National Restaurant of the Year: Indian eatery Gymkhana is hottest restaurant in the UK


An Indian restaurant has been named National Restaurant of the Year in a sign that curry houses are now being taken seriously for their gastronomic excellence.

Gymkhana in London’s Mayfair is the first Indian restaurant to win the award, beating more traditional “fine dining” restaurants such as The Clove Club and The Ledbury, which came second and third respectively.

Inspired by colonial Indian gymkhana clubs, the restaurant blends authentic Indian food and modern British styling and became an immediate hit when it opened in September 2013. Chef Karam Sethi has become famous for his commitment to traditional Indian cuisine and his refusal to tone down its powerful flavours to suit the European palate.

Unlike your local curry house, however, a meal for two plus drinks at Gymkhana could set you back up to £100.  “It’s a testament to the quality of Gymkhana as well as the true diversity of the UK’s eating out scene that an Indian restaurant has been named the best place to eat out in the UK,” said Stefan Chomka, editor of Restaurant magazine.

The National Restaurant Awards, now in their seventh year, claim to eschew the elitism of other industry accolades.