There’s nothing quite like Gilgamesh in London. Perched up above Camden market, the cavernous restaurant is meticulously decorated with Sumerian inspired art. Enormous carved wooden panels, intricate table settings and ornate columns, team-up with the Budha Bar style music to create the perfect spot for an entertaining night out with friends. Recent refurbishments have also seen the addition of a Belle Époque Champagne bar and a chef’s table for special occasions.
Food wise, the menu has a bewildering selection of pan-Asian dishes. Though after nearly ten years of serving both tourists and locals, some dishes have emerged as notable crowd pleasers.
Starters are for sharing at Gilgamesh. Dim sum, sashimi, meaty bites etc. The prawn spring rolls are a must. But forget the idea of spring rolls padded-out with cabbage and noodles. These are stuffed with pure prawn flesh, flecked with coriander and sprinkled with sesame seeds. With the crunch of the pastry, these rolls are a decadent treat. The yellow tail tuna sashimi deserves a special mention too, with its accompaniment of cubed fresh wasabi root (something new?!). A red pepper sauce works will with the soya-mirin dressing to coat the melting slices of fish. This dish is next to perfect.
For mains, the dramatically named Royal Chilean sea bass, takes the concept of black cod to the next level. Sea bass has a much richer taste and a firmer texture than cod. The fish is marinated in tamarind and miso, to give it a deep, sweet and sour flavour with that familiar fermented taste of the miso. Baked and served, the fish is perfectly glazed and the flakes stay firm with a buttery texture. Though, for the price, it should be this good. The Thai green chicken curry is less impressive, with its thin sauce. It’s okay, not great. The surprise of the lychees in the mix might make you happier, depending how you feel about them.
Though one area where you won’t be disappointed is with the desserts. Proper patisserie standard dishes replace the often sad offerings at some Asian restaurants. The chocolate “cake” is excellent. A white chocolate ganache is lightly laced with chilli and coated with a dark chocolate glaze. It’s quite special. The coconut pistachio mousse cake is light fragrant, with a hint of green tea in the background. A refined dessert.
Gilgamesh is definitely a place to go to have a fun night out. Kick things off with a cocktail in the Champagne bar, pick your food well and you’re bound to have a memorable night.