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Benares

Indian Restaurant in London
Benares, 12a Berkeley Square Hs, Berkeley Sq, London, W1J 6BS
020 7629 8886    Email    Website   
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Offers
3 courses, champagne cocktail £35
Terms and conditions are as shown in the booking interface.
Harden's Survey Result
Overall Value
3
out of 5
Food 
Service 
Ambience 
3
£90
  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambience
“Atul Kochhar is a master of spicing” and “continues to delight with the innovative interpretation of Indian cuisine”, at his “slick and showy” Mayfair operation; its ratings slipped a notch this year though – perhaps there’s just more competition than once there was?
Offers
3 courses, champagne cocktail £35
Terms and conditions are as shown in the booking interface.
Features
Business Facilities Yes1
Private Rooms Yes16,34,6,10
Last Orders 10.30 pm
Dress Code no trainers
Benares Restaurant Reviews
Reviews of Benares Restaurant in W1, London by users of Hardens.com. Also see the editors review of Benares restaurant.
Rebecca Donaldson
What a shame! Service started OK and just ...
Overall Value
2.5
out of 5
Food 
Service 
Ambience 
Reviewed 1 years, 7 months, 2 days ago

"What a shame! Service started OK and just got worse. The food was of a great quality and Atul Kochher was there and came over and said hi, but after that things went downhill. A side dish was forgotten at mains, and when we prompted it arrived just as we were finishing our mains. after deciding to have tea and finally getting someone to take our tea order it took 30 mins for this to arrive (the order was wrong), then almost 15 more minutes for new tea to arrive. And they didnt seem to want to take our money once we finally got the bill. We eventually went tot he bar to pay! Frankly we felt like we'd been forgotten... but it really didnt seem that busy. Shame as the quality of the food really was good."

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The Editors Review

Re-opened after a four-month refurbishment, this Mayfair Indian looks broadly as before, and still offers refined Indian cuisine (presented European-style) in a smart environment; it's noisy, though, and the atmosphere can tend to impersonal.


The re-opening of Atul Kochhar's celebrated Mayfair Indian - after a four-month closure, following on a fire - provided a good excuse for a revisit. There has been much renovation and replacement, but the ordinary visitor's impression of the square main dining room remains substantially the same as before.


Elsewhere, however, changes have been made, increasing the overall capacity of the establishment to 140 (not that far short of, say, the Wolseley's). This is now, we believe, the first Indian restaurant in town to boast a chef's table. Also available for private dining: the elegant and well stocked new wine room - they call it a cellar, but it isn't - and some larger and more conventional private rooms.


As the availability of all this accommodation suggests, this is very much a business restaurant. Lunchers at neighbouring tables included a day trader discussing his strategy, a man loudly discussing the 'bottom line', and a Frenchman deeply in love with his BlackBerry. Such an ambience may be great if you're trying to cut a deal, but - especially as the volume notches up - we couldn't say we found it especially relaxing.


The staff, in keeping, can sometimes exhibit a tendency to impersonality. On arrival, our welcome could have been warmer, and we found the efforts to 'upsell' on the drinks front - 'still or sparkling?'' 'I particularly recommend the [£15/glass] wine' - rather irksome.


Ignore these expensive booby-traps, though, and you can lunch (if not dine) here remarkably inexpensively - with a glass of wine each, two people could eat well here for £70, all in. (Seems to have been all the better value when you exit past the surreally opulent Jack Barclay Rolls-Royce dealership, next door!)


At full prices, you'll pay a great deal more of course, but we'd have to say that the lunch we enjoyed here suggested that the cooking - refined subcontinental, presented in essentially European style - is among the best of its type in town, and the overall 'package' is clearly a natural for business.


In fact, the slightly mechanical nature of the operation almost does the food a favour - one ends up just slightly surprised by how delicious it is, and consistently so too. Even the coffee (served with distinctly un-Indian sweetmeats) is decent. For an Indian restaurant, that must surely make it pretty much unique.


See the Review
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