Gaylord is one of the oldest Indian Restaurants in London, having opened its doors in 1966, and this London institution is highly regarded for serving the finest Mughlai and North Indian authentic cuisine. Sloan plays a large part in deciding which restaurants to feature and included Gaylord as her parents had been going there for longer than she had been alive. It was time to investigate what keeps Gaylord’s customers so loyal and discover what makes this one of the top five Indian restaurants in Britain.
Situated in the heart of Fitzrovia on Mortimer Street, Gaylord’s menu consists of favourite traditional dishes which have been passed down from generation to generation together with more contemporary dishes that fuse tradition with a modern slant on Indian cuisine.
Served in relaxed surroundings with an all-ivory interior and minimalist glass frontage, the restaurant is reminiscent of the majestic golden era by way of the charming original art by Prithvi Soni adorning the walls. Gaylord was the first ever Tandoor to light a Charcoal Clay oven in the kitchen. The owners were so concerned that it should arrive safely when flown from India, it was given its own seatbelt on the aircraft! The same oven is still used today, almost 50 years on.
Sitting down to dinner on a Friday night there is an electric buzz in the air. Conversation is flowing and diners are relaxed, happy and celebrating that the weekend is finally here.
After a warm welcome and friendly chat with Gaylord Restaurant Manager, Ateen Dasgupta, some Golgappa Shots were brought to our table along with two Strawberry Bellinis.
For those of you who do not know about this dish, these puffed savouries contain coriander-chickpea tabbouleh and potato-cubes served on shot glasses containing date and jaggery sauce and spiced aromatic water. You stir the contents of the glass, a sweet minty concoction, and pour it into the yummy puffed savoury vessel.
Then you eat it quickly before it dissolves in your hand. I ate it so quickly my dining companion couldn’t snap the pics quick enough to get you an action shot but she was much faster for our flaming dessert… But let us not jump ahead of ourselves!
Starters provide so much choice, whether you choose off the traditional list or you order some of the main courses in a smaller portion, all conveniently priced up for you on the menu. We chose a combination of Murg Gilafi Sheekh – a succulent minced chicken dish with a kick that tantalised the taste buds perfectly – Lamb Shammi Kebab, Goan Soft Shell Crab and Tandoori Tiger Prawns.
And paired that with a mojito with a Gaylord twist, adorned with rose petals and containing enough sweetness to complement the tang.
We saw other diners order the crab cakes which we would have ordered if we had had room.
and we couldn’t help but love the look of the pulled chicken tacos. Inspired presentation.
Sticking to their philosophy ‘Tradition is always in’, Gaylord embraces Western elegance and innovative presentation whilst celebrating India’s best gastronomic classics and more. New dishes on the menu include the lamb shank (£18) which is tenderised in Gaylord spice mix, spicy red onion and plum tomato curry and mixed with Kashmiri red chilli oil. It is the perfect dish for those who love traditional British Lamb Shank, but appreciate an Indian adaptation to the original.
Whilst new dishes have been introduced, the classics remain, including their famous butter chicken (£15.50) a tandoori chicken deboned and cooked in classic tomato gravy with butter and cream, the lamb rogan josh (£15.50 – contains nuts) and not forgetting the chicken tikka masala (£15) or swap for king prawns (£20)
Vegetarian diners are not treated as an afterthought here, but can enjoy a selection of dishes including makhani paneer and chana peshawari. The dessert menu is looked after too, including Gulab Jamun – gelatinous, light doughy balls that are soaked in a honey liquid and flambéed in a dark spiced rum.
And of course we got some action shots that SLOAN! Magazine is famous for. Flame-tastic and taste-tastic all in one.
On the eve of their 50th anniversary, General Manager Sameer Berry commented, ‘After 6 years with Gaylord Restaurant, I am delighted to be part of such an historic time in the restaurant’s history. We are delighted with the design and dishes on the new menu, and planning exciting celebrations to coincide with our 50th anniversary.’
79-81 Mortimer Street, London W1W 7SJ
020 7580 3615