Gilgamesh, Camden Stables

It was my friend’s birthday yesterday so we headed to the celebrity restaurant Gilgamesh, located in the Stables Market in Camden Town. There are 2 ways to get into Gilgamesh: either you go up the dramatic entrance with candles, red carpet and escalator, elevating you to the wonder that is Gilgamesh. Or you can take the stairs. Don’t be fooled however as the wide spiral staircase walls are engraved with a wood and bronze depiction of the Tree of Life. Impressive.

We were lucky enough to be seated at one of the top tables in the main restaurant/bar area, a horseshoe shaped banqueting seat surrounding a round table. So nice to be at a round table for dinner-everyone can see and speak to each other easily and there’s no one in a rubbish seat.

Probably the most amazing thing about Gilgamesh are the incredible decorations. Everything has been hand-carved, hand-made or hand-upholstered. The bar, which claims to be the longest in the world, was hand-crafted by 10,000 men in India and is embossed with lapis lazuli. The overall vibe is that of opulence, in hues of warm red, gold and bronze. The walls are adorned with the legend of Gilgamesh. This Babylonian king went on many quests and adventures (think Hercules) and all these exploits are carved onto the massive walls.

Of course the other thing Gilgamesh is famous for is their Pan-Asian food. The kitchen is run by celebrity chef  Ian Pengelley and there’s a reason why celebrities like Girls Aloud, Paris Hilton, and Emma Bunton have all flocked here in the past. We had the set menu (special offer in August- 50% off set menu) so were able to sample all 3 courses. And boy were they good!

The starters were some incredible crab and tuna sushi (4 pieces each) followed by a oriental beef salad…honestly the beef melted in the mouth it was tender and rare and oooh yum! The starters were presented so you had to share between 2 people but that just made it more fun!

Then the mains arrived. Everyone went for the Chicken Thai Curry served in bowls with rice, baby mushrooms and lots of gorgeous spices. Very fragrant and light. I, however, decided to be a rebel and try the honey-salmon. And honestly, I’m glad I did. It was beautiful. A nice square fillet of salmon presented on a rectangular white plate with a lovely sauce (not sure what it was but reckon there was sour cream in it?). It was sweet but not too sweet and the rice balanced it out nicely. The mains also came with a side of stir-fried morning glory! We all laughed when we read that. Turns out morning glory is a type of Chinese vegetable! Sort of like spinach. It was a little bit awkward eating with chopsticks and sitting so close to one another..there were a few eyes that nearly got poked out! But on the whole it the mains were a stupendous sucess.

The dessert however wasn’t as exciting but I guess it fulfilled it’s purpose: a light sort of blamange/cheesecake with a mango and passion fruit topping. The best part of it was the brandy snap balanced on top. Yum!

The only down side to Gilgamesh are the drinks. They cost a fortune (I kid you not, a bottle of still water was £4.50!) but it really is worth going there for a special occassion. Dramatic decor, succulent food, a good atmosphere…really highly recommend it to anyone!

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