If you’re looking for London restaurants to celebrate Diwali next week, then look no further than Michelin-starred Gymkhana and Trishna, and the newly opened Brigadiers. The restaurants will be transofrming themselves into Diwali-inspired floral masterpieces, incorporating bold and striking marigold chains, exotic flower curtains and sparkling lights to create show-stopping displays for passers-by and guests to enjoy before dining.
Gymkhana, famed for its contemporary and classic Indian food, has recently appointed internationally-renowned Jitin Joshi as their Executive Chef. Originally from India, Joshi trained at the prestigious Oberoi School in Delhi, before beginning his culinary career in Jaipur. In 2001 he moved to London under Eric Chavot at the Capital Hotel, which at that time held two Michelin stars. By 2005, he was Head Pastry Chef at Gordon Ramsay’s new restaurant, Maze, which went on to win its first Michelin star within a year. Following this, he spent several years working at Benares, combining his knowledge and experience of Indian food with his French cooking skills. After two year’s working at Vatika, Hampshire, in 2011 Joshi relocated to Dubai to take up the role of Head Chef at the Amal restaurant within the Armani Hotel, where he celebrated Time Out’s ‘Best Indian Restaurant Award’ two years in a row. Promotions in Dubai saw him take on the Executive Chef position at Atmosphere, the world’s tallest restaurant located on the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa, before embarking on the huge task of becoming Executive Chef for the Taj Hotel, overseeing all 10 F&B operations. His role at Gymkhana in Mayfair, which currently holds one Michelin star, will see him oversee all menus with long standing duo, Sid Ahuja and Vipin Gairola.
This includes the outstanding 6-course Diwali tasting menu with mouth-watering dishes including Tandoori Masala Lamb Chop & Boti Kebab, which I’d argue is the most delicious lamb I have ever tasted, and the Guinea Fowl Biryani, Pomegranate & Mint Raita, which is impressive in its unorthodox presentation of a pie and delectbale in taste.
There is a sister vegetarian 6-course Diwali tasting menu, which includes Wild Mushroom Pepper Fry with Malabar Paratha, Subz Seekh Kebab with Roasted Sesame Chutney and Kala Moti Pilau with Cashewnuts & Paneer. Both feast menus end with a choice of signature desserts including a Diwali classic, warm Jalebi or a fragrant Saffron Pistachio Falooda.
Trishna will also offer a 6-course Diwali tasting menu, with much loved south-west Indian coastal inspired dishes such as Koliwada Squid & Shrimps, Hariyali Bream and Meen Manga Curry. The equivalent vegetarian 6-course menu will offer Artichoke & Squash Samosa, Paneer Tikka Anardana and Baingan Kohlapuri. Both menus end with a choice of either Gulabi Chenna Payesh or Orange Malpua Rabri.
Both restaurants will also be serving Diwali-inspired cocktails throughout the month of November. Gymkhana will be mixing-up a Silver Leaf Fizz (gin, lemon, Thandai soda & silver leaf) designed to give health and wealth to those celebrating the festival of light, whereas Trishna’s cocktail, Prosperity is inspired by the richness of Diwali, made from Pear Verjus, Champagne and Marigold bitters to echo the colourful restaurant-front marigold-abundant installations.
Brigadiers, the Indian barbeque and drinking tavern in the City, will welcome meat-eating enthusiasts with two sharing Diwali menus: The Game Feast, with dishes including Guinea Fowl & Lotus Root Chaat, Wild Rabbit Masala Chicken Skins and a warming Partridge Korma, and the Venison Beast Feast, with dishes such as Venison Tikki Bun Kebabs and Nargisi Koftas and almighty Achari Masala Venison Chops – all of which can be enjoyed with Johnny Walker whisky cocktails.
Looking for the ultimate group Diwali celebration? Then opt for an all-singing Bollywood karaoke session in the Bidi private dining room or try and play your cards right with a hosted cards night in the adjacent Kukri private dining room.
The Diwali menus and Private Dining Room entertainment at Brigadiers will be available from Monday 5th – end of December, equally with an authentic dress up candle-lit Diwali Feast Dinner on Saturday 10th November.