Have you ever gone to a place all decked out expecting it to be something it wasn’t? Well welcome to my life! I have been so busy this week I haven’t had the chance to upload my blog post from Mother’s Day. I might have mentioned this before, but Mama TLH is one tough cookie! I thought I had standards but I learnt the hard way that my mother is where I got my high maintenance status from. Every special occasion has been spent at Claridges, Savoy or the likes of! So for Mother’s Day, I thought I would try something different and decided to take her to Gilgamesh in Camden Town. I had heard from a few people that Gilgamesh was a great, relaxed place to go with friends, families, or as a couple. What these people did not tell me was that I had to walk through Camden Market for the entrance of Gilgamesh. I am pretty much one of the biggest chickens you will ever meet and places like markets freak me out, yeah I get that from my mother too! Before we even got there she had told me she didn’t want to celebrate Mother’s Day anymore! (lol!)
So we eventually got there and she was happy. (phew! Could’ve been alot worse!) The restaurant itself was huge, not something we were expecting after spending half an hour walking through the crowded market. The decor was beautiful with the wooden theme running throughout the restaurant.
The interior was so well thought through and the African theme made me genuinely feel like I was back in Africa. My family and I spent a good spell of your lives in Africa and the carved wood just brought back alot of happy memories. Anyone with a connection to Africa will tell you that the wooden carvings are a speciality of a small village in Kenya called Lamu, the craftsmanship of this small town in rural Kenya is world-famous – we even brought a piece of it when we moved to London some hundred years ago (“a piece of it” being an understatement, my house resembles something out of The Jungle Book with all the wooden carvings including a fully carved wooden chest, cheetah photographs and zebra-shaped mini tables for extra measure) So, needless to say I was in my element.
As it was Mother’s day, we only had an option for a set menu, which was cool so went along with it. Their website stated that they had halal options but did not specify, so when I got there I asked the waiter, who asked another waiter who asked the manager who eventually informed me that the chicken was the only halal meat on the menu. I’m not sure whether it was the set menu for Mother’s day or whether the chicken is generally the only halal meat on the menu, but as their website states in the FAQ section that they serve halal dishes (plural) I was a bit disappointed that the chicken was the only halal dish that we could order when I specifically mentioned I wanted halal food when ordering. So, basically I ordered every chicken dish on the menu, however for £25 a head I wasn’t complaining. In my defence, I genuinely didn’t realise that there was going to be a set menu at a cheaper price, I mean every day is mama’s day but when its Mother’s Day you don’t want to go cheap to celebrate the woman that brought you into this world and put up with all the diva tantrums (of which there have been many over the years! Sorry Mum!)
For starters we got Avocado and Sweet Potato Tempura, Crispy Chicken Wings and Yam and Sesame Spring Rolls. They were all standard starters – the Tempura and Spring Rolls did not have much taste to them but the Chicken Wings definitely hit the spot, they were crispy and full of flavour. Not the best cooked chicken but definitely the best of the 3 starters
For mains, we went for Malaysian Seafood Jungle Curry, Five Spiced Chicken and Thai Yellow Curry. Mains were probably the best of all courses. The Thai Yellow curry even though looked as though I made it myself at home, was very delicious and full of flavour and was probably the best dish of the evening. The Chicken was way too chewy and not great in flavour.
Now MASSIVE statement from me now s I am a total dessert girl but the dessert is not even worth mentioning! It was almost inedible, I left most of mine as did my parents! We got the Yuzu Meringue Tart, Burnt Milk Pana Cotta and Ginger Cheesecake. The Ginger Cheesecake was remotely edible so we all shared that one and left the others. Having said that, the presentation was much better than the rest of the courses.
The service is worth mentioning here, and not in a positive way. As it was Mother’s Day it was busy, but not overly packed. It took us about 20 minutes of asking one waiter after another to take our order as we were starving from all the running around Camden in heels in the rain! It was a painful process to say the least. Our main waiter was careless and sloppy, spoilt my drink over me, ketchup on my dad and bumped into my mum’s chair numerous times! The quickest service we had was when we asked for the bill! It was disappointing that a restaurant of this size and reputation had such poor service, which in my opinion makes all the difference.
All in all, I would give the restaurant a 3 out of 10 for my experience on Mother’s Day – mainly given to the less than adequate food and sloppy service. Gilgamesh was more like Gilga-mess! Having said that, it could have been due to the fact that it was a set menu and there was not much service to be had. Although as a Mother’s Day treat for Mama TLH, it was embarassing and I had to promise my mum to take her somewhere a little more special as a real treat. I’m going to give the restaurant credit and try it out again in the near future so I am hopefully proved wrong!
Have you been to Gilgamesh? What were your thoughts? Let me know what you think and prove me wrong!!