Halal, Indian·
Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of Benares

Silver Award

Nestled in swanky Berkeley Square, Benares is a stalwart of old-school Indian fine dining. At the arrival of a new menu, we donned our smart shoes and ventured into the throng of swish restaurants for a taste.

Having been led past the indoor fountain, we settled in for Sameer Taneja’s new tasting menu. ‘Street snacks’ kicked things off, served resting in the shade of a bonsai. Both were simple yet effective, one a lightly-spiced bread pakora, the other a cone of chickpea puree. From here, however, things pivoted quite unexpectedly. An espresso cup of shorba (traditional gravy-esque soup), swapped the expected Indian spices for a more European summer truffle and chestnut. Continuity aside, the result was deliciously smooth.

A clever oyster ceviche kept up the pace, laced with delicate tiger’s milk and served in the shell. Although the crispy sweetcorn chaat that adorned it felt a touch out of place, these notions were swiftly superseded by an utterly perfect scallop, baked in a fiery coconut sauce and topped with spiced brittle crumbs. Refreshed by house fruit soda (theatrically carbonated at the table), we were ready for the big hitters.

Bathed in aromatic tawa masala sauce, a fillet of halibut arrived with an entourage of juicy clam moilee, and both were promptly devoured. A tandoori muntjac chop followed, paired with a simple garlic yoghurt and chilli chutney, its heavenly pink meat surrounded by fragrant green sauce. Finally, a baby poussin tikka was perhaps even more tender, with the tang of masala sauce hitting all the right notes. To finish, a soft, spongy rasmalai came topped with a borderline-cloying mango gel, although those with a sweeter tooth would likely have no issue.

Benares is just as on point as ever, armed with the triple threat of delicious food, elegant wines and charming service. Those unable to fork out £123 for the tasting menu should still visit, as Taneja’s set menu offers three courses for under £40.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Over £80
Halal, Indian
Fine dining, Luxury, Quiet conversation, Romantic, Traditional, Unique
Other Awards
One Michelin star
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Chef’s table, Gluten-free options, Vegan options, Vegetarian options
Celeb spotting, Celebrations, Group dining [8+], Romantic, Special occasions

Special offers for Benares

100 Points

For all diners any day, every time

Offers cannot be combined. You will be awarded the offer that gives you the most reward points.


Does Benares have a Michelin star?

Benares has one Michelin star.

Helpful? 0

This venue also offers

Private Group Dining


Benares - Bar

Benares - Bar


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

020 7629 8886


Opening Times

Mon 12:00-14:30
Tue 12:00-14:30
Wed 12:00-14:30
Thu 12:00-14:30
Fri 12:00-14:30
Sat 12:00-14:30
Sun Closed
Mon 17:30-22:30
Tue 17:30-22:30
Wed 17:30-22:30
Thu 17:30-22:30
Fri 17:30-22:30
Sat 17:30-22:30
Sun Closed


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40 Reviews 

Michael-John S

15 June 2022   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

Glorious dishes, tremendous cocktails and outstanding service


10 November 2021  
Food & Drink 1.5
Service 2
Atmosphere 2
Value 1
Stuck in 90s

Worst high end Indian restaurant. Food quality poor. Standard British Indian chicken butter masala type of place. No innovation. Living in its past glory. Don't even try it. 


10 November 2021  
Food & Drink 1.5
Service 2
Atmosphere 2
Value 1
Stuck in 90s

Worst high end Indian restaurant. Food quality poor. Standard British Indian chicken butter masala type of place. No innovation. Living in its past glory. Don't even try it. 


28 October 2019   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 3.5
Value 3.5

Went for Husbands belated Bday treat .Had the early evening set menu ,food was great, service good , had the wine pairing which was good value .The only let down was we felt a little hurried and had to keep asking for a break ! I think the restaurant wanted to get the  cheaper menu people out quickly ! Would go again though. 

Samm A

08 July 2019  
Good food and creative menu. Knowledgeable staff.

Jill B

28 June 2019  
Amazing cocktails and original food Beautiful staff.

Jill B

01 August 2018  
Excellent service great food. The soft shelled crab is excellent.

Linda S

31 July 2018  
We had the street food menu and cocktails, interesting and delicious, cleverly spiced and reasonable price.

Tina P

27 June 2018  
Excellent food with great taste Customer service very good Good venue with pleasant ambience.


27 June 2018  
Always incredible food and cocktails are amazing.
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