Monday, March 2, 2020

Gaylord, Docklands by Big Fil

I had been a while, several years in fact, since I accepted an invitation to try out a new restaurant. However, I was intrigued by the name Gaylord and whether it had any relationship to the now closed Indian restaurant in the old disco in Chinatown (complete with mirror walls), now a Chinese hot pot place. So on a coolish Saturday night Snooze and I were off to see what this new addition to the Melbourne dining scene had to offer.

Gaylord, Docklands, beetroot tikka
Beetroot tikka

Located in the Grand Hotel, one of my favourite buildings in Melbourne, Gaylord is a different creature to your normal suburban Indian joint. For a restaurant aiming at a fine dining experience the style is much more semi-casual upmarket hotel club bar than formal dining establishment.

Gaylord, Docklands
Not being as involved in the food blogging source as we once were we didn’t recognise any of the other diners in the room and wondered if it was a bloggers only event. All the phones and cameras which suddenly appeared as the food came out was a give away. Menu for the night was chosen by the restaurant, presumably to highlight the breadth of the menu or the dishes they are most proud of.

Gaylord, Docklands, pani puri
For the three entrĂ©e, in a common theme for the night the majority (2/3) were vegetarian dishes. First up were Pani Puri, crispy shells into the hole on the top of which you pour the provided ‘tangy’ water. These must be eaten in one bite otherwise the water can go everywhere. This looks a somewhat daunting task as initial impressions suggest you might struggle to stuff the whole thing into a dainty mouth, but the shell is mainly hollow and crushes down into a much smaller parcel than you’d expect. Moderately spiced without being ‘hot’, they are a good way to waken the taste buds at the start of the meal.

Gaylord, Docklands, peppercorn chicken tikka
Peppercorn chicken tikka

The other two entrees were the Peppercorn Chicken Tikka and the Beetroot Tikka (see first pic). Both were good, the chicken being well balanced between the spice of the peppercorn and not overpowering the natural flavour of the chicken. Choosing the thigh rather than breast meat was a good choice as well, helping to prevent the meat drying out during the cooking (always a danger with chicken breast meat served with no or a light sauce only). The Beetroot Tikka was a new dish to me, looking, feeling and even tasting a little like a meat patty.

Gaylord, Docklands, methi marg, prune kofta, dal tadka
Unlike the entrees the three main dishes - Methi Marg, Prune Kofta and Dal Tadka - were all served simultaneously, along with rice and some buttered naan bread. As with the entrees and unlike with much Indian food around Melbourne the main elements of the dishes were nicely balanced, not overpowered by overly strong sauces and spices. While I wasn’t really expecting to like the Prune Kofta, a prune, cashew and sultana dumpling in a creamy sauce, I did like it’s stronger than expected flavours. The Methi Marg, pan-seared chicken with curried fenugreek, was well tasty although given one of the entrees was chicken based another type of protein might have been nice. Snooze, a big fan of daal, was particularly complementary about this version. The main thing I would have preferred, I like my naan a little less crunchy to make it easier to pick up the rice and sauces. That’s a personal preference though and others might prefer the version here.

Gaylord, Docklands, gajrella
The only dish where Snooze and I really differed was the Gajrella, a nutty carrot based dessert. My main gripe with Indian desserts are so many of them are just so massively sugary. I liked the more savory/nutty nature of this. Snooze on the other hand, not a fan.


We really liked it
We really liked it.
Mid value
Mid value.


Overall, nice setting, nice meal, nothing that blew me away but everything tasty and nothing that I could say I didn’t like. Happy to go back and try more of the menu.

The Eat and Be Merry Crew were guests of Gaylord.

Find it at

33 Spencer Street
Docklands Vic 3008
Phone: (03) 9620 1286

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