THE MAGIC OF INDIAN
I love food. I love eating. I love restaurants. But I don’t like eating food in Indian restaurants. At least that’s what I thought…. Hubby trots off on regular forays ‘for a curry with the boys’, but it’s never what we do on date night or when out with friends. FOMO started to kick in… I’m missing out on a whole culinary experience. So I decided to try and convert myself and set off on a mission to try an Indian restaurant.
Gaylord in Mortimer Street, just off Portland Place in London W1 is a large, elegant, comfortable ‘special occasion’ type of Indian restaurant with a heavy white tablecloths, thick carpet, courteous service, and a beautiful menu – literally. A hardback portrait book in beautiful bronze with metallic detailing and raised type. This lavishness and attention to detail is a sign of what’s to come when you dine at this hallowed institution – the sort of place that Indian families have been going to for years, but I have only just discovered. Indeed, this year Gaylord is celebrating its 50th anniversary and to mark the occasion has launched its own label sparkling wine. We savoured this bubbly deliciousness while we nibbled on poppadoms and chutneys and perused the menu. Our charming waiter encouraged us to try Golgappa shots – not the kind we are used to, but little glasses filled with a spicy herbal liquid that you pour into a kind of hollowed out crisp profiterole and eat in one bite. We followed these with wonderful lamb shops, rubbed in a heady mix of spices and grilled, peshwari naan generously filled with nuts and raisins, gently spiced tandoori tilapia (fish), chicken Jalfrezi, and pilau rice. Indian restaurants do veggie stuff so well, and the cauliflower in light crisp batter was a total winner for us. We also devoured sag aloo potatoes with spinach and a fabulous scrambled cottage cheese with tomatoes. We finished off this feast with Kulfi, sweet little patties dowsed in sugar syrup, which are a traditional Indian dessert served with milky ice-cream in blocks rather than scoops.
Wonderful meal, beautifully served. I can’t say I’ve fallen head over heels just yet but it’s certainly got me thinking….