Gaylords needs no introduction to most Mumbaikars, especially those in South Mumbai. Established in 1956, Gaylords is an iconic landmark in itself and is probably one of the first restaurants in Mumbai which served both Indian & Continental dishes along with having a bakery which is at par with any protected heritage of the city and one which generations swear by. Thus, with so much of tradition in place, much appreciated old-world charm intact and patrons who have memorized the menu from memory, any change in the menu is news – big news!
Thus when a few of us were invited to check out the additions to the menu at Gaylords, there was no hesitation in accepting. Noel D’Souza, General Manager of Gaylords at Churchgate since 1987 (just think about it, that’s nearly 3 decades!) himself received us and briefed us about the new additions – the additions were mostly in the Indian section and I was full of anticipation as Gaylord has a reputation of serving delicious and authentic Indian cuisine. And sitting there amidst familiar large painting which depicts a bygone era, I was comfortably at home, probably because I too had been visiting the place for about a decade now.
Gaylord’s menu is quite large and has quite a variety and I was a little surprised that they’d want a change. I was glad to learn that only a small segment would be changed, hopefully for the better, while keeping the favourites in place.
To quench the parched throat on a hot summer afternoon, I asked for a Caprioska – the citric notes were certainly cooling but I was more attracting to the Watermelon-Guava Mocktail – this was infinitely more refreshing.
Kulhar ki Tangdi – chicken drumsticks served in little earthen pots. Such was wonderfully plated dish this was with tangy spicy mint chutney and onions at the bottom of the pot and the chicken drumsticks placed right into it all.
What I loved was the very rustic flavours and smokiness in the chicken. There was absolutely no stringiness in the chicken – a sure hit on the menu! The Chaamp Taajdar, for me was the hero among the appetizers – classic North Indian style mutton ribs with a marinade of yoghurt and spices, the flavours came through with every bite and there was quite a bit of tender meat on the ribs which came off the bone easily – loved it! Lasooni Fish Tikka – the surmai had a fine balance of spices, slightly heavy on the garlic which I loved. The fish was well done without being overcooked in the slightest and the moist texture spoke of the freshness; I’d recommend this any day!
For the vegetarians, there was Dahi Cheese Rolls – vegetarian kebabs which were slightly tangy and emanated a wonderful aroma of spiced cottage cheese; and Kulfi Ke Kebab – now that’s a dish I wasn’t too comfortable with, the spices were rather strong and rather mismatched. The Chatpata Aloo stole my heart – unbelievable how such a simple dish could turn out to be the star of the dished! The marriage of the tangy spices with ginger which coated the potatoes was a match made in heaven! Salad was served; Prawn and Bell Pepper Salad was made of fresh prawns, eggs, olives – and lots and lots of mayonnaise. This tasted something like a prawn cocktail with the works; the excess mayo took away the freshness of the salad.
The mains comprised of the sweetly named Cooker Ka Kukkad which came in its own little red cooker on a little burner. “That’s the way we cook chicken at home” was the thought that crossed my mind; it’s a fine dish if one is aiming for a ghar ka bana hua desi type chicken.The Mutton Dum Biryani was as full of flavour as dum biryanis are – came in its own little little pot with the roti-like seal which was opened at the table releasing enough aroma to waft across numerous tables. While once again this was standard fare and nothing truly unusual about it, the spices had been balanced right and the mutton beautifully done and completely delicious; definitely would love to try it when I am not so loaded with starters.
The Chatpata Aloo stole my heart – unbelievable how such a simple dish could turn out to be the star of the dished! The marriage of the tangy spices with ginger which coated the potatoes was a match made in heaven! Tasted superb with naan as did the Hanky Shanky Korma chicken – a tomato based chicken curry which is simple and delectable.
Stomach more than full, soul satiated, I was more than prepared to sacrifice dessert – till I saw it was presented. I would have never associated Gaylord with dry ice and fog effect desserts – but there it was! A variation of the famed dessert from Hyderabad, Khumani ka Meetha, came resplendent in its ice fog giving it an ethereal appearance. Loaded generously with a variety of variety fruits, this apricot based dessert was perfect – not too sweet and easy on the palate.
Despite a couple of misses here and there, the additions to the already extensive menu at Gaylord add a new twist to an already popular story. The gracious genteel service which the restaurant is well known is a bonus.
Would I visit again? A resounding yes!
Cheers to the continued tradition of grace and courteous hospitality that Gaylord is renowned for.
Ratings out of 5
Food: 3.5 | Ambiance: 3.5 | Service: 3.5 | Overall: 3.5
Meal for Two with Alcohol: Rs.2000 Approximately plus taxes| Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes|
Timing: 12 noon to 3:30 pm & 7:30 pm to 11:30 pm | Wheelchair acess : Yes
Address: Mayfair Building, Veer Nariman Road, Churchgate, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400020
Telephone : +91 022 2282 1259
Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgement 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.