Benares is a stylish michelin star restaurant in Mayfair which serves modern Indian cuisine with a contemporary British twist. A short uber ride away from the office, a colleague and I decided to try the set lunch menu and see whether it lived up to our high expectation.
We were politely greeted and shown to our table. A wooden box of mini poppadoms were accompanied with three chutneys; gooseberry which was amazing, a tomato chutney and pineapple. The dark restaurant interior was sophisticated and glamourous. The only other diners were male and in suits, so I can only presume it attracts a particular clientele.The cocktail menu was very impressive boasting classic martinis to alcoholic lassies. We opted for lassie mocktails, I chose a date lassi which came with a pretty flower on top and my dining partner went for a mango and ginger one.We both chose the Mini Tandoori Platter to start which really was mini. A spiced lamb cutlet sat next to quail supreme, decorated with green leaves and a little jar of mint chutney. The lamb cutlet was insanely flavoursome, the meat was kept on the bone which meant it remained beautifully juicy. Everything was great but I could have eaten double – in my opinion it was a tad on the stingy side.All main courses are served with Lentils and Tandoori bread and rice which is a nice touch. My dining partner chose the Curry Leaf and Black Mustard Tempered Plaice which I wish I’d also chosen. I tasted a little and thought it was delicious, served with sugar snap poriyal (poriyal being a Tamil word for fried or sauteed) and malabar sauce, which is a coconut sauce that’s tinted with turmeric and lifted with lime juice.I went for the Grill Smoked Kashmiri Chilli Chicken Supreme “Caesar Salad” with quail eggs and naan croutons for my main course. All the elements of the dish complimented one another well, the chicken was so juicy and the addition of tiny berries, which tasted like sweet tomatoes, were nice.
Benares is a wonderful little spot for a slap-up-meal, I would love to have the opportunity to order a feast from the à la carte or tasting menu but maybe I’ll save that for a special occasion. Details
ADDRESS: 12a, Berkeley Square, London W1J 6BS
OPENING HOURS: 12:00 – 2:30 p.m., 5:30 – 11:00 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 12:00 – 9:45 p.m. Sundays
CONTACT: 020 7629 8886