Gymkhana reopens in Mayfair

The Michelin-starred Indian restaurant rises from the ashes of a devastating 2019 fire, offering contemporary cuisine by executive chef Jitin Joshi

The lower-ground dining room has a decadent ambience, mixing low-level lighting and rich accents of red
The lower-ground dining room has a decadent ambience, mixing low-level lighting and rich accents of red

On 6 June 2019, the Michelin-starred restaurant Gymkhana was engulfed by fire, devastating the Mayfair property. Now the restaurant – inspired by the elite gymkhana clubs of India, where members socialise, dine, drink and play sport – has risen from the ashes and reopens its doors to diners this week. 

The luxurious Gymkhana interiors were conceived by Samuel Hosker
The luxurious Gymkhana interiors were conceived by Samuel Hosker
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Samuel Hosker, design director for JKS Restaurants group, has conjured a luxurious interior mixing British and Indian design references. The ground-floor dining room fuses leather with cane-work seats inspired by Pierre Jeanneret’s classic Chandigarh chairs, while downstairs in the lower-ground-floor restaurant the mood switches to dark and decadent. Here, intimate lighting sets the tone for rich woods and red leather seating under a scarlet panelled ceiling, while original Gymkhana objets – from hunting trophies said to have come from the Maharaja of Jodhpur to lamps from Jaipur – are scattered throughout the spaces.

A signature dish of dosa with Chettinad duck and coconut chutney
A signature dish of dosa with Chettinad duck and coconut chutney
A view of the ground-floor restaurant leading to the bar, which will serve speciality house cocktails
A view of the ground-floor restaurant leading to the bar, which will serve speciality house cocktails

Executive chef Jitin Joshi heads the kitchen with cuisine highlighting tandoor-oven roasts and seasonal curries. His new à la carte menu includes dishes such as dosa (a type of crispy pancake) with Chettinad duck and coconut chutney (£12.50) and kid-goat methi keema (a spicy curry) served with salli (potato sticks) and pao (a type of bread), priced £13. Meanwhile, the five-course Venison Feast menu (£90; wine pairing is an additional £95) includes delights such as venison boti sula kebab, and there’s a “Hunters” alternative (£90; wine pairing £70) focusing on fare like game-bird baida roti (egg roll) served with gur (a type of cane sugar) and girolle (mushroom) pickle. Those popping in for lunch can expect two- and three-course menus, priced from £27.50.

Wild muntjac biryani with pomegranate and mint raita
Wild muntjac biryani with pomegranate and mint raita
The house’s signature Peach Blow Fizz cocktail
The house’s signature Peach Blow Fizz cocktail

New cocktails have been created to whet the appetite, including a Peach Blow Fizz (£14), blending green mango with Tanqueray gin, frozen yoghurt, egg white and soda, while the House Martini (£14) is a nod to the original dirty martini with an Indian twist – an olive-brine poppadom.

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