I had already been to Gymkhana (see previous review) which I thought was excellent but I thought I would quickly mention my second trip there as this time we had the game tasting menu. This time we were seated in the downstairs room which was cosy on a winter’s day but to say the light was limited would be an understatement, it is dark down there! So if you have problems reading menus in poor light, I would request an upstairs table or alternatively just go for one of their tasting menus and forget about straining to access the merits of various dishes.
The meal started with some poppadums served along with our drinks. We almost talked ourselves out from ordering the game tasting menu (minimum 2 people) but in the end we went for it; it is 5 courses for £65 including various sides. An unadvertised Potato Chat, Chickpeas, Tamarind, Sev then turned up as a sort of A.B.. This was very good with plenty of heat and a nice sweet and sourness.
The first proper course of Partridge Pepper Fry was top drawer, tender meat with excellent spicing. This also came with a piece each of pancake-like bread, which was a nice side. Gilafi Pheasant Seekh Kebabs, Pickled Green Chilli Chutney were perhaps even better than the first time we had them; being very moist.
Achari Wild Roe Deer, Mooli Pickle, Roe Deer Keema Naan was an excellent dish, the deer had been marinated deeply, giving it tons of flavour and it was cooked perfectly rare. The side of pickled white radish helped add a contrast to the richness of the meat. The dear keema naan was nice but it was probably not needed, maybe plain bread would have been better as this was slight meat overkill.
The final savory course consisted of Wild Muntjac Biryani with a Pomegranate and Mint Raita, served with Dal Maharani & Khati Meethi Baby Aubergine, and a Bread Basket. The aubergine was nice but unremarkable, while the dal was a pretty good example. The main event of biryani had well balanced flavours and for the most part was well cooked but unfortunately some of the smaller lumps of deer were a little over. This was not at all enough to spoil the dish but it showed that this meal was slightly below perfection for the kitchen.
I am not a big fan of Indian desserts but Chestnut and Date Kheer and Saffron Pistachio Kulfi Falooda were pretty good but still slightly suffered from being very sweet. The meal finished with a small piece of spiced white chocolate being served to each of us.
Note- this was a lot of food, there is plenty of opportunity to load up on bread along the way, I recommend holding back on the carbs. slightly early on. It was also not cheap, although the Achari Wild Roe Deer course was £40 on the a la carte menu. However, overall this was a terrific meal and Gymkhana is certainly one of London’s top Indian restaurants and I will be coming back again definitely.
Also posted to Chowhound at: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/919171