Scores of firefighters rushed to tackle a massive blaze at a posh Indian restaurant in the heart of London on Thursday evening and declared it had been brought under control a few hours later. The London Fire Brigade said there are no reports of injuries as eight fire engines and around 60 firefighters tackled the blaze at Gymkhana, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Mayfair.
"The Mayfair restaurant fire is now under control. The cause of the fire is under investigation," the London Fire Brigade said. "Half of a ground floor restaurant was damaged by the fire. The ducting – the ventilation system – from ground floor to roof level and wooden casing around the ducting were destroyed. Fortunately, there were no reports of any injuries," it said.
Gymkhana, which is part of the JKS Group of Indian restaurants run by the UK-based Sethi family of restaurateurs, confirmed that the fire was quickly attended to by the emergency services and has now been extinguished. "At this stage, the cause of the fire is not yet known however we would like to reassure the public that all staff and diners are safe. We are working with the London Fire Department to minimise all damage and prioritise the safety of the public and the surrounding area," a restaurant statement said, adding that it had rescheduled its bookings to other JKS restaurants in the city such as Hoppers and Trishna.
Gymkhana, a popular celebrity hangout, describes itself as being inspired by Indian gymkhana clubs, "where members of high society socialise, dine, drink and play sport". "Gymkhana serves classic and contemporary Michelin starred Indian cuisine, with a strong focus on chatpatta and boldly spiced sharing dishes," notes its website.
"The interior design of Gymkhana references the clubs of India with ceiling fans that hang from a dark-lacquered slatted oak ceiling, cut glass wall lamps from Jaipur and Grandmother Sethi's barometer," it adds.
(With inputs from agencies.)