• Gaylord (Docklands)

What is your perception of Indian cuisine? Spice? Cheap? Runny curries and bain-maries?
Newly opened, Gaylord restaurant on Spencer Street, aims to reset our thoughts into food that is sophisticated, flavourful, while still retaining the traditions of its origins.

On the ground floor of the Grand Hotel, the hidden location is removed from the hectic CBD crowds. With plush carpet, patterned velvet covered seats, detailed marble mosaic installations and floral wallpaper, the décor is more reminiscent of a maharaja’s palace than your local Indian express take-way eatery. Entering this restaurant, our expectations were already changed.

We had been invited to taste the vegetarian banquet.


Pan puri was our first delight. These crisp fried balls were fine and light, and we awkwardly poured spicy tangy water into the openings at the top. They were flavourful with chilli, and refreshing with the water served chilled.

Batata Vada is a Mumbai Street food, with spiced lentil and potato parcels topped with fresh radish and a pineapple sauce. This looked beautiful, decorated with flowers and a deep red dust. The radish on top was fresh. This held the typical curried potato flavour like a masala dosa with the pineapple sauce similar to plum sauce – thick, slightly tangy and sweet. The potato was soft, made into balls and then fried. But it was not crispy, or hard, the crunch of this dish was brought but the radish. This was spicy, but not overdone. This had lots of flavour, just like Indian food should have.

The beetroot tikka was like a mini pancake with beetroot, potato and flour. A mini coleslaw was on top. The orange sauce was like a creamy tandoori and the pink was yoghurt based. The salad was fresh, crispy and in long strands. A lovely balance of refreshing flavours with the warm pancake. The pancake was soft, like the Batata Vada it was not crispy, but soft. Flavours lingered with cardamom.

Main course

Malai kota is my go-to Indian dish. This one was innovated with the addition of moist prune in the centre of the dumplings. We ordered a second serving of these and the second serving was even better – creamy, hot and delicious!

The Methi Mutter Malai was a dry pea curry. This was Mark’s favourite. It was dry, instead of with a rich sauce. Again, it was spicy but with different spices to the other dishes.

The Dal Tadka was with yellow lentils. They were soft from long, slow cooking. The spices were subtle but delicious.

The freshly-made buttered naan was also a treat.


The dessert was Gajrella – a caramelised carrot pudding. It was served warm and moulded into a loose circle. The bright red syrup on the side was rose – lovely.


For wine we had the Sidewood Chardonnay 2017 from Adelaide Hills. It opened to be more oaky  with the pan puri. Not much acid but quite refreshing. A little but of a tangy but nicely balanced.

The Grant Burge Classic Collection Shiraz 2019 was also very nice. It’s aromas was of ripe strawberries, with the taste of them too, a bit of tannin and green on the end.

Overall Verdict

We really enjoyed our meal at Gaylord.

The thing with Indian restaurants in Melbourne is that you have to make it a balance between authentic and palatable. Indian food in India is delicious! But it is super spicy and in Australia we might not be used to this amount of spice. I feel Gaylord has this balance spot-on.

Despite establishing itself as fine dining, the prices are good value. Vegetarian curries range from $16 to $18 and generous in size. There is a buffet at lunch for $18 for adults, and a three course ‘Executive Lunch Menu’ for $35.

We will definitely be back.

33 Spencer Street
Docklands 3008
03 9620 1286

Opening hours:
Weekdays, 6:30am to 10:30am, 11:30am to 2:30pm, 5:30pm and 10:30pm
Weekends, 7:00am to 10:30am, 12:00pm to 2:30pm, 5:30pm to 10:30pm

Gaylord Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato