (£50.00 to serve two), and are accompanied by traditional Indian naans, parathas, kulchas and rotis from the tandoor and tawa skillet (£1.50 each). The dessert menu features a selection of kulfi falooda, with flavours including saffron pistachio, alphonso mango and rose water (£7.50), as well as a classic Jaggery Caramel Custard (£6.50).
Trishna Sommelier and Zagat 30 under 30 award winner, Sunaina Sethi, has created an extensive wine list, showcasing bottles from all over the world, including many from lesser known vineyards. Glasses start at £6, bottles from £21 and Champagne will be available from £12 per glass and £55 for a bottle.
The lower ground floor will be a modern day interpretation of a 17th Century East India punch house, with a grand aged brass bar at its heart. The room will feature slatted oak wall panelling, porcelain chequerboard floor tiles and inky blue leather love booths and banquettes, whilst two secluded, sunken vaults will seat larger groups. For special occasions, group menus will include game bird, Lucknawi raan and tandoori guinea fowl feasts, which all come with nashtas, side dishes and desserts to share (starting price £60 per person).
For the first time in London, a bar will feature a range of spirits, tonics and mixers from the sub-continent including Old Monk rum, Amrut whiskey and arrack produced from coconut sap. Signature punches derived from old recipes will be served in wax-sealed glass bottles, such as the Regent’s Punch (£12.50), containing arrack, cognac and Assam tea, served with a nutmeg, grater and Champagne for dilution. Alternatively, the Classic Arrack Punch will be accompanied by second flush Darjeeling tea (£12.50).
The cocktail menu will include the Ooty Town Gimlet, made with Old Raj Export Gin and crystalized rose petals (£10.50) and a Flutterby Lassi with Butterfly Boston absinthe, cucumber and dill (£8.50). Absinthe will be served using the traditional ritual of an absinthe fountain, which steadily drips water over a sugar cube into a glass of absinthe and spices below. There will be a bespoke list of gin and tonics, whilst the beer menu will present Gymkhana’s own house Pale Ale alongside Little Creatures, 400 Pound Monkey and Meantime.
To complement the liquors, a bar menu featuring Masala cassava chips (£3.00), Game keema naan, Indian cucumber raita (£4.50), Amritsari shrimp, mooli chutney (£5.00), Curry leaf chicken chops (£6.00) and Quail pakoras (£5.00) will be available.
Gymkhana is the second venture for Karam Sethi. He is also the owner and head chef of Trishna, Marylebone, which specialises in the coastal cuisine of south-west India. In 2012, Karam received his first Michelin star at the restaurant, whilst his previous experience includes Bukhara in Delhi, Trishna Mumbai and later, Zuma London.
For more information about Gymkhana, please visit: www.gymkhanalondon.com.
Spacetailors Ltd are a refurbishment and fit-out contractor specialising in the leisure and hospitality industry. The company has been in operation for almost 50 years, and within this time has developed a wealth of expertise in interior space design, refurbishment and maintenance works.
Recent projects for Spacetailors Ltd include the creation of the UK’s most luxurious Odeon cinema, as well as the UK’s largest IMAX and various restaurants including Tortilla and Pho. Working on Gymkhana, Spacetailors Ltd are creating a two-storey high-end restaurant with beautiful finishes.
Commenting on their involvement on Gymkhana, Managing Director of Spacetailors Ltd, Andrew Powell, said:
“It was a very important project for us to work on. The restaurant is located in a high profile site in the centre of Mayfair and this is a sector we are currently looking to expand on.”
“At Spacetailors we pride ourselves in our great quality of work and we always strive to meet our clients’ deadline. It is very important to us that we always do top quality work and this allows us to benefit from repeat business.”
RBL Services Ltd
RBL Services Ltd, a NIC EIC registered company, has been a provider of electrical contract work since 1987. Electrical Services include CCTV, data, alarm installation, electrical contract and fit-out work. The company has a wide ranging client base covering Blue Chip companies, retail and cinemas, to mention a few. All RBL technicians are fully certified and skilled to carry out work to exacting standards and offer nationwide coverage.