“ Address: 44 Battersea Rise / London / SW11 1EE / England / Tel: 020 8642 1567 „
I have to admit that I, like you probably, had an adolescent chuckle at the name of this place. But having eaten in the restaurant and enjoyed more takeaways than I dare estimate, I can confirm that the food is no laughing matter.
I had been searching for a while for a really good Indian restaurant in South London. The Kennington Tandoori is up there, but sadly my address is outside of its delivery zone. So I decided to try a little closer to home and with this place I have really hit the jackpot.
It is usually a good sign when a restaurant is full and I am rarely able to get a table here without booking. At times I have had to wait for a table and so they ask you to wait next door in Frieda B bar which is a bit of a pain, but a nice little money-spinning coalition between the two establishments I'm sure.
As for the takeaway service, well it is free on orders over £11. Delivery usually takes around 45 minutes and when it arrives you are often presented with vouchers that entitle you to £2/£3 off your next order. If you choose to collect from the restaurant then you get a 10% discount although parking on the Northcote Road isn't for the faint-hearted.
As for dining in, well first impressions are good. The staff are friendly and attentive and the restaurant is always immaculately clean. The mirrors running the length of one wall give the illusion of more space than there actually is, but you never feel cramped. The restaurant has booths along one side and standard tables on the other. They say they can accommodate parties of up to 20 people.
The restaurant is not very big, in fact it probably seats a maximum of only 40 people at any one time. What it lacks in size it makes up for in both service and quality. As you enter there are no gimmicky ornaments on the wall, no tacky L.E.D waterfalls and definitely no overpowering Bollywood music. The Gaylord has resisted the urge to cater for any one niche group in the Clapham area. The Northcote Road trendies sit side by side with the Battersea cool kids, all ordering from a menu which satisfies everyone.
I've talked about the restaurant, but what about the food? Well I have tried a few things off the menu and am yet to be disappointed. The menu is well laid out with everything that you would expect and a few well-described chef's specials. The other half usually goes for the balti garlic chicken tikka (creature of habit) and this comes with a naan bread for the very reasonable price of £8.95. Other than a couple of occasions where there have been one too many onions, she has been delighted with her choice and will continue to order the same.
The chicken is usually cooked to perfection and they clearly use high quality breast meat.
I used to go for the chicken dansak which came with rice and cost £7.95. I found this to be just the right level of spiciness for me, whereas others began sweating after having a tiny mouthful. The thing with curries is everyone's palate is vastly different and one man's korma is another man's vindaloo. That said, finding a dish that is just right can be a potential minefield!
I have recently changed from the dansak and moved on to having chicken pathia which comes in at the same price and again comes with rice. This dish has a slightly sweeter flavour to it and I am happy that I now have 2 safe choices to add a bit of variety.
We usually go for a side of sag aloo as theirs is excellent. Soft and tasty spinach garnished with melt-in-the-mouth potato. Very filling, but really good.
Their poppadoms are good quality as well. In some restaurants they will be either soggy and limp, or at other times they have left a real salty taste in the mouth. Not at the Gaylord though. The naan bread too has a real freshness to it. Easy to tear and maintains a good firmness for dipping purposes.
Our take away bill usually comes in at around the £20 mark for 2 dishes, one side, a few poppadoms, rice and naan. If you are eating in then add on a couple of drinks and service and you are looking at a meal for 2 which will easily leave you with change from £40, which is not bad at all for the quality on offer.
So there you have it, an excellent curry house in SW London which is well worth a visit if you are in the area. Although, make sure you book in advance to avoid disappointment.
44 Battersea Rise, London, SW11 1EE