Take a step onto an escalator in the middle of Camden Market and you'll be transported up into Gilgamesh. This restaurant keeps itself secluded from the buzzing tourist vibe below, most likely due to its mysterious entrance. [Let's just say you wouldn't know it was a restaurant from the outside]. But enter inside and you'll be welcomed by an enormous dining area, decadent with gold embossed furniture, palm trees and several bar and dining lounges.
The restaurant opened nine years ago and serves pan-asian cuisine in a night-life space. It's an unusual mix of a fine dining experience, a nightclub and bar lounge mixed into one but it really works. The clever arrangement of the seating facing inwards mimics the feel of a club where the booths are all in view of the movers and shakers on the dance floor, except here, the dance-floor is a hypnotic glistening bar and open kitchen.
And the menu is surprisingly excellent too: a great range of Eastern favourites such as duck spring rolls, Beef Panang, Tempura dishes, US Grade 6 Wagyu Ribeye Beef, Robata Skewers, Noodles from the Wok, and appropriate sides to suit. The tempura crab and duck spring rolls were fresh, crisp and extremely moreish - the duck in particular packing a lot of flavour. Turn to the sushi menu, and you have just enough choice to pair with your starters or have before some noodles or curry.
The Gilga Special and Colour Temptation are recommended choices here with the sushi being light, the fish fresh and the Gilga Special adding that perfect layer of crunch on top with sprinkled crispy tempura. The Teriyaki Fillet of Beef had a succulent flavour that didn't need any of the teriyaki sauce on top - instead we added the teriyaki sauce to some of our pad thai noodles and dipped the tempura mushrooms in it. Dessert choices are simple and straightforward, focusing on fragrant eastern floral and fruity flavours. Opt for one of the sorbets here - it'll conclude the meal on a pleasant note after all of the ginger, chilli soy sauce from the dishes.
The drinks menu deserves a special mention here. Five pages of exquisite cocktails listed in different sections and seeing as party hosting is their thing at Gilgamesh, the offerings of Perrier-Jouët champagne prompts you at the start of the menu to get the party started. The restaurant also opens their doors most Fridays and Saturday to those wishing to have a more VIP experience as you can reserve a booth and enjoy the DJ's mix some tracks in one of their private party rooms.
Overall, we found this to be an excellent restaurant for big groups (the centre of the room is filled by beautiful long wooden tables for large groups) or those in a group of 4-6 as the surrounding plush booths have face inward towards the bar and kitchen. A truly mesmerising atmosphere where food and drink can play at a bit of temporary escapism too.
Gilgamesh - 3 Course Dinner for two with drinks is around £50 a head.
Would strongly recommend the cocktails with the food.
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