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Benares

  • Restaurants
  • Mayfair
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Time Out says

This glamorous first-floor cocktail bar and stylish restaurant blend modern furnishings with traditional Indian touches. Expect Mughal-style water tanks, flowers, occasional antiques and plenty of shiny black granite. The venue attracts big spenders – suits on expense accounts, romancing couples and curious tourists. The kitchen produces modern cooking in the haute-cuisine league.

We’ve had variable meals in the past, but culinary standards seem to be moving in the right direction. A trio of juicy scallops won our approval for the toasted-sesame, crushed-coriander seed, and chilli-jam toppings – each one accompanied by plump sweet grapes and tangy, tamarind-like grape chutney. Less appealing, crisp soft-shell crab was let down by an oily batter swamping the delicate flesh.

Mains brought things back on track with tender pink duck breast, scattered with pomegranate kernels and served with fragrant basmati pilau and crunchy green beans. Tender roasted lamb rump, sauced with fried onion-ginger masala (a classic rogan josh pairing), was almost as memorable. Sadly, a bitter-tasting crushed potato accompaniment laced with raw mustardy notes detracted from the dish. Wines are well-chosen with a couple of less expensive selections. Service, however, remains infuriatingly slack.

Details

Address:
12A Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square
London
W1J 6BS
Transport:
Tube: Green Park tube
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