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American Gymkhana

Tastes Of Orlando

7559 W Sand Lake Rd.
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 985-2900

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American Gymkhana is the all new modern Indian restaurant and lounge on Orlando’s famed "Restaurant Row" in the Dr.Phillips neighborhood. 

Occupying nearly 8,000-square-feet, American Gymkhana seats approximately 190 guests in various spaces. Those spaces include the main dining room, Mahajara Room (private dining room), Hunter’s Cocktail Lounge and the Veranda, that pays homage to a similar lounge found in a traditional gymkhana where royalty would sit and watch outdoor sporting matches.

The restaurant specializes  in modern Indian cuisine and is the brain child of Rajesh Bhardwaj, the restaurateur behind New York’s Michelin-starred Indian concept Junoon. American Gymkhana (pronounced “jim-kah-nuh”) is inspired by a traditional gymkhana - a place of assembly for the elite during the British Raj period in India that lasted from 1858 to 1947. Raj Cuisine can best be described as a mixture of Indian and British foods, or Anglo-Indian food. Most dishes combine the cooking styles of Indian Khansamas or cooks who took aspects of British cuisine and combined them with Indian methods of cooking. There are soups tempered with cumin and red chillies, roasts cooked in whole spices like cloves, pepper and cinnamon, rissoles and croquettes flavored with turmeric and garam masala.

The kitchen at American Gymkhana is led by a Mumbai native and New York transplant, Chef Aarthi Sampath. Chef Aarthi uses imported spices sourced from Indian markets as well as locally sourced ingredients from Florida, to create a balance of traditional and modern cuisine. Starters include dishes such as Gymkhana Chaat a mixture of iconic street food snacks that includes a sampler of samosa, matar tikki and dahi vada. More modern takes on Indian dishes include Galoti Lamb Sliders with spiced yogurt, stuffed lamb and saffron bread. Also available to start are a selection of seven “Skewers” with options ranging from Dahi Kebab, a yogurt and cheese croquette with mango-apricot chutney and Kela Corn Seekh with plantain, corn kaffir lime and sweet pepper coulis to Kadak Seekh with minced lamb, cheddar and tempura batter.

Main dishes are broken up by Fish, Shellfish, Meat, Game, Poultry, and Vegetarian selections. A standout signature is the Angrezi Chicken with roasted tomato, homemade butter and garam masala. The term Angrezi, which is Hindi for the word British, offers a proper representation of the blending of British and Indian cultures from the time period. Other Mains include Meen Moilee which is a crisped seasonal fish with coconut milk, fresh turmeric, lemongrass and curry leaves. The Lamb Vindaloo is a staple of Raj cuisine that combines apple cider vinegar, black pepper, goan chilies and twice fried potatoes. Since India is also famous for its robust vegetarian diet,  American Gymkhana offers a healthy selection of six options that range from Kofta Hariyali that are cheese fritters with methi, spinach and green peas to Market Vegetable Korma with coconut, cashew and ginger.

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We began our evening with an amuse bouche of Dahi Vada that was designed to get the palate ready for all of the exceptional flavors of the Raj Cuisine.
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The Lamb Seekh, or Lamb Skewers, can be ordered as a meal, or to share among friends. The lamb is mixed with a variety of spices and seasonings that give them a tender and mildly spicy flavor.

Tastes Of Orlando
Adraki Gobhi is the best cauliflower dish I have ever had in my life. I mean it. This is a cauliflower fritter fried with ginger, galanga, red chili powder,cumin, turmeric... and a lot more. I could eat this everyday.

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For breads I sampled the Garlic Naan and the Roti. Both were delicious. Roti is an unleavened bread as Naan is  a yeast leavened bread.

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The Angrezi Chicken is peices of chicken in a roasted roma tomato coulis with a whipped garam masala butter sauce. Its not overly spicy and overall immensely smooth and flavorful.

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Goat Roganjosh is goat shank braised in a Kashmiri chili and clarified butter sauce. The goat had a very mild flavor, but watch out for that chili sauce as it puts a zing on your tongue.

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We paired our meals with a side of rice and Daal Makhni. That is a dish of smoked black lentils cooked overnight above the tandoor. Really great for dipping your Roti
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A Warm Chocolate Financier is a perfect way to end your evening. A light and moist cake, but very rich, served with chai ice cream, almond feuilletine and macerated berries.
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American Gymkhana is doing a great job of bringing high quality Raj period Indian Cuisine to Orlando. Chef Aarthi Sampath coveys her Mumbai roots and diverse culinary training in an approachable way. All of the food that I sampled on two visits was delicious. You can tell that Chef Aarthi knows her way around Indian spices and cooking. The dishes at American Gymkhana are very flavorful and a lot of them are spicy, but they are not spiced without purpose. 

In addition to wonderful food, the restaurant is also dedicated to its beverage program that is helmed by celebrated mixologist, Hemant Pathak. Hemant has been featured in GQ Magazine and ELLE Magazine and is a world class bartender. While infused Indian liquors, spices and homemade syrups will honor the season by continuously changing, the bar will always be ready with robust flavored libations of 12 signature and classic cocktails, and an additional selection of mocktails that are made with juices that are extracted fresh daily.

American Gymkhana is open Sunday through Thursday 5 to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday until 10:30 p.m. The cocktail lounge will stay open until 2 a.m., Thursday through Saturday.

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