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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: £65.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 12N-2.30pm 5.30-11pm|
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The decor at Benares is drab and conference-centrish, exacerbated by low ceilings which create such poor acoustics that relaxed conversation becomes impossible.
The food is no where near Michaelin star standard and not a patch on Amaya, for example.
The service was really poor – charmless, inattentive and slow… particularly irksome wen paying almost £30 ‘optional’ service charge. When entertaining guests no one wants to argue over a service charge, so it's hardly optional in reality. They state the typically customer-friendly restriction that you have two hours at your table before you may be turfed out – if they had stuck to that rule with us we wouldn't have even had our main course, so slow was the service. We were there for well over half an hour before anyone took any order at all… no drinks, no nothing.
But what is truly infuriating is the cost. Three people, one bottle of Sauv Blanc, two courses each plus one dessert (and that only sorbet) came to £260. We get used to the excesses of the kind of central London joints that fill up with expense account holders, but we expect a great experience to justify it. £59 for a shared chicken with almost no flavour; £4.75 for a mint tea (one sprig and boiling water); £8.50 for sorbet; £8.00 for sauteed potatoes – what kind of multiples are these people working on? This place is twice as expensive as it should be – even allowing for a Berkeley Sq location.