Gymkhana is a Mayfair restaurant that elevates classic Indian staples like a simple dhal or spiced rice to while still staying true to each dish’s humble origins. Standouts like the soft shell crab with crunchy bhel (puffed rice) or the wild muntjac biryani feel refined and impressive, but not in a way that will stop you from happily demolishing it, and then ordering another one.
Speaking of ordering more, your bill at Gymkhana can certainly add up. This is an expensive, upscale experience. But you can also keep things reasonable by sharing a few dishes with friends or coming at lunch. We’d even recommend popping in and trying to grab one of the five or so bar seats for a high level Dining Solo experience. No matter how you do it, know that this is some of the best Indian food you’ll find in a city famous for it.
South Indian Fried Chicken Wings
Ever wondered what a posh Indian restaurant can do with your garden-variety chicken wing? Now you know: incredible things.
Soft Shell Crab, Wild Rice Bhel
The dweeb inside us marvels at the crunchy rice bhel, which is delicate and crispy and ridiculously tasty. But then we remember there’s a world-beating soft shell crab on top of it. Really rather good, and if it’s on the lunch menu, get it.
Kid Goat Keema, Salli, Pao
The keema is a spicy, intense mincemeat made of a kid goat. It’s really, really good, and perfect on top of the soft toasted white buns that accompany it. Imagine the best sloppy joe you’ll ever eat.
Guinea Fowl Pepper Fry
This would be the best dish on the menu at any other Indian restaurant. But this isn’t ‘any other Indian restaurant’.
Hariyali Bream, Tomato Kachumber
A lovely piece of fish, cooked perfectly and covered in a very spicy coriander chutney. It’s nice, but with all the other excellent things to eat on this menu, you can safely give it a miss.
Roe Deer Chop
A must order. You can easily share this giant hunk of baby deer meat between your table—and you should. It’s incredibly tender and tastes totally different to venison you’ve tried elsewhere.
Wild Muntjac Biryani
This is the best thing we’ve eaten in London in ages, and might be the best thing on the menu at Gymkhana. The biryani will make you understand why people go apeshit over this stuff in the first place, and even the pastry it’s baked in is utterly delicious. Unbelievably good.