We were invited to this prestigious looking Indian restaurant on a breezy Melbourne night. Prestigious is hardly a word I’ve used to describe any Indian restaurant before, as none of the Indian restaurants in Clayton look remotely close to this. The interior made me feel like royalty, speaking of which are in complete shambles atm, but not here at Gaylords! I was so immersed in the place that I forgot to take pics, feel free to use your imagination, or a quick Google search will get you there.
Helen couldn’t make it with me on this particular night, she was partying it up at a hens party. Luckily I had an extremely keen +1. It was his first time at a food invite event, and I was really concerned he would not enjoy it. I felt this pressure I had never felt before, it was a lot more stressful than taking the photos and writing this blog post! I was so happy and relieved to hear that he loved the whole experience, and couldn’t wait for me to take him again!
We started off with an impressive looking entree called Pani Puri (Crisp fried balls stuffed with potatoes, chickpeas and sweet and spicy tangy sauce). I had never seen this dish in my life and was fascinated by this magical green potion! The idea is to pour this sauce into the crisp balls and eat it in one go. It was delicious – loved it! As soon as the ball collapsed in my mouth, the explosion of flavours from the sauce was intense. I could picture this sauce being a great shot chaser, I suggested to the owner that he may want to consider putting a shot of vodka or something in the fried ball, he laughed and said that he considered it already. Guess great minds think alike!
The Beetroot Tikki was advertised as a croquette, but felt more like a pancake to me. It was interesting but I was expecting it to be crispier. The peppercorn chicken tikka was more of what I was used to from other Indian places. This one was top notch, perfect flavours and the peppercorn was a nice touch.
Now onto our unanimous favourite dish of the night, the Methi Marg (Tender pan-seared free range chicken with curried fenugreek). I do not know what fenugreek is, tried to Google it and it’s a herb. Well that’s good enough for me! Putting tender on the menu is brave, it had to deliver, and it sure did. This was one of the softest pieces of chicken I’ve had, with a huge hit of herby flavours. The vegetable dumplings were also really special with the sweet centre. It had prunes, sultanas, and cashews for a bit of texture. I can’t remember the last time I ate prunes, 2020 is full of surprises.
I have to be honest and say that I wasn’t looking forward to dessert. Indian desserts are generally too sweet for me, along with traditional Greek or Turkish desserts. I was shocked to find that this was not the case at all with the Gajrella (Caramelised carrot pudding, pistachio & cashew nuts). I’m a fairly recent carrot convert, and hated carrots throughout my whole childhood. Maybe it’s the fact that I couldn’t taste the carrot, but this dessert was really enjoyable. Reminded me of a carrot yoghurt dessert I had in Greece years ago.
All in all, a fantastic night with great food. Huge thanks to Gaylord Indian Restaurant for their hospitality. Their aim was to take us through an Indian food journey, and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. If anything, we found the restaurant a bit difficult to find. A huge tip for you guys is to look for the hotel car park, and the entrance is through there. With our stomachs full of food, and a smile on our faces, my +1 and I decided to take a leisurely stroll around Southbank afterwards. The perfect ending to his first food invite event.
Gaylord Indian Restaurant
Approx $40 AUD per person
Address: 33 Spencer Street, Docklands VIC 3008
Phone: +61 3 9663 3980