• Indian• Mayfair
Gymkhana is the second modern Indian restaurant from the JKS group, who made their name with the Michelin-starred Trishna before opening Gymkhana in 2013 and later adding Hoppers, BAO, Berenjak, Brigadiers and more. The restaurant, which also won a Michelin star a year after opening, used a long-term forced closure due to a fire to reinvent its dining room in 2020.
Inspired by Indian gymkhana clubs – sites of social interaction for Indian high society – the elegant restaurant is set across two floors in a beautifully decorated Albemarle Street townhouse. The lower floor features an exquisite and intimate bar, while the dining room upstairs is a combination of heritage British chic and modern Indian flair.
Not dissimilarly to other restaurants that have inhabited the modern Indian space in recent years, Gymkhana serves the kind of flavour-forward, region-specific dishes you might have eaten in Dishoom or Gunpowder, but with a sense of refinement, visual flair and deft touch you’d associate more with fine dining. Grilled meats from the tandoor oven are always special, while there’s a focus on game both in starters and mains, like the iconic muntjac deer biryani. A tasting menu offers five courses at £80.
In a word, the food at Gymkhana is fantastic. It is not precious and it is not fussy, but it is a restaurant that elevates classic Indian staples like a simple dhal or spiced rice to while still staying true to each dish’s humble origins.
Why do we balk at spending money on expensive Indian food? A meal at Gymkhana is an education
A well-oiled machine where primal pleasure is paramount
There are curry houses, there are posh curry houses, and then there’s Gymkhana, now National Restaurant of the Year