Opened in 2003 by Indian-born chef and restaurateur Atul Kochhar, Benares was the flagship restaurant of his ever-growing business empire, and is where Atul’s flavour infused dishes inspired by his extensive travels within India was combined with the very best of British. The restaurant has held a Michelin-star since 2007-2019, and has set its position at the forefront of modern Indian dining in the UK.
Named after Varanasi, Northern India’s spiritual city – the moment you step inside Benares you will be transported to the beauty and vibrancy of this fantastic city, with hand-crafted furniture, water features and an elegant exotic interior.
The restaurant consists of a main dining room which seats up to 120 people, there are also four private dining areas, including the private cellar where you can dine surrounded in bottles of fine wine, and the chefs table which overlooks the kitchen, as well as an intimate lounge where you can find drinks such as passionfruit chutney martini and green spice martini ..
The a la carte menu is comprehensive including dishes such as ‘Tandoori Murg’ – an old Delhi style classic tandoori chicken, pear and ginger dressed salad and mint and coriander chutney. There is also a vegetarian a la carte menu to choose from, which include dishes like ‘Tandoori Khumb and Shimla Mirch’ – a portobello mushroom filled with peas, kidney bean stuffed pepper and a coconut and curry leaf sauce. A 10-course tasting menu is available for those looking to try a variety of dishes and flavours, and a set menu with prices starting from £29 for two-courses and £35 for three-courses, being very good value for a Michelin-starred dining experience.
The restaurant also has an extensive wine list, made up by fine wines from around the globe, all hand-picked by head sommelier and wine buyer Jeepson Lopes – who is always on hand to help choose the perfect match to your favourite dishes.
In mid-2018 Atul Kochhar left the Benares group to pursue other independent ventures, the kitchen is now led by executive chef Barinder Narula, who has been with the restaurant group for a number of years. Whilst Benares lost it Michelin-starred status in 2020, Barinder will continue to bring his influence and style of food to the restaurant, whilst still maintaining the level of consistency and quality that Benares is known for.