The bar at Gilgamesh
Gilgamesh – the favoured Pan-Asian haunt of many a quality celebrity guest and, more recently, the cast of Celebrity Big Brother. After my fellow diner and I had walked the short distance from Camden tube station, pointing out our favourite summertime watering holes and shops to pick up general tat from along the way, we were genuinely surprised to discover that our dining destination was in fact a complete tardis of a place, accessed via an escalator which ascended into one of the most atmospheric restaurants either of us had visited. Think Babylonian-esque decor, heavy dark wooden furnishings, carved figures and moody lighting. We were politely escorted to the bar area where we indulged in a champagne cocktail (well, when in Babylon) served with prawn crackers and sweet chilli dip.
Headed by chef Ian Pengelley, the newest addition to the Gilgamesh menu is the Super Food selection. You can guess that, yes, it pretty much does what it says on the tin; filled with superfood, lots of green things and collagen – yes, collagen. Apparently the stuff that Katie Price et al pump into their lips is better for us when dissolved into a clear tomato soup. You may be cynical, but if looking good tastes this delicious then that’s ok with me. We tried…
Tomato and cardomom clear soup with collagen and tomato jelly £6.50
Avocado and wheatgrass shot £5.50
Seaweed and moss salad with sesame seed and peanut dressing £11
Grilled salmon, wilted spinach and wheatgrass sprout salad with ginger sauce £18
Green tea brulee £7.50
(See the website for the full menu)
The only thing we (or, I) wasn’t convinced on was the avocado shot. I’m sure the health benefits are indeed super, it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I did however enjoy the rest of the dishes, especially the fact that the soup was presented in a glass teapot – I love a bit of quirk.
What was more my kind of thing were the other tasty dishes we had from the main menu. Which included soft shell crab sushi, duck spring rolls (best ever – and I am picky), jasmine rice, chilli chicken and a delicious melt in the middle chocolate pudding. We managed to spend four hours eating, gossiping, eating and enjoying a wonderful evening.
The dining room
Feeling a bit virtuous having (me) gagged on an avocado shot and Kyrsty having actually enjoyed it, it proved to be an evening of contrast. It’s certainly somewhere to take a special person to make a good impression, although in a bit of an unexpected location. But this once more proves exactly why I love London. The unexpected things usually turn out to be the best.
Visit Gilgamesh… The Stables Market First Floor Offices Chalk Farm Road, Camden, London, NW1 8AH [020 7482 5757]
Your super reviewers @KyrstyPops and @FashCatherine