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|Address:||12a Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, London W1J 6BS|
|Tel:||020 3544 1650|
|Price: £68.00||Wine: £25.00||Champagne: £69.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 12N-2.30pm 5.30-11pm|
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We were underwhelmed by all the food a couple of weeks ago. It scraped through as good, although service maintained standard. Benares was one of my favourites but it has to do better to warrant another visit. July 2013.
Could Atul Kochhar match the subtle spicing of a lamb cutlet second time around, I wondered after booking a table at Benares? Most definitely….and not just spices were clever but textures too.
Softshell crab was a superb opening dish for me, as was rabbit which both I and my co-diner thought divine. Although lamb wasn’t chosen this time, Monkfish was recommended without falter and I was utterly pleased that it had been – the flavours lived on in my memory for longer than average. Steamed basmati rice separated like grains of sand running through fingers and was the best I had encountered. Duck main didn’t quite do it for me, but then that wasn’t my main course choice.
Décor was slightly suspect with plaster-of-paris panel design on walls, but otherwise a pleasant space, and with food this good, surroundings were of little consequence. Showing an interest in the food and the chef’s skill, we were asked if we would like to meet Mr Kochhar, which marked the occasion neatly. Compliments about his food were met with humble response and in that short encounter, he seemed like a pretty decent person who deserves the recognition he gets.
In 2010, considering we were in a Michelin starred Mayfair restaurant on a Tuesday evening, £120 (a la carte) for two people including a couple of glasses of wine, water and beer seemed pretty good value to me.