Last Monday passed by quite quickly because I had something really enticing to look forward to. It was the 60th birthday of the iconic Gaylord Restaurant at Churchgate, Mumbai and I had the honour of being on the invite list. Gaylord has a special place in my memories for its pocket-friendly bakery that was a frequent haunt during my college days. Given my penchant for baked goodies, the aroma of Gaylord's muffins and croissants always had me trooping in like a bear on a honey trail. Even now, when I crave a lonesome breakfast or simply a cup of their kona coffee with a good book, I head straight for one of the corner tables and settle down on a wrought iron chair etched with the figures of Victorian ladies (read: when I went cafe-hopping).
Dressed in my prized long skirt and jacket, I headed to Gaylord even before the party had begun. To see this restaurant founded in 1956 by the Kwality Group adorned in strings of multi-coloured lights and golden Chinese lanterns gave me a warm feeling.
We admired the table set up with an assortment of cheese, fruits and crackers to go with the special wine label launched by Gaylord in association with Fratelli to celebrate their 60th anniversary. It can't have been easy surviving in Mumbai's competitive restaurant market and not just catering to, but staying on top of diners' evolving demands.
Old Mr. Malhotra, who is the CEO of Gaylord was a familiar figure, milling around with the guests, smiling and greeting them with unbelievable humility. His quiet pride was evident whenever he stood back, surveying the beautiful fruit of his labours.
I sipped some of the wine launched for the occasion - a sweet Sangiovese with delicious notes of cherry and vanilla. It was a sure crowd pleaser - reminding me of the dessert wines I sampled in Macau. A live band of two kept us regaled until the cutting of the gigantic three-tier cake by the Lamba family, who currently manage the restaurant.
It was 9 PM by the time the Lamba family assembled to cut the cake and I'd nibbled at more than a few delicious starters, not to mention the cheese and fruits. It was wonderful to see their proud and happy faces as they shared in this evening of nostalgia.“Gaylord’s 60th anniversary is an opportunity for us to honour our heritage and commitment to serve best quality food. We believe in keeping up with the times and hence we recently introduced some new items in our menu, such as Dahi Cheese roll, Kulhar ki Tangdi and Cooker da Kukad. It is heart-warming to see the continuous support of our loyal guests who make us a part of their everyday routine”, said Dhruv Lamba, Executive Director, Kwality Group.
All regular visitors will recognise the face of Noel D'Souza, the General Manager who has been with Gaylord for 30 years. The restaurant just wouldn't feel the same without his smiling face and I was overjoyed to see him perform a song after the cutting of the cake.
Why don't you go pay a visit to Gaylord Restaurant one of these days? To continue the celebration, Gaylord Mumbai is inviting customers all around the city to join the party with festivities planned throughout the month. Along with discounts, visitors will also get surprise giveaways, merchandises, hampers and gift coupons. Gaylord has introduced a special nostalgic menu bringing back some of the most loved dishes. This menu will include scrumptious delights like Crispy Mutton Samosas, Tava Kheema Kalegi, Vegetable Parisienne and more.