Gilgamesh

The Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, Camden, London, NW1 8AH
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Review Summary from 3 reviews

Address
The Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, Camden, London, NW1 8AH

Telephone
020 7482 5757

Cuisine
Asian

Region
Camden

Nearest Station
Chalk Farm (0.29 miles)

Website
http://www.gilgameshbar.com

Opening Times
monday Opens 12:00 - Closes 00:00
tuesday Opens 12:00 - Closes 00:00
wednesday Opens 12:00 - Closes 00:00
thursday Opens 12:00 - Closes 00:00
friday Opens 12:00 - Closes 00:00
saturday Opens 12:00 - Closes 00:00
sunday Opens 12:00 - Closes 00:00
Restaurant Facilities

Disabled Facilities

Children Welcome

Credit Cards Accepted

Music Played

Outdoor Area

Booking Advisable

Gilgamesh Restaurant, Bar and Babylon Lounge is set in the heart of Stables Market in Camden. Critically acclaimed Head Chef, Ian Pengelley serves his leading contemporary style of Pan-Asian cuisine, developed from years of living in Asia and brought to the UK to much acclaim via E&O, The Hempel and the eponymous Pengelley's of Sloane Street.

Stepping in from the hubbub of Camden's riotous markets, guests are immediately drawn in by the sheer magnitude and vision of Gilgamesh. Diners ascend the escalator or, if preferred, take the dramatic stairwell, passing the intricate hand-carved 'Tree of Life', inspired by friezes held at The British Museum.

Now Gilgamesh has launched a new dining experience for Friday and Saturday nights. Guests booking a table in the Babylon Lounge can now enjoy a table to table Peking Duck trolley, a luxury seafood bar for guests to choose from and private booths dressed with red drapes!

Gilgamesh Picture Gallery

Gilgamesh Picture
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All In London Review

Pan Asian Camden cod-opulence

I’d occasionally walked past the red carpeted entrance of Gilgamesh, the escalator rising up away from the Cyberdog shop, greasy food outlets, dubious market stalls and cobbles of the Stables Market below. It always seemed out of place, like some dodgy Mayfair bar for footballers, but I kind of admired its chutzpah for opening where it did, in such contrast to its surroundings.

To finally visit and ascend, the incongruity only continued. Gilgamesh is a big place, and quite over-the-top in its design and décor. ‘Babylonian’ in theme, it feels like something you might find in Disneyland or Las Vegas. There’s a desire for glamour and luxury, but it doesn’t quite pull it off, and you can see many of the joins of the mundane building it came out of. Along with lighting rigs like those of a nightclub, the curved glass and steel ceiling ruins the Babylonian illusion and is akin to something from an airport terminal.

I have a pet-hate of toilet attendants, be it in a bar, club or restaurant. This more than anything says ‘no class’ to me, and at Gilgamesh you are able to purchase packets of Polo mints in the gent’s loo, somewhat bafflingly. Back when it opened in 2006, executive chef Ian Pengelley said ‘the prices are going to be reasonable. Just enough to keep out the people with six earrings or more and tall spiky haircuts’, presumably referring to Camden’s indie clientele, and not the bridge and tunnel brigade who seem to make up part of the place’s customers. It’s flash - Johnny Vaughan and Lisa Snowdon are purportedly fans - and it’s true you need a bit of wedge to eat there, but it’s not extortionate in London terms.

Back inside the restaurant, Gilgamesh is a feast for the eyes: the bar is made of stone and two large statues book-end a large communal table, exuding quite phallic overtones. We sat at one of the elevated circular booth tables with a carved wooden exterior - there’s a lot of wood, it must be said.

The ‘Pan-Asian’ theme is still in evidence, with some of the dishes also attempting the dreaded F word: Fusion. ‘T ‘N’ T pizza’ was sashimi on pizza flat bread pizza with white truffle thrown in for good measure. I had no idea what this might taste like and it wasn’t displeasing. The delicate taste of the sashimi was a little over-powered by the truffle, but you still had the lovely mouth feel of the fish. I wasn’t wowed, but it was novel and interesting.

Salmon and apple ceviche with popcorn stretched the Pan-Asian theme right over to South America, and was another odd-sounding but entertaining dish. Served in a cocktail glass, the cutting tang of the lime went well with the sweetness of the popcorn. The signature crispy squid with garlic chips and fresh chilli was nicely cooked, but a rogue chilli had me reaching for my cocktail to cool my mouth which unfortunately, although very nice, also had chilli in it. A welcome mellow dish of black cod and prawn dumplings was smooth and moreish.

Tuna and salmon sashimi tartare was served on a bed of ice, but we preferred it when it had warmed a little and the flavours were less numbed by the cold. At £16 this was quite a lot for a smallish serving.

Our main, fillet of beef bulgogi on chive mash was lovely and tender. ‘Hoba’ Chilean sea bass marinated in sweet plum miso was a fine piece of fish, but at £32 with nothing else on the plate it needed to be.

You will probably have an entertaining meal at Gilgamesh, as long as you are not expecting anything ueber-sophisticated; we left ushered down a back staircase (the escalator only goes up) through a grubby, litter-strewn lobby with a tawdry cash machine, and out through a dirty glass door held ajar by a cardboard box. It did make us laugh; I’d like to think this was a deliberate joke to remind you that, haha, you are back in dirty old Camden, but I don’t think it’s the case.

Reviewed by Matthew B
Published on Sep 26, 2013


In The News

Get 50% off at Gilgamesh this February!

To celebrate Chinese New Year and the year of the monkey we are offering All In London readers 50% off a la carte main courses

Gilgamesh Launches New Dishes on A La Carte Menu

Critically acclaimed restaurant Gilgamesh, has introduced 10 delicious new dishes to its Pan-Asian menu.

Best For

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If you want to dine amongst the stars, we'll give you your best chance...

Mega-opulent Gilgamesh is popular with wags and starlets - you’re also likely to spot members of pop groups like Girls Aloud and JLS, Lisa Snowdon, Emma Bunton and other stars of that ilk. On one occasion TV chef Gino D’Acampo threw a wobbly when he wasn’t allowed to sit in a closed-off section of the restaurant. They’re a highly strung bunch, those Z-list celebs.

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Our favourite venues for dinner and a dance

Full stomach? Now let's hit the floor...

Gilgamesh could well be the most epic restaurant in London. The food, courtesy of Ian Pengelley, is Pan-Asian and remarkably good for such look-at-me surroundings. There is a suitably showy dancefloor upstairs to carry on partying till late into the night.

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London's top restaurants for Stag and Hen parties

Don that pink veil and furry handcuffs...

This lavish restaurant is a hit with hen and stag parties, as after dinner guests can head to the bar or to the dancefloor for a boogie. The Pan-Asian menu is very good, and the exotic surroundings are not easily forgotten.

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This incredibly over the top Pan-Asian restaurant has hand-carved reliefs, gilded furniture and a 40 foot high ceiling. It’s also popular with girls and gals dressed up to the nines who arrive for dinner and drinks before having a boogie on the dancefloor.

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London's most expensive restaurants

It doesn't hurt to push the boat out

Camden’s original excursion into exhibitionistic flamboyance is this restaurant and nightclub plonked amid the Asian food stalls of the Stables Market. It cost £16 squillion to build this giant venue which attempts to replicate a Babylonian palace via a Hollywood studio circa 1935. With myriad carvings, statues, and a bar made from lapis stone that required the work of ten thousand men (yes really) it’s as fascinating for its design as for the slebs who patronise it. The food, courtesy of Ian Pengelley, is a cut above the usual Pan-Asian fare.

User Reviews

Reviewed by Mole2theFloor
The lunchtime dim menu is great value, it's only £12 for 3 dishes and it's surprisingly filling. The chive and mushroom dim sum and prawn dumplings are particularly good. I also recommend the fat crispy chips.

Jan 31, 2014

Reviewed by Anonymous
The decor was very interesting, the escalator entrance and view of the Camden lock market very unique, however the crown a bit pretentious to our liking and the food not special but priced way too high!
All 4 of our table agreed we will never return there- ever! The service was appalling: the staff were really rude and un-attentive, when they made a mistake argued and made us feel uncomfortable for pointing it out.
Service could be much better and prices lower or food better...to summarize a lot to do about nothing, and don’t judge a cover by its look!

Aug 10, 2009

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