As a lovely surprise for Christmas Eve my fiance booked a table at the Michelin star Indian restaurant Benares, by celebrity chef Atul Kochhar.
Benares is situated in the heart of Mayfair serving modern Indian cuisine with a British twist. We arrived slightly early to start the night with a few drinks at the bar of the restaurant. The interior is nice with a chocolate and cream coloured theme, wooden furniture, low lighting and floating candles.
Once our table was ready we were taken to our seats and decided on having the tasting menu, which consisted of a 7 course meal. Whist waiting we were waiting for the first dish we were given mini poppadom’s with a section of chutneys which the waiter kindly described each one.
The first on the taster menu was the Amuse Bouche; a spinach and apricot tikki, a very light and a great starter dish to the taster menu.
Onto the very tasty part 2; the ‘Karara Kekda Aur Seb’ a crispy soft shell crab with an apple relish. My fiancé changed his selection to the ‘Jai Tarang’ which was Scottish scallops with coriander, ginger and grape dressing. Both dishes were tasty the crab was superb and the apple relish blended very well with it.
Next on the list was the ‘Murg Tiranga’ which consisted of 3 types of chicken; chutney grilled chicken, tandoori spring onion and saffron chicken and a crispy wing, I loved how the pipette had to be squeezed to fill the chicken with chutney. All 3 chicken types had such distinctive flavours and were very well cooked.
Part 4 was the ‘Tandoori Macchi’ a baked organic salmon with spiced vermicelli and crab croquette with a coconut and curry leaf sauce. By this stage I had to open by jeans button, the food so far had been of great quality and the salmon was lovely and soft.
And at last the mid-break, which consisted of the pallet cleaner which was a nimbu pani sorbet, basically a lemon/lime Indian spiced sorbet, I wasn’t so keen on this.
Onto the mains for the evening and part 6 of the course, the ‘Ghost Aur Keema Samosa’ a roasted rump of English lamb with baby spinach and chickpea masala with a minced shoulder samosa, accompanied with dhal makhani, naan and roti selection. This course was my least favourite, the lamb wasn’t cooked to my liking but the dhal makhani was delicious. The waiter even asked us why we didn’t finish the meal, and we were honest in saying that the lamb just wasn’t cooked enough.
Onto the last part of the menu dessert!! I had the rose and raspberry ‘Bhapa Doi’ and pistachio barfi, and my fiance changed his selection to the chocolate mousse, both dishes were good and a great end to a fab meal.
Overall Benares had been on our list of restaurants to try for a long time so we were both glad that we weren’t disappointed, the service and food were both great. I was also given an Atul Kochhar recipe book, which just made my evening even more special. On top of that all the ladies were given a scented candle gift as it was Christmas.