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20 April 2014
(menu)

Benaresone star

020 3544 1650

12a Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, London W1J 6BS

£68.00 Indian , Halal Mayfair, Oxford Street

Overall Diner Rating

 

Based on 32 ratings. Rate it!

  • Wine: £25.00
  • Champagne: £65.00
  • Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 12N-2.30pm 5.30-11pm

Square Meal Review of Benares ?

Benares has been cited as one of London’s top culinary ambassadors, but last year’s feedback suggested standards were slipping and we’ve noticed a further downward trend. On the plus side, the suave vibe is appreciated, although not everyone is sold on the ‘drab’ chocolate and cream-toned dining room with its low ceilings, poor acoustics and echoes of a ‘conference centre’. Michelin-starred celeb chef Atul Kochhar is well capable of delivering some ‘amazing’ dishes founded on studious technique and clever-clever presentation – consider a ’superb’ starter of crispy soft-shell crab with lobster cocktail and chilli cress, khasta murgh (chicken-tikka pie with wild-berry chutney) or pan-roasted stone bass with vermicelli and a beautifully judged coconut and curry-leaf sauce. However, minuscule portions and sky-high prices cause regular complaints, while service can be slow, ‘abrupt’ and ‘charmless’. Thankfully, the well-considered global wine list makes some amends.

Click here to read our diners’ reviews, or write your own
 
  1. Benares

    12a Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, London W1J 6BS
    Overall rating:
     
    Nalini C.

    social evening out

        (1)

     
    • Food & Drink: 10
    • Service: 6
    • Atmosphere: 10
    • Value: 8

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  2. Benares

    12a Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, London W1J 6BS
    Overall rating:
     
    GH

    Great Indian Food

      Gold Reviewer  (69)

     
    • Food & Drink: 9
    • Service: 8
    • Atmosphere: 9
    • Value: 8

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  3. Benares

    12a Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, London W1J 6BS
    Overall rating:
     
    Philip H.

    Another complacent, exhorbitant central London restaurant funded by expense accounts

        (3)

     
    • Food & Drink: 5
    • Service: 4
    • Atmosphere: 4
    • Value: 1

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  4. Benares

    12a Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, London W1J 6BS
    Overall rating:
     
    Foodess

    Just a bad day at the office?

      Gold Reviewer  (102)

     
    • Food & Drink: 7
    • Service: 8
    • Atmosphere: 7
    • Value: 6

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  5. Benares

    12a Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, London W1J 6BS
    Overall rating:
     
    Katherine C.

    Michelin Star? Not fo rmuch longer.

        (5)

     
    • Food & Drink: 5
    • Service: 2
    • Atmosphere: 4
    • Value: 3

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  6. Benares

    12a Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, London W1J 6BS
    Overall rating:
     
    Pinakin P.

    Do not bother

        (1)

     
    • Food & Drink: 2
    • Service: 2
    • Atmosphere: 2
    • Value: 2

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  7. Benares

    12a Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, London W1J 6BS
    Overall rating:
     
    Maria B.
        (9)

     
    • Food & Drink: 6
    • Service: 6
    • Atmosphere: 6
    • Value: 5

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  8. Benares

    12a Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, London W1J 6BS
    Overall rating:
     
    Zaina A.
        (1)

     
    • Food & Drink: 2
    • Service: 3
    • Atmosphere: 3
    • Value: 1

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  9. Benares

    12a Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, London W1J 6BS
    Overall rating:
     
    Anita L.
        (1)

     
    • Food & Drink: 5
    • Service: 10
    • Atmosphere: 10
    • Value: 3

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  10. Benares

    12a Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, London W1J 6BS
    Overall rating:
     
    Matt the Gourmet
        (5)

     
    • Food & Drink: 10
    • Service: 9
    • Atmosphere: 10
    • Value: 8

    Was this review helpful to you?

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  1. Published : Monday, 24th June 2013

    Samphire and Salsify :: Benares

    Benares is a Michelin starred Indian restaurant in Mayfair. We’ve only had one taste of Indian food at Michelin level before at Trishna in Marylebone which we thought was utterly brilliant, so we were excited about our lunch visit...
    More from Samphire and Salsify »

  2. Published : Sunday, 9th December 2012

    SamTheFoodFan :: Benares

    Another week and another 'end of project' celebratory lunch. We had a lot of people to celebrate with, but this is the last one, I promise! Our American project manager and my dear friend, loves Indian food and so our hosts chose to take us to Benares in the heart of Mayfair. Chef Atul Kochhar was the first Indian chef to win a Michelin star (at his previous restaurant Tamarind) and still retains a star at Benares. This isn't your usual curry house you would find on every British High street, that is for sure! Atul combines his heritage Indian flavours with traditionally British ingredients to create a unique and interesting menu...
    More from SamTheFoodFan »

  3. Published : Sunday, 17th July 2011

    Her Favourite Food :: Benares

    Well it’s got a Michelin star and is associated with celebrity chef Atul Kochhar, need I say any more? Whilst there are some Michelin star restaurants which don’t actually give off the aura of owning the esteemed star, Benares defiantly does. It’s not over bearing but you can feel its glow. This goes to the extent that whenever you mention Benares most people have heard of it and are aware of its high swank ratings. The most impressive part of the restaurant has to be the bar area. Whilst the main restaurant is very minimalist making use of cooling white shades, the bar is vibrant, vivid and very endearing. The centre piece is a rather large canoe which is filled with lush exotic flowers bringing a South East Asian feel to the bar area. Guests are also greeted with a still water pool filled with pink water lilies as they ascend up to the dining area, the first time I’ve seen a water feature in a restaurant and I like it! This altogether creates a very calming atmosphere about the place. After having recently undergone a full refurb, the restaurant now also boasts a walk-in wine theatre and a chef’s table overlooking the kitchen area for an even more impressive dining venue...
    More from Her Favourite Food »

Private Dining at Benares

The Lounge
Located next to the restaurant, The Lounge is a spacious stand-alone bar that can be hired for exclusive use for up to 30 seated guests (60 standing). Bar platters and canapés can be organised for drinks receptions.

Benares Restaurant
The main dining room at Benares seats up to 100 guests and can be hired for exclusive use. The dining room can be combined with the restaurant’s other private rooms for parties of up to 150 seated (300 standing).

Chef’s Table
This private-dining experience gives views into the Benares kitchen. Groups of up to six people can watch the team at work and meet the chefs as they introduce each course on the private room’s bespoke menu, which includes matching wines. This room can accommodate up to 10 standing.

Berkeley Room
Separated from the sommelier's room by an impressive wine wall, the Berkeley Room features hand-crafted ornamental doors made from Indian wood, and rich terracotta walls. It seats up to 16 people (22 standing)

Dover Room
The largest of Benares’ private rooms can seat up to 36 guests (40 standing). This long room at the far end of the restaurant is perfect for banquets, while its flexible design and sliding doors mean that the space can also be opened up and incorporated into the main restaurant for larger functions.

The Cellar Room

The Cellar Room houses a small proportion of the 600-strong wine list but the bottles lining the walls in black wooden racks and contrasting high-backed taupe padded chairs, combine with white linen tablecloths, napkins and black and gold glass show plates to give the room a distinctly gastronomic feel. Seating up to ten in one long or two tables of five, its set to one side of the main bar and has a glass panel looking out onto the main bar area

Capacities

Private RoomCapacity
The Lounge30
Main Restaurant100
Chef6
Berkeley Room 16
Dover Room34
Exclusive Hire150
The Cellar Room10

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Atul Kochhar

Benares’s Chef - Benares chef Atul Kochhar Atul Kochhar's interest in food began early, while helping at his father's contract & event catering business in India. Ignoring pressure to become a doctor or engineer, Kochhar followed his heart & took on a chef apprenticeship with the Oberoi group of hotels. He rose through the ranks to become a senior sous chef of the fine-dining restaurant of the Oberoi New Delhi, before being headhunted to come to the UK as head chef of Tamarind, which opened in November 1994. Kochhar was at the helm when Tamarind won its Michelin star in 2001. Finally, Kochhar decided to go it alone, opening Benares as chef-proprietor & continuing his Michelin-starred career.

Essential Details for Benares

Location of Benares

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020 3544 1650
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  • Main Restaurant

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