Karam Sethi, founder and chef patron of Michelin-starred Trishna London, has revealed plans to open his second London venture in Mayfair this summer.
Gymkhana, inspired by the Colonial Indian social and sports clubs of the same name, will open in a two floor site at 42 Albemarle Street in late July or early August. The space, which was previously home to 2,865 sq ft Korean restaurant Kaya, has been taken on a 15-year lease that began in December 2011. Rent is £120,000 a year.
Trishna’s senior sous chef Nand Kishor will head up the kitchen at Gymkhana serving modern Indian food with a focus on the tandoor oven and sigri charcoal grill.
“The food at Gymkhana is going to be a reflection of the bar food of gymkhana clubs, such as plates of different chops, kebabs, tikkas, lots of different curries and biryanis – food that can be described as chatpatta, which means very fiery and moreish, quite simple and food that goes really well with alcohol,” Sethi (pictured) told Caterer and Hotelkeeper.
The bar at Gymkhana, which Sethi aims to be “as Indian as possible” will offer modern interpretations of old East Indian punch tavern recipes, with a focus on spirits, tonics and mixers from the subcontinent, such as arrack, feni and jenever. Sethi’s sister and Trishna sommelier Sunaina Sethi has devised the wine list.
The 65-seat ground floor is inspired by East India Punch Taverns, and with more intimate seating of 45-50 in the basement vaults. The décor will aim to reflect the Colonial gymkhana clubs, featuring heavily grained woods, slatted rosewood panelling, cane furniture, marble and brass.
Commenting on whether he aims to replicate his debut success with Michelin last year, Sethi said: “If it comes, it comes.
“We won’t be breaking our back to get it but if we stick to what we do best then hopefully we’ll get the recognition but it’s not something that we will chase.”
Restaurant Property agency director David Rawlinson, who advised Sethi on the property deal, said: “This convivial format of opulence and celebration is set to become a Mayfair favourite.”
Caterer and Hotelkeeper – 28th May 2013 – [read article]