Gymkhana set to launch in the Saudi capital

The Michelin-starred Indian restaurant will debut next year.

Taking its inspiration from the clubs of Colonial India, Gymkhana has drawn foodies to the heart of Mayfair for its contemporary spin on classic Indian cuisine since 2013. Now, the Michelin-starred restaurant is set to travel outside of London for the first time as it opens its doors in Riyadh next year.

Gymkhana Saudi is a joint venture between JKS Restaurants (the restaurant’s award-winning founders who currently operate 20 market-leading brands in and around London) and Cool Inc (a pioneer of Saudi’s hospitality and leisure market), aimed at catering to Saudi Arabia’s discerning culinary scene. Guests can expect the same level of flavour and experience as that in Mayfair – with a few new offerings to look forward to. The carefully curated menu will bring to life flavours from across India, offering a modern interpretation of renowned classics. All of Gymkhana’s signature dishes will make the trip to Riyadh. Case in point: Chettinad Duck Dosa with Coconut Chutney, Kid Goat Methi Keema with Salli and Pao, Wild Muntjac Biryani, and Duck Egg Langoustine Bhurji with Malabar Paratha.

Gymkhana Saudi

Several new dishes, developed by the London team with the Saudi audience in mind, will also be available for diners to sample. We’re told Multani Baby Raan, Keralan Toddy Shaapu Wild Tiger Prawns, Game Bird Baida Roti served with Girolle Achaar, and Bombay Gymkhana Club Vegetable Cutlet with Masala Ketchup will be on offer. For drinks, guests will be able to enjoy a specially crafted beverage menu, with mocktails featuring a wide selection of ingredients and garnishes gathered from various regions across India. Just as the London outpost evokes the age of the British Raj, with a strong mix of Indian and British cultural design references, Gymkhana Saudi will recreate the atmosphere of that era.

Gymkhana Saudi

The interiors, by North End Design, will see the arrival bar space (hosting up to six guests) resplendent in tones of jade green, polished dark timber, and metallic accents alongside rich printed fabrics. In the larger room, a club lounge feel will be evoked by hues of peach, Kashmiri chilli red fabrics, and contrasting Indian carpeting surrounded by a showcase of artwork by contemporary Indian artists. Towards the rear of the main room, two intimate private dining rooms will offer guests a more exclusive experience. Here, the modernist city of Chandigarh serves as inspiration, with classic joinery pieces and bespoke seating championing the classic ‘Chandigarh chair’ designs by Pierre Jeanneret.

Gymkhana Saudi

Elsewhere, a second ‘dining train carriage’ layout keeps the original Gymkhana green palette. Partly inspired by residential mansions of Kolkata and Shimla, the space will house intimate leather booth seating, and Edwardian-inspired joinery units that recollect the luggage trunks of the Raj era. Bespoke linen-wrapped pendants flanking the sides of the room will lead guests to the third, larger private dining room, which will host up to 12 guests on a grand oval dining table overlooked by two impressive chandeliers.

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Samia Qaiyum
A textbook third culture kid with a perpetual thirst for adventure, Samia Qaiyum specialises in travel and culture, having lived in five countries and travelled to 34 others – just don't ask her to define the word 'home'.

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