23rd Aug 2012 3:17pm | By Jahn Vannisselroy
Gilgamesh was the fifth ruler of modern day Iraq, and this opulent Camden restaurant would have certainly been more than fit for him – or any king for that matter.
The scene Low lighting, candlelit tables, sofas featuring rich red fabrics and carved scenes of ancient Babylon lend an air of romance to this massive establishment.
There’s also a fully retractable roof, enabling guests to dine beneath blue skies in the afternoon and starry skies in the evening. It’s an impressive scene.
The grub It’s often hard to find excellent gyoza, but Gilgamesh’s chicken foie gras offering is perfect: soft, filling and not too oily. The garlic chive mushrooms and prawn har gau dim sum are equally excellent.
However, it’s not quite enough, so we order the chef’s selection of sashimi, which arrives atop a bowl of dry ice that coats our table in a fine mist.
It’s a nice touch to a fresh and satisfying dish. For the main course, the beef bulgogi is cooked to perfection – no need for a steak knife here, the meat peeling away at the slightest carve, complemented perfectly by a Japanese chive mash and a sweet bulgogi sauce.
My date plumps for the moreish free-range chicken poached in masterstock and smoked with Lap Song Souchon tea. It’s a massive dish and despite her best attempts, she can’t complete it.
That’s not a bad thing, though. Dessert brings the exceptional banana and toffee crumble with cinnamon ice cream, the perfect end to a perfect meal.
Our waiter is a true professional: always attentive, never annoying. Leaving here is tough.
Behind the bar A huge list of traditional and custom cocktails created by skilled mixologists. There’s also a good selection of both old and new world wines.
Bill please Starters from £4.95; mains from £15.50; dessert from £7.55. Cocktails from £10.50; wine from £5/£19.50; beer from £4.20.
Verdict Gilgamesh provides an evening fit for royalty, but doesn’t demand a king’s ransom for it. Treat yourself, you won’t be disappointed.
The Stables Market, NW1 8AH
Tube | Chalk Farm