Pan-Asian cuisine and chic cocktails in decadent Babylonian-inspired surrondings
Where? Gilgamesh, Camden View, Camden Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, London NW1 8AH (020 7482 5757; gilgameshbar.com)
What’s the vibe? A firm favourite with famous nightowls from Sienna Miller to Sarah Harding, this epic bar-club-lounge rocks an ancient Babylonian theme. Brimming with opulent statues, marble pillars and hand-carved murals of the original Gilgamesh (something of a demi-god circa 2700 BC) the large, open-plan dining room straddles 15,000 sq ft. Glass walls stretch from the floor to a 40-ft high ceiling, and a retractable roof helps create the party.
Sounds impressive. It is, but some might find the sheer size of the place and furnishings a little OTT. We actually embraced its Las Vegas-style vulgarity because of the buzzy, Cosmopolitan atmosphere. If Carrie and co came to Camden (and closed their eyes as they walked through the smelly stables market, wafting of takeaway Chinese) we reckon they’d pay a visit here.
What’s on the menu? Sushi, sashimi, dim sum and delicious Thai curries. The speciality is Pan-Asian cuisine, prepared by head chef Ian Pengelley in an open stone-carved kitchen. Here, everything’s designed for sharing and dishes arrive to your table willy nilly, but who cares about the food anyway – the real reason to come to Gilgamesh is to catch up with your friends over a cocktail and feed off the surroundings.
What should we be drinking? A chic Martini. We loved the Anu (translated as Sky God), a blend of peach vodka, cucumber and Bombay Sapphire gin. The cocktail menu is extensive and original, each one setting you back around £10.
Need to know? Gilgamesh is open from 11am until late, seven days a week.