My dining companion makes an interesting observation as we are seated at the upper level of the 1956-founded Gaylord. ‘How come everyone emerging from this flight of steps is smiling!’ she points out. I suspect it’s the warm, comfortable vibe that this iconic restaurant exudes, reinforced by the warm smiles of all the caring, attentive staff.
After all, some of these well-groomed gentlemen have been here a good 35 years! The ever gracious Noel D’Souza, who has been the General Manager since 1987, welcomes us, shares details about the new special menu and leaves us in the care of Anthony Pereira, who promptly gauges our likes before suggesting drink options.
As we sip on our flavourful Pineapple Mojito and Minty Melon, the starters start coming in...and pretty much fill up any desire for mains. There are Kashmiri Rolls, which are cottage cheese rolls with dry fruit and spices, and Paneer Palak Quesadillas which combine Indi-Mex flavours with water-chestnut salsa. While the rolls come with the familiar taste of saffron and a sprinkling of nuts, it’s the crunchy, cheesy quesadillas that intrigue.
The Joojeh Kebabs are evidently a winner—my fellow diner raves about the Iranian-style boneless chicken leg morsels in saffron-flavoured marinade.
And expectedly, after one more round of drinks, we are simply too stuffed to do justice to the Tava pe Kheema (judged superlative) and the mildly spiced mixed veg and dal that our server Manohar cajoles us to eat a little more of. We give in to his suggestion of having ‘just a little kulfi’ to end our lovely lunch… and then continue to sit there chatting lazily, not quite willing to move… Meals at Gaylord are like that only! Go sample its new menu comprising Indian speciality cuisine and grills, crafted by their Delhi-based expert chef Zaheer Khan. You will be smiling too.
Where: Gaylord, Mayfair Building, Veer Nariman Road, Churchgate, Mumbai