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Is Gallops At The Racecourse Truly One of Mumbai's 'Legendary' Restaurants?

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Gallops is a restaurant that Zomato claims has ‘legendary’ status, yet it remains one of the city’s best-kept secrets. We dropped by the restaurant to try and understand what all the fuss was about.

A Grand Welcome

After being unable to bag a reservation for two weekends consecutively, we decided to take a chance and walk in early on a weekday evening. Entrances don’t get much grander than this. White picket fences, landscaping, a racecourse at its greenest during the monsoon lead us into the dining room. Eager staff, spotless China, white tablecloths and glowing chandeliers greet us inside.

The upper level of booths is for regulars only {word around the street is  that Vijay Mallya still retains a private table at all race events}. The host doesn’t tell us in so many words, but chooses to wordlessly steer us away from the prime real estate. This is our first hint that Gallops might be open to the public, but its spirit remains members-only.

The old-world, yet desi style of service continues, with only the men being handed drinks menus {it’s almost as though he’s expecting you to say “and the lady will have…”}.

Chow Down

The menu at Gallops reminds us of menus served at British-style clubhouses around the country. We order a round of chilli cheese toast, prawn cocktail and burrah chops. While the shrimp is well-cooked, the iceberg crisp and the dressing tangy, the chops were a bit underwhelming, at par with anything you’d order from a Mini Punjab on a late night.

We soon realise it’s not just the seating which is members-only. Other diners are enjoying off-the-menu cheese, cherry and pineapple on a stick as well as all sorts of chakna. But an onion soup complete with a hint of savoury sage and cheesy croutons have us feeling like we didn’t miss much.

Unfortunately the luck doesn’t continue with our mains. The rogan josh tastes more greasy than luxurious {and is made using flavourless and lean boneless mutton}, while the mah ki daal is not at all homely, tasting more like a heavy, generic tomato puree and butter-enriched dal makhni.

So We're Saying...

With a heavy tab, we decided to skip dessert and call for the check instead. Our server politely acknowledges our request and plainly asks us – “Sir, are you a member?”

It’s precisely in that moment that we understand what the fuss at Gallops is all about – only the inner circle at Gallops is privy to all its secrets and legends. Gallops is grand, but the menu has too many misses to justify its legendary status. Don’t miss the onion soup, though.