February 2020: it's been announced that Delhi-born Sameer Taneja will be Benares' new executive chef; he worked here from 2011 for four years.
Harden's survey result
Mixed reports this year on this swish first-floor Indian, in the heart of Mayfair, which severed ties in August 2018 with its original founder. Fans say it’s “still excellent, despite Atul Kochhar’s departure”, serving “very nicely balanced, spiced and well-prepared” Indian cuisine that offers “a real twist compared to what’s usually found in the UK”. Its ratings have waned, though, with gripes re-emerging about its “windowless”, slightly “dull” interior, but more concerningly about cooking that “may not justify the price tag”: “just go to Dishoom, get better food, have more fun and save your cash!”
“Modern Indian done with style!” Atul Kochhar’s swish Mayfair destination in very contemporary, first-floor Berkeley Square premises put in a much stronger showing than in last year’s survey. True, “when the dining room is quiet the atmosphere can feel a little strained”, but when it fills up it’s “much more vibrant”, and at its best the cuisine here is “really stunning and beautifully presented”. STOP PRESS – in August 2018, Kochhar left the restaurant which he founded, whose cuisine will now be led by Executive Chef Brinder Narula, who has been with the group controlling Benares for three years.
Opinions again divide on Atul Kochar’s acclaimed contemporary Indian, which occupies a sprawling and first-floor site on Berkeley Square. Critics – who accuse it of “going through the motions” – drag down its overall ratings, but the majority lavish praise on his “innovative” cuisine’s “delicate spicing”, and say a meal is a “wow, how-did-they-make-it-taste-so-good experience”.
Fans still laud the “subtle, gorgeous flavours” of Atul Kochar’s cuisine which have made this “classy” if slightly “oddly furnished (shades of the ’70s)” gourmet Indian, in rambling first-floor premises by Berkeley Square, one of London’s best-known dining destinations. However, its ratings have cratered in recent times due to too many experiences of “Keystone Kops” service and food that just seems “expensive and very average”.
Indian Fine Dining Restaurant with British Flair in the Heart of Mayfair.
Benares Restaurant and Bar since its opening in 2003 has been considered one of the finest Indian Restaurants in the city.
Guests enter an elegant lounge with hand-crafted India inspired furniture and is complimented by a beautiful pond decorated with fresh flowers, creating a luxurious aesthetic.
Benares has 4 private dining rooms, three of which are around the lounge: the Berkeley Room which seats up to 16 guests, the Sommeliers Table which seats up to 10 guests and a Chefs Table overlooking the kitchen which seats up to 10 guests. The lounge area leads into the main dining room which can accommodate up to 80 guests. Our largest private dining area, the Dover room seating up to 36 guests is on the other side of the main dining room.
Benares can be hired for exclusive events accommodating 100 guests for a sit-down dinner and 250 guests for a standing reception.
|Wine per bottle||£20.00|
Executive Chef Sameer Taneja
Benares has 4 private dining rooms, three of which are around the Lounge: the Berkeley Room which seats up to 16 guests, the Sommeliers Table (Wine Room) which seats up to 10 guests and a Chefs Table overlooking the kitchen which seats up to 8 guests. The Lounge area leads into the main dining room which can accommodate up to 80 guests. Our largest private dining area, the Dover room seating up to 36 guests is on the other side of the main dining room.
Benares Restaurant Diner Reviews
"We had the Street Food menu in the bar (5 Small Plates to share plus a cocktail). We also shared an excellent dessert. Worked well for us on the night as a pre-theatre meal. Allow about 90 mins."
12a Berkeley Square House, , London, W1J 6BS
|Number of Diners:|
|Monday||12 pm‑2:30 pm, 5:30 pm‑10:30 pm|
|Tuesday||12 pm‑2:30 pm, 5:30 pm‑10:30 pm|
|Wednesday||12 pm‑2:30 pm, 5:30 pm‑10:30 pm|
|Thursday||12 pm‑2:30 pm, 5:30 pm‑10:30 pm|
|Friday||12 pm‑2:30 pm, 5:30 pm‑10:30 pm|
|Saturday||12 pm‑3 pm, 5:30 pm‑10:30 pm|
|Sunday||5:30 pm‑9:30 pm|