Gaylord at Churchgate is a unique time wrap experience where classic in 50s style meets modern design, where young global visitors experience an open-air courtyard (now endangered), where classic pan Indian cuisine marries a modern bakery. No wonder Gaylord is a favorite family weekend dining destination.
Established in 1956, Gaylord is working hard amidst the noisy marketing by all and sundry to spread its wings and attract a younger, adventurous clientele. Gaylord is planning a series of special events over the next 6 months, beginning with Oktoberfest that started 28th September and will continue through mid October. Special meats are being imported and served to bring a flavour of Bavaria into Mumbai. As you walk into the open air dining courtyard, you start to get a flavour of Deutschland with Black, Yellow and Red drapes running across the ceiling and lighting in beer bottles. The table decor remains classic Gaylord with red and white-checkered tablecloth and wright iron chairs – which have been the same since Gaylord first opened in the 50’s. Gaylord has gone a fair distance in bringing classic Bratwurst, Black Forest Ham, tortes and Berliners to the menu for this limited period. Accompanying the food are a variety of global beers with one Bavarian specialty.
I used the opportunity to try the special Bavarian offering and their reputed north Indian menu at the same time. We started with the Indian kebabs – those succulent pieces of chicken cooked with egg and herbs that are soft and flavourful on the inside. You will not need the mint chutney with this masterpiece. We also tried the fish kebabs and prawns – both spicy and juicy to the core. The fish kebabs are classic north Indian flavours with soft Surmai. The starters were a perfect start to the gastronomical delight to be experienced this evening.
Next we ordered the Bavarian flair – a selection of sausages and ham with classic German bread and a chilled beer. The ham was amazingly juicy and smoky – a slow cooked meat that is hung in a smoke filled room for three days before being sliced. The meat was neither lean nor visibly fatty. The sausages were soft on the inside and crispy on the outside with unmatched flavours and freshness. Having been to Germany only recently, the meat platter was a true German meat experience. The accompanying cheese was welcome but I stuck to the meat and polished off the platter in quick time.
Conversation with Mr. Noel D’Souza – the general manager of Gaylord for over 25 years now, was fascinating. He was happy to share many stories on the growth and transformation of Mumbai’s business and cultural centers. Gaylord enjoys a very dedicated client, which includes many a film and corporate czars. The Mezzanine floor of the restaurant used to be a live band and dance floor – providing the audience with a very cozy and romantic ambience. Near the end of our dinner, we were fortunate to meet Gaylord’s CEO Mr. Malhotra, a highly engaging personality who loves to interact with his guests. He loves to share his personal stories from the early days of Gaylord, when the film community made Gaylord its regular meeting point. Stories of Yash Chopra, Rajesh Khanna, Jeetendra, Sunil Dutt and many greats from the 60’s capture the imagination of the guests at the table. One particular funny story is how Mr. Malhotra burnt the moustache of an industry leader while lighting his cigar, a memorable lesson that kept him from lighting cigars for a long time.
Post a hearty dinner of ladyfinger and a healthy dose of butter chicken, we were presented with the goodies from their bakery. The 20-year-old bakery is a very busy member of the Gaylord family, which prepares fresh goodies first thing in the morning and continues to update the supplies throughout the day. The bakery used to be an open kitchen affair, but due to a high number of orders, has moved its kitchen outside the premises. The pastries were classic Indian affairs with real freshness.
Gaylord leaves a charm that is unique and very difficult to describe – it has to be experienced. The team is very helpful, the interaction personal and the food fantastic. Gaylord lives and breathes Mumbai culture with class.
Ratings (Out of 5)
Food: 3.5 | Ambience: 4 | Service: 4 | Overall: 4
Meal for two: Rs.2500 | Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes | Timings: 12:30 – 15:30 hours, 19:30 – 23:30 hours | Wheelchair Access : No
Address: Veer Nariman Road, Churchgate, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400020
Tel: 022 2282 1259
This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgment and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review, but readers need to consider this review keeping this fact in mind.