Wednesday, February 12

Food: Gaylord Restaurant Click for more info

I challenge any East London schooled lad to resist chuckling at the name of tonight's restaurant. I mean: seriously? That being said I did already know that the place had been around for a while, well before its name became commonly used in a 90's school playground. But still, chuckle.

What made tonight really interesting (and possibly something I should be writing about separately, except I'm too lazy), was that it was actually hosted by a restaurant reviewing website I contribute to. This meant three things: firstly that it was to be a free meal; secondly that we were to be treated like royalty; and thirdly that it was to be a free meal. Now I'm not a foodie (which by the way is exactly how I had introduced myself to everyone tonight - insecure much?), but I do believe I have credibility and integrity and so apart from the over done transparency in this paragraph here's my official disclaimer: I have no doubt that my experience will be different to that which you might receive, and so if you choose to ignore this review I wouldn't blame you. It is only for completeness that I write it at all.

Gaylord in many ways is a typical Classic London Indian restaurant, and in many ways reminded me of my poignantly favourite of the bunch, Khan's of Bayswater. The menu (we had a special one created for us. Wowzer) was derivative of the normal; which is absolutely not to say it was bad, just not unique. We had the standard kebabs, tikka, prawns, butter chicken, paneer, dhal, chickpeas, nan, rice and poppadoms (I may have messed up the order a little). Of these the chops were the most visually impressive, being the size of my face, even though they didn't quite hit the spot taste wise. Oh and although we had them first I have saved mentioning the best for last - some amazingly novel amuse bouche consisting of gol guppay (or pani puri in my tongue), bhel puri and some papri chaat, all joyously delivered to us. It was a genius stroke as it really did literally get the party started. I'm not sure whether these were available on the a la carte menu, but if you visit make sure you ask for them anyway. Desert was kulfi and a flaming ball of gulab jamun laced with spiced rum - I of course took the virgin (and hence flameless) version. It looked more exciting than it tasted.

The service deserves a paragraph of its own. I don't think I've ever been to a medium class Indian joint with such good service: the servers were professional yet informal, and it almost felt like we had friends serving us at times. The manager was in a class of his own: words like humble, sweet, polite and conscientious immediately spring to mind. So yes, top marks for service (although I do have to once again point out that dastardly second paragraph up there. I know, boo). Price wise I cannot comment, but I would find it really hard to imagine a meal costing more than twenty a head here.

The overall evening was massive fun and a big part of that was, as always, due to the venue, and as my more experienced diner friends pointed out, some things can't be faked. But if I normalise my experience and remove the context, I think I would settle with saying Gaylord is a very solid place about which I have nothing special, but more importantly nothing bad, to say and if I ever happen to be in Oxford Street and fancied an Indian, I now know where I'd go.

1 comment:

  1. Haven't been there since the early 1980s!